Cyber criminals around the world are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in the servers, smartphones, power grids, and computers that power our businesses, municipalities, and schools every day.
From recent ransomware attacks such as WannaCry to data breaches of credit agencies like Equifax, we know at least half of U.S. businesses have been hacked in the past year, costing hundreds of billions of dollars in falling revenue, information loss, and equipment damages. Universities are also at risk, as cybercriminals continue to target student identities and sensitive research kept on college servers.
These attacks—from individual hackers, international organizations, and governments around the globe—threaten our economic competitiveness and technological innovation.
But these increasing cybersecurity breaches extend beyond domestic data. In fact, a recent attack from North Korea compromised some of our nation’s most sensitive military intelligence, posing a serious threat to our country’s democracy and national security. It’s clear from these hacks that, in order to protect every Hoosier’s privacy and security, we must ensure our entire network infrastructure is safe from cyberattacks at home and abroad.
From fighting malware to preventing data breaches before they occur, researchers at Indiana University are working to protect Hoosiers from a myriad of digital attacks in today’s Internet-connected world. Spam, scams, phishing campaigns, and ransomware are all capable of stealing crucial research, exposing military strategy, and disrupting financial stability. As cyberattacks become more and more frequent, leading cybersecurity experts at IU are working to implement new data security systems and strengthen network infrastructures to protect Hoosiers’ from disastrous hacks.
According to software security provider Symantec, the education sector experienced the third most data breach incidents in 2015 and the seventh most domain exploits in 2016. These harmful attacks included data loss, malicious content hacks, and malware advertising.
To safeguard the vital research data scientists share with universities and think tanks around the world, IU has partnered with the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to develop and scale a secure data-transfer system.
The program, titled Infrastructure for Privacy-Assured CompuTations (ImPACT), will build a digital structure that enables researchers to send and receive sensitive data and analyses across a protected network. With this crucial infrastructure, scientists can communicate and collaborate with other cross-disciplinary researchers around the world without fear of their valuable research being stolen.
[A] highly productive, usable research infrastructure that provides for data security and privacy is a key goal for the scientific community. We are excited to be a part of this team, providing advice and evaluation in cybersecurity and privacy to maximize ImPACT’s fulfillment of this critical need.” Von Welch Director, Indiana University's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research
ImPACT will develop an innovative model that manages multi-institutional trust and implements best practices for networking, data management, and privacy preservation. In doing so, the team will leverage IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research’s cybersecurity and privacy expertise to ensure compliance with the many data policies and privacy concerns of scientific research organizations.
Through the development of this new data-sharing system, ImPACT will ensure scientists can safely share their research data with confidence, allowing them to focus squarely on their important work that drives innovation and discovery across all disciplines of research.
The $3 million, three-year project is funded by the National Science Foundation and features collaboration between the nation’s leading cybersecurity experts at Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) and researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and the city of Durham, North Carolina.
Cementing its role as a national leader in cybersecurity knowledge and education, IU is partnering with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Indiana, as part of a two-year agreement to help tackle the Navy’s most pressing cybersecurity issues. The NSWC is a laboratory that supports the technical and engineering operations of our Navy’s armed services.
As our military continues to create technologies that plug into the Internet of Things (IoT), its need for a secure network infrastructure has never been greater.
CACR chief policy analyst Craig Jackson is leading IU’s role in the partnership, which will include personnel sharing, cybersecurity counsel and best practices. His experience in risk management and information security will help Navy officials protect their sensitive military intelligence from outside hackers.
The partnership with NSWC Crane furthers CACR’s extensive capabilities in information security and Crane’s role in national defense. The partnership will help experts from the two centers share best practices and thus further develop cybersecurity expertise in the state of Indiana.” Brad Wheeler Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, Indiana University
“The Department of Defense is undergoing a transition in the framework they use for information security and NSWC Crane’s mission is critically important to national security, so this is a huge opportunity for CACR to contribute,” Jackson said. “NSWC Crane and the CACR both recognize that cybersecurity is an inherently interdisciplinary field, and we can’t fully address the cyber problem from isolated silos of expertise.”