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News Release 15-137

New special report highlights NSF-funded cybersecurity research and education

Interdisciplinary research, education and workforce development help protect national and personal security

screenshot of cybersecurity special report

NSF-supported social and technical research and education is critical for securing cyberspace.
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October 30, 2015

Cybersecurity is one of the defining issues of our time. Can we keep our networks, devices and critical systems open, safe and secure, while maintaining personal privacy? How do we develop tomorrow's cybersecurity solutions?

Fundamental research plays a key part. Cutting-edge, National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported social and technical cybersecurity research--as well as education and workforce development programs--are critical for protecting national and personal security.

In celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NSF launched a special report: Cybersecurity: Tech, Tools and Training to Secure the Future.

NSF has supported fundamental research in computer security for more than 40 years. From cryptography and network security to spam prevention and phishing detection tools, NSF funds research that makes the Internet a place where billions of people work, communicate and conduct business.

Today, NSF invests nearly $160 million each year in research, education and workforce development at labs, centers and universities across the U.S. This support helps scientists develop the tools, training and people that will keep the nation safe and maintain online privacy.

In the special report, we look back at seminal technologies like public-key encryption and software debuggers, created by NSF-funded researchers, that are the basis for today's cyber-protection.

We also look forward to explore the future of encryption; new ways of securing medical devices and automobiles; and new types of experimental infrastructure required to create solutions that are unbreakable by design.

It is increasingly clear that cybersecurity is not just a technical problem--people play a critical role. By studying the online behavior, social dynamics, and economics of individuals, hackers and adversaries, and by training cybersecurity experts capable of combating emerging threats, NSF supports the human side of cybersecurity.

The special report looks at innovate research into the behaviors of insider threats and how hackers communicate, as well as efforts such as CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service which trains thousands of cybersecurity experts each year.

Explore examples of these NSF-funded projects and more in the cybersecurity special report.


Media Contacts
Aaron Dubrow, NSF, 703-292-4489,
Robert Margetta, NSF, 703-292-2663,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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infographic showing computers, people and solutions to keep users and data safe
An infographic shows how NSF-supported research keeps you safe online.
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Visualization of the routing paths of the Internet.
NSF-supported cybersecurity research builds the foundational knowledge needed to protect cyberspace.
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