05:12 PM

NIST Cybersecurity Center Tackles Public And Private Threats

Researchers will use National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to develop new products and services to combat cybersecurity threats faced by U.S. government agencies and companies.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
The organization that sets federal technology standards is establishing a new center devoted to cybersecurity technology research across both the public and private sectors.

A partnership between the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County, Md., will create the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, where NIST researchers can exclusively work to improve cybersecurity in the United States, according to NIST.

The goals of the center, which is being funded by $10 million of NIST's budget for fiscal-year 2012, will be to establish more trust in U.S. IT communications, data, and storage systems; lower the risk for companies and people using those systems; and develop new cybersecurity products and services, according to NIST.

To do this, the center will team researchers with users and vendors of cybersecurity products and services to do specific work that considers use cases to address challenges in particular sectors. For example, researchers might create interoperable templates that can be used across industries or government agencies in areas such as cloud computing, cryptography, or continuous monitoring of IT systems, according to NIST.

[ Find out how NIST works to protect mobile devices. See NIST Tests Ways To Secure iPhones, iPads. ]

"Cyber crime hurts individuals, businesses and government agencies," NIST undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology and director Patrick Gallagher said in a press statement to launch the center. "We want to bring together the best minds and provide them with the best tools to create and test solutions that will make online transactions of all kinds safer."

NIST is encouraging IT vendors and members of the public to help develop and refine the use cases, and researchers will share results from the center's projects with the IT and vendor communities, according to NIST.

A new computing facility near NIST's campus in Gaithersburg, Md., will house the center, which will host collaborative research efforts that institutions from both public and private-sector computer scientists can participate in. NIST already has done a significant amount of cybersecurity work in the area of setting standards for the federal government, and the center will provide a new venue for the organization to broaden its research to the private sector.

Some recent moves NIST has made include providing guidance to help agencies assess risk within their IT systems to prevent federal cybersecurity breaches. It has also offered guidelines for protecting a computer's Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).

As federal agencies embrace devices and apps to meet employee demand, the White House seeks one comprehensive mobile strategy. Also in the new Going Mobile issue of InformationWeek Government: Find out how the National Security Agency is developing technologies to make commercial devices suitable for intelligence work. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest September 7, 2015
Some security flaws go beyond simple app vulnerabilities. Have you checked for these?
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-09
Simple Streams (simplestreams) does not properly verify the GPG signatures of disk image files, which allows remote mirror servers to spoof disk images and have unspecified other impact via a 403 (aka Forbidden) response.

Published: 2015-10-09
The Telephony component in Apple OS X before 10.11, when the Continuity feature is enabled, allows local users to bypass intended telephone-call restrictions via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-09
IcedTea-Web before 1.5.3 and 1.6.x before 1.6.1 does not properly sanitize applet URLs, which allows remote attackers to inject applets into the .appletTrustSettings configuration file and bypass user approval to execute the applet via a crafted web page, possibly related to line breaks.

Published: 2015-10-09
IcedTea-Web before 1.5.3 and 1.6.x before 1.6.1 does not properly determine the origin of unsigned applets, which allows remote attackers to bypass the approval process or trick users into approving applet execution via a crafted web page.

Published: 2015-10-09
The Safari Extensions implementation in Apple Safari before 9 does not require user confirmation before replacing an installed extension, which has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What can the information security industry do to solve the IoT security problem? Learn more and join the conversation on the next episode of Dark Reading Radio.