Industry, academia join hands to solve U.S. most pressing cyber threats

Published 1 December 2009

Northrop Grumman forms cybersecurity research consortium to help secure the U.S. critical infrastructure and counter growing threats; consortium’s members include MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Purdue

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has invited three of the nation’s leading cybersecurity research institutions — Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana — to join a Cybersecurity Research Consortium to advance research in this field and develop solutions to counter the complex cyber threats that face the U.S. economy, freedoms of information, and national security.

CNN Money reports that the announcement is being made today in a briefing at the National Press Club where representatives discussed how this consortium — which Northrop Grumman describes as “unique in composition, approach and mission” — will accelerate the pace of taking novel ideas to real-world application and thus address the U.S. most pressing cyber threats.

We have been working in the cybersecurity domain for more than 20 years, and I have never seen the threats so intense,” said Robert Brammer, chief technology officer, Northrop Grumman for Information Systems. “To help mitigate these threats, we must bring together industry and our academic institutions. By combining the creative intellectual freedoms of academia with the full spectrum capabilities within Northrop Grumman, we can accelerate the pace of taking novel ideas to significant application. We have an obligation to our clients and our nation to invest in new technologies to get ahead of the cybersecurity threat. This consortium will serve to organize some important U.S. organizations to help increase our nation’s security in cyberspace.”

The Northrop Grumman Cybersecurity Research Consortium (NGCRC) members maintain laboratories and centers recognized worldwide for their research in this area. They include Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), and Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS).

The universities were chosen for their long-term, leading-edge research in cybersecurity and their national standing in this arena. The company said that when paired with Northrop Grumman’s deep domain knowledge and understanding of the global threat, this industry-academic enterprise will find solutions to the real-world cyber threats facing the critical systems whose demise would threaten U.S. national security.

The consortium will take-on some of the world’s leading cyber problems including attribution in cyberspace, supply chain risk, and securing critical infrastructure networks. The NGCRC will initially sponsor ten projects and provide graduate student fellowships while continuing to expand the portfolio of research to cover the