From the Vice President
Cybersecurity research is of critical importance to protect our country from vulnerable technologies that lead to cyber attacks. The University of Idaho has a strong existing foundation in cybersecurity research, and this is a key area for strategic research growth.
Already we have many funded projects in this area, including a $2.1 million Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission grant, led by College of Engineering Dean Larry Stauffer, which focuses on cyber physical control systems. I am actively seeking opportunities to expand our efforts across the state.
Idaho National Laboratory is an essential partner in our cybersecurity research and education efforts. Recently in Idaho Falls, I met with Zach Tudor, associate lab director for national and homeland security, and Brent Stacey, INL’s senior advisor for national and homeland security, to discuss collaborations. INL’s two new proposed buildings, the Cybercore Integration Center and Collaborative Computing Center (C3), will offer fantastic opportunities for UI researchers and students to collaborate with INL researchers. These facilities will be located next to the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, home to some of our existing cybersecurity research.
Cybersecurity is top-of-mind in Washington, D.C. On Feb. 14, research leaders discussed the urgency of cybersecurity with the House Subcommittee on Research and Technology. Multiple federal agencies are very interested in this topic, and I want UI to be poised to secure additional funding for our research programs. Recently, I met with Jeremy Epstein, program director for the National Science Foundation/Intel Partnership on Cyber Physical Systems Security and Privacy to discuss potential NSF funding in this area.
While research and industry leaders are cautiously optimistic about the Trump administration’s cyber policy, the administration’s interest in critical infrastructure is also promising. Federal support could provide an avenue for investment in the systems that provide foundations for our cybersecurity research, including the Idaho Regional Optical Network. IRON currently provides a dedicated, secure high-speed fiber optic network infrastructure to support Idaho’s research, health care, education and government needs.
Idaho has the potential to be a national leader in research that protects our cyber systems and education that prepares the next generation of cyber-defenders. The state is already investing: On Monday, Gov. Otter signed an executive order enacting the Cybersecurity Task Force’s recommendations, which include appointing a director of information security for the state.
Together with our partners, the University of Idaho can play a critical role in finding solutions to these most urgent cybersecurity challenges.
Janet E. Nelson
Research and Economic Development
Read more research news and features on the Office of Research website.