Florida Tech Awarded $730K Homeland Security Grant

By  //  December 10, 2014

grant to Improve Cyber Infrastructure Defense

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Institute of Technology Associate Professor Marco Carvalho has been awarded a $730,000, two-year contract by the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate to design a cyber-defense framework that will allow multiple organizations in both civilian and government sectors unprecedented levels of coordination in their efforts to protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure.

Carvalho, who works in Florida Tech’s Department of Computer Science and Cybersecurity, is the executive director of the school’s Harris Institute for Assured Information.

He will lead the research effort with his team at the institute and will support the design of new techniques and algorithms for the monitoring, control and coordination of cyber sensors and defenses across multiple domains and across administrative boundaries.

The proposed federated command and control infrastructure will enable coordinated detection and response to cyber events across different organizations, a powerful and important capability in efforts to improve the defense of the national cyber infrastructure.

The work will build on some of the prior research on agent-based infrastructures for cyber defense developed at Florida Tech, and will leverage Carvalho’s and his team’s experience and research in coordinated moving target and dynamic defense techniques for cyber resilience.

Dr. Marco Carvalho
Dr. Marco Carvalho

“We have been working on agent-based command and control frameworks for the Department of Defense for a few years, with very successful results,” Carvalho said.

“We are very excited to bring our research to the next level, and honored that DHS would enlist Florida Tech for work of such impact and significance.”

Software agents are goal-oriented computer programs designed to work on behalf of users or other programs. While self-directed and largely autonomous, agents can work collaboratively with other agents, and humans. Carvalho’s team has designed and implemented a software agent framework that is being used in research collaborations with the Department of Defense, and will help support this new research effort.

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Carvalho’s research interests are primarily in the areas of cyber security and distributed systems resilience.

He is the chair of the Resilient Cyber Systems symposium, as well as a member of the steering committee of Resilience Week, and co-organizer of several other events in the area of cyber resilience and coordinated moving target defense.