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DHS technology directorate wins awards for cyber security efforts

S&T's Doug Maughan

DHS’s efforts to secure Internet domain names and its work on Internet risk reduction was recognized by a one of the leading Internet security education organizations last week.

In a Web Blog post on Oct. 17, Doug Maughan, director of the Cyber Security Division, DHS Science and Technology Directorate, noted that the directorate had received awards from the SANS Institute, a company specializing in internet security training and that operates the Internet Storm Center, a key Internet security monitoring system.

“Last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate received two awards for work in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity posture,” said Maughan.

“We received a National Cybersecurity Innovation Award at the Sans Institute’s Second Annual National Cybersecurity Innovation Conference for our Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) project, which protects the public by ensuring that websites visited are the real deal and not imposters,” he said.

Maughan noted that bogus Web sites steal user log-in names, passwords and money from thousands of Internet users yearly.

“S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD) was recognized for its innovation in promoting research that ‘pays off’ by focusing on work that can result in real products and real risk reduction,” he said. “Moreover, the award noted that the CSD’s approach has forced the R&D community to think beyond the theoretical to consider a more practical horizon,” he added.

 Maughan also said S&T received the Open Source for America (OSFA) 2011 Government Deployment Open Source Award for the Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) project . The project brings together technology leaders from across government and to develop advanced open source security solutions that address their prioritized gaps. “This award recognize projects and people that educate decision makers in the federal government about the advantages of using free and open-source software and encourage federal agencies to give equal priority to procuring free and open-source software in all of their procurement decisions,” he said. The development of the open source intrusion detection system, Suricata, was sponsored through this project and is now being sustainably maintained by industry through a non-profit foundation, he added.

The awards, said Maughan, show the Department is making significant strides to enhance the security of the nation’s critical physical infrastructure as well as its cyber infrastructure and networks.

 
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