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7 security projects worth watching

To better secure today's increasingly connected infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security's  Science and Technology Directorate is funding development of a system that will enable auditing and controlling leaks of personally identifiable from connected devices.

Northeastern University will receive $645,229 to further develop its  “Revealing and Controlling Privacy Leaks in Network Traffic” project, a solution that uses machine learning to identify PII in network flows.

According to a 2016 paper on the ReCon technology, the system inspects network traffic, visualizes the leaks and lets users to block the leaks or substitute different PII. It uses "machine learning and crowdsourcing-based reinforcement to build classifiers that reliably detect PII in network flows, even when we do not know a priori what information is leaked and in what format."

The funding will allow the Northeastern team to build open-source applications that allow users to control how their information is shared with third-parties and then extend the solution to address privacy leaks from internet-of-things devices.

Other early-stage security innovations recently funded by DHS S&T include:

An easy-to-use, decentralized public and private key management system to boost online authentication and verification necessary for the secure and scalable deployment of blockchain technologies ($749,000 to Evernym of Salt Lake City).

A platform that identifies cyberattacks and then uses container-native software to automatically stop malicious activity on affected applications. The software runs as a collection of integrated, container-based micro-services ($200,000 to StackRox of Mountain View, Calif.).

Testing, evaluation and transition of prototype cybersecurity technologies that will reduce risk of cyberattacks to critical infrastructure sectors, beginning with the financial services industry ($70 million  to Cyber Apex Solutions of Arlington, Va.).

New capabilities to help law enforcement with the forensic investigations of digital evidence from various devices, such as drones, cameras, sensors mobile phones and automobile infotainment systems ($928,541 to VTO Inc. of Broomfield, Colo.).

A predictive malware trending scheme that would inform the long-term predictions of the evasions and attack paths malware uses in embedded devices ($747,000 to Red Balloon Security of New York, N.Y.).

A system that will enable authorized users to access video and audio from existing surveillance systems, and rebroadcast the video/audio signals for use by authorized users such as first responders ($750,000 to McQ Inc. of Fredericksburg, Va.).

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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