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NSF Congressional Highlight

House Research and Science Education Subcommittee Meets on Cyber Security

June 10, 2009

The Research and Science Education Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology held the first of two hearings on cyber security research and development. The committee heard testimony from five experts in the field of cyber security: Dr. Seymour Goodman, Co-Director of Georgia Tech Information Security Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Ms. Liesyl Franz, Vice President of Information Security and Global Public Policy at TechAmerica, Dr. Anita D'Amico, Director of Secure Decisions Division at Applied Visions, Inc., Dr. Fred Schneider, Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, and Mr. Timothy Brown, Vice President and Chief Architect, CA Security Management. Written statements from each witness can be found here.

The experts described in their testimony the areas in which they felt both the federal government and industry could improve research and education in the field of cyber security. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant and Scholarship for Service programs were specifically mentioned as federal programs that are very successful in improving both research and education. Other ideas suggested by the witnesses were legislation making companies accountable for security breaches in their products, formalizing the mechanism for collaboration between the industry and federal agencies, a marketing campaign to increase public awareness of cyber security risks, and the creation of a new graduate degree program for systems trustworthiness professionals.

The next hearing on cyber security will take place June 16, 2009, when the committee will hear testimony from representatives of federal agencies involved in funding and carrying out research in cyber security in response to the Cyberspace Policy Review. Scheduled witnesses include Dr. Jeannette Wing, Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at NSF.