Throughout Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we have discussed the importance of making the Internet safer and more secure. This is a shared responsibility, and each of us has a role to play. Emerging cyber threats require the engagement of the entire society—from government and law enforcement to the private sector and most importantly, members of the public. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) received two awards for work in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity posture.
We received a National Cybersecurity Innovation Award at the Sans Institute’s Second Annual National Cybersecurity Innovation Conference for our Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) project , which protects the public by ensuring that websites visited are the real deal and not imposters. Phony websites steal users’ log-in names, passwords, and even money, from thousands of innocent Internet users every year. S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD) was recognized for its innovation in promoting research that “pays off” by focusing on work that can result in real products and real risk reduction. Moreover, the award noted that the CSD’s approach has forced the R&D community to think beyond the theoretical to consider a more practical horizon.
DHS S&T also received the Open Source for America (OSFA)2011 Government Deployment Open Source Award for the Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) project , which brings together technology leaders from across government and developing advanced open source security solutions that address their prioritized gaps. This award recognize projects and people that educate decision makers in the federal government about the advantages of using free and open-source software and encourage federal agencies to give equal priority to procuring free and open-source software in all of their procurement decisions. The development of the open source intrusion detection system, Suricata, was sponsored through this project and is now being sustainably maintained by industry through a non-profit foundation.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is leading efforts to develop and deploy more secure internet protocols that protect consumers and industry internet users. As evidenced by these awards, the Department is making significant strides to enhance the security of the nation’s critical physical infrastructure as well as its cyber infrastructure and networks.