NSA announces new “Lablets”

In March 2018, the National Security Agency initiated a new security and privacy research effort to deepen the scientific understanding of the design of trusted systems, NSA announced April 18. NSA awarded contracts to six new “Lablets” to do foundational security and privacy research for the next five years. The Lablets are small multi-disciplinary labs at leading U.S. research institutions that are developing the cybersecurity and privacy breakthroughs needed to safe guard cyberspace. These institutions will continue NSA’s Research Directorate’s partnerships with academia.

The Lablets are part of NSA’s Science of Security and Privacy (SoS) Initiative, launched in 2012. SoS promotes security and privacy science as a recognized field of research and encourages rigorous research methodologies. Under the latest contract, the University of Kansas, Vanderbilt University, and the International Computer Science Institute will join three of the original SoS Lablets: Carnegie-Mellon University, University of Illinois-Champaign, and North Carolina State University.

NSA invited the Lablet Principal Investigators along with their researchers to a two day kick-off meeting at NSA. This meeting entailed presentations of each SoS project along with research perspectives from NSA researchers. These two communities of researchers will continue to collaborate; bringing unique expertise to advance security research and to transition results to application.

The NSA SoS Lablets will focus on the discovery of formal underpinnings of the design of trusted systems which spans the disciplines of computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics, behavioral science, statistics, philosophy, public policy and physics. Lablet researchers are free to work with other institutions as needed. The Lablets are starting twenty projects in the following research areas: Challenges in Cyber-Physical Systems, Cybersecurity Metrics, Policy-Governed Secure Collaboration, Privacy, Resilient Architectures, Scalability and Composability, Understanding and Accounting for Human Behavior.

The Lablets were competitively selected from a solicitation of nearly 300 universities across the United States. The criteria for selection included scientific rigor of research projects, applicability to current challenges and efforts to grow a scientific community in security and privacy.

Source: NSA