CIERTA

Cyber Infrastructure Education and Research for Trust and Assurance

Cyberspace, the ubiquitous collection of interconnected IP networks and hosts that has proliferated over the last two decades, has become the nervous system of the country. Healthy functioning of Cyberspace is essential for the proper operation of numerous critical infrastructures, such as telecommunication, energy and transportation. It is also necessary to support the ever-expanding business infrastructure, including commerce and banking. The increasing reliance on Cyberspace has been paralleled by a corresponding increase in the variety, frequency and impact of attacks from a range of assailants. Both commercial companies and government agencies face continuous and increasingly more sophisticated cyber-attacks ranging from data exfiltration and spear phishing to sophisticated worms and logic bombs. The targets include not only computer information systems, but also the network communication infrastructure and power grids. Moreover, commercial companies and government agencies are themselves engaging in information gathering whose implications for privacy are disturbing.

Therefore, there is an increasing need of a concerted and cooperative effort on the part of the government and the private sector to address these attacks and threats. Research and education are the main ways to help detect, react, and reduce the impact of cyber threats and attacks. There is a dearth of educational cyber security programs at universities, despite a very strong demand for qualified graduates. Moreover, Miami’s status as a gateway for international commerce, tourism, and immigration, especially with Latin America, makes it a particularly appropriate host location for a research and education consortium focusing on cyber infrastructure.

Our goal of this center is two-fold—first, to inspire a new generation of cyber research warriors and cyber savvy intelligence agents to take up the torch, to better understand our need for smart intelligence, and to defend the homeland. Since their work cannot be done alone, our second goal is to advance technology through the concept of subliminal contextual information in the production of subliminal contextual intelligence.