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Cybersecurity Center Looks at Industry Needs


March 2004

It's a familiar scenario: A destructive virus enters our organization's computer system through an apparently innocent file or email and quickly threatens to bring down the entire network, potentially destroying critical information and diverting important resources to try to manage it. Vulnerabilities in our information technology infrastructure have become a major problem in both the public and private sectors, resulting in millions of dollars in lost productivity and resources.

Wolf and Carzaniga
Alexander Wolf and Antonio Carzaniga

The College of Engineering and Applied Science launched a new Computer and Communications Security Research and Education Center (CCSC) in 2003 to advance the technologies of computer and communications security and the policies governing their proper development and use. The center's mission includes educating graduate and undergraduate students, and assisting industry partners in this area of growing national concern.

The center has 11 faculty from three departments on the Boulder campus, who bring expertise in an array of disciplines, including operating systems, networks, telecommunications, database management systems, software engineering, sensor networks, mathematics, information theory, economics, law, public policy, and human factors.

The center takes a broad view of security issues and incorporates the needs of business and government entities that are faced with potential threats ranging from opportunistic viruses to insider threats to widely dispersed and coordinated terrorist attacks. Banking, health care, transportation, telecommunications, energy, and entertainment are among the industries that depend on secure computer and communication technologies.

"We are looking at these problems from both technical and social perspectives to try to find a sustainable balance between economic growth and a secure cyber infrastructure," says CCSC Director Alexander Wolf.

The center offers undergraduate and graduate courses in computer and communications security, and hosts up to 10 undergraduate students each summer for security-related research.

Current partners include IBM, the Internet2 Consortium, the U.S. Air Force, the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The center is looking for additional companies that want to partner in security research and education.

This article was reprinted from the Spring 2004 issue of "Corporate Partner", an annual publication of the College of Engineering and Applied Science carrying news of interest to business and industry.

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Department of Computer Science
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