Florida Center for Cybersecurity

Florida Center for Cybersecurity awards $500,000 in research grants

Research teams from eight State University System (SUS) institutions will collaborate on topics important to national security

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2016) – The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC²) at the University of South Florida has awarded $500,000 in research grants to teams from eight State University System (SUS) of Florida institutions.

The awards, through FC²'s Cybersecurity Seed Grant Program, were officially announced at the SUS Cybersecurity Advisory Council meeting held at USF on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

"Through the Seed Grant Program, FC² is investing in ideas and promoting collaboration among cybersecurity faculty across the SUS," says Adam Sheffield, associate director for FC². "We had a strong pool of applicants this year, and are confident that many of these projects will grow to support research and attract companies, expanding the cybersecurity workforce in Florida."

Teams will focus their research on topics important to national security, including protecting the power grid from cyber attack, Internet of things solutions, and thwarting cyber-induced attacks, Sheffield says.

Ten teams each will receive $50,000 one-year seed grants:

  • Nonlinear Model-Based Cyber Attack-Rellient Grid Control – University of South Florida (USF) and University of Florida (Zhixin Miao and My T. Thai)
  • Creative and Composing Software Defined Networking (SDN) Security Modules – USF and Florida International University (FIU) (Kaiqi Xiong and Xin Sun)
  • Trusted Internet of Things Using Cross-layer Leveraging of Reconfigurable Device Signatures (2015 renewal) – USF and University of Central Florida (UCF) (Selcuk Kose and Ronald DeMara)
  • New Technologies in Defense Maneuver Against Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks – UF and University of North Florida (UNF) (Shigang Chen and Patrick Kreidl)
  • Toward Software Defined Networking Enabled Cyber Resilience – FIU and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) (Kemal Akkaya and Mehrdad Nojoumian)
  • Smart Grid Security Protection through Cross-Layer Approaches (2015 renewal) – UCF and USF (Yier Jin and Yao Liu)
  • Cyber Resilience for Injection Attacks (2015 renewal) – USF and FIU (Jay Ligatti and Geoffrey Smith)
  • Securing the Internet of Things from Hardware and Architecture Perspectives – UCF and UF (Jiann-Shiun Yuan and Xiaolin Li)
  • Security Analyses and Applications of Complex Networks: From Theory to Practice – UCF and FIU (Mainak Chatterjee and Jason Liu)
  • Toward Critical Infrastructure Resilience Against Cyber-Induced Attacks – Florida State University (FSU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU) (Xiuwen Liu and Ming Yu)

The seed grant program is in its second year. Three of the teams also received funding in 2015.

"We're already seeing the positive impact this program is having on cybersecurity research not only in Florida but also internationally," says Sri Sridharan, managing director and chief operating officer for FC².

As an example, Yian Zhou, You Zhou and Shingang Chen from UF, and O. Patrick Kreidl from UNF, 2015 seed grant recepients, presented research on malware at the Seventh International Conference on Network & Communication Security in Sydney, Australia, in December.

About the Florida Center for Cybersecurity
Created during the 2014 legislative session, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC²) is a shared resource for cybersecurity research, education and outreach across the state and beyond. The Center fosters collaboration between higher education, government, defense and business communities to share knowledge, resources and training opportunities that help mitigate cybersecurity threats and create opportunities for innovative solutions. Located at the University of South Florida, FC² is leading efforts to position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity.

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Media Contact: Kate Whitaker, 813-974-1229

The Cybersecurity Seed Grant Program aims to promoting collaboration among cybersecurity faculty in Florida's public universities.