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U.S. DHS Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division, Cyber Security Research & Development Center wins National Cybersecurity Innovation Award for Research

Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC) national deployment - increased security that results in substantial cyber risk reduction.

Edward Rhyne, DHS, receives a National Cybersecurity Innovation Award with White House Cyber Coordinator Howard Schmidt at the National Cybersecurity Innovation Conference in Washington DC.

November 15, 2011

The SANS Institute announced today that U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Cyber Security Division, Cyber Security Research & Development Center has won the 2011 U.S. National Cybersecurity Innovation Award for building a federal cybersecurity research and development program that ensures that the research funded by federal agencies has a practical effect in reducing cyber risk. In particular, DHS S&T's long-term support of DNSSEC ensures that public users of online government services are confident the website they visit and over which they transmit information is an authentic government website and is secure.

The Department of Homeland Security Cyber R&D Center sets a high bar for researchers. The Department's Science and Technology Directorate includes requirements for Test, Evaluation, and Transition activities so the program managers can determine which ideas have a chance of becoming real products. This has required the R&D community to think beyond the theoretical and to consider a more practical horizon.

Proof of the value of this approach to research is the wide-scale adoption of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) S&T Directorate, partnering with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has steadfastly led the DNSSEC Deployment Initiative for half a decade. The Initiative works to encourage all sectors to voluntarily adopt security measures that will improve security of the Internet's naming infrastructure as part of a global, cooperative effort that involves many nations and organizations in the public and private sectors.

DNSSEC was a direct result of a six year continuous program of support provided by the DHS Cyber Security Research and Development program. Today DNSSEC provides increased security for the Internet infrastructure and is impacting Internet operations organizations, private industry, and the U.S. Government. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a crucial piece of Internet Infrastructure that serves as the Internet's phonebook translating human-readable host names into IP addresses. With strong support from DHS Cyber Security R&D, the Internet community has developed and deployed DNSSEC to provide security for all DNS communications.

DHS also sponsors a System Integrators Forum which puts researchers on stage and system integrators from IT companies in the audience to review innovative technologies as they come out of the government funding pipeline.

The U.S. DHS S&T Cyber Security Division Cyber Security Research & Development Center wins the 2011 National Cybersecurity Innovation Award for research that has paid off through a process that continually calls upon researchers to focus on work that can result in real products and real risk reductions.

About the National Cybersecurity Innovation Awards

The National Cybersecurity Innovation Awards recognize developments undertaken by companies and government agencies that have developed and deployed innovative processes or technologies that (1) is innovative in that it has not been deployed effectively before, (2) can show a significant impact on reducing cyber risk, (3) can be scaled quickly to serve large numbers of people, and (4) should be adopted quickly by many other organizations. Nominators for the include most of the senior government officials involved with cybersecurity as well as those from the major Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs). Corporations and individuals, including SANS instructors also nominated innovations. Each nomination was tested by SANS research department against the criteria; those that met *all* four were recognized. More than 50 nominations were received; 14 were selected.

Contact Information:
Alan Paller, apaller@sans.org, (301) 951-0102 x108

About SANS

Established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization, SANS' programs reach more than 400,000 security professionals, auditors, system administrators, and network administrators who share the lessons they are learning and jointly find solutions to the challenges they face. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners in government agencies, corporations and universities around the world who invest hundreds of hours each year in research and teaching to help the entire information security community. (www.sans.org)