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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro Announces $5 Million for UTSA Cybersecurity Research

Jul 14, 2017
Press Release
San Antonio, TX – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) announced a five-year federal grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), expected to total $5,000,000.00, for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA will receive the grant through the NSF’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, which supports the enhancement of research capabilities of minority-serving institutions. The funding will go towards the establishment of a multi-disciplinary Center for Security and Privacy Enhanced Cloud Computing dedicated to integrated education and research at the intersection of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
“Cloud computing provides notable file storage advantages, but security and privacy vulnerabilities have limited its adoption. With this significant federal funding, UTSA researchers can take a leadership role in developing solutions to the technology’s shortcomings,” said Rep. Castro. “I’m glad that this innovative work will be done in San Antonio and that the pool of cybersecurity talent in our city’s workforce will grow. UTSA’s findings will make it possible for businesses, governments, schools, and individuals to fully take advantage of the efficiency that working in the cloud affords.”
Specifically, the new center at UTSA will seek to:
  • Become nationally recognized for excellence in research, innovation, and education in security and privacy enhanced cloud computing;
  • Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM professions, especially high technology computing; and
  • Pursue innovative research-based educational strategies for grades 8-12, undergraduate, and graduate students in this field.
“The CREST program grant is highly collaborative and encompasses three colleges – Education, Engineering and Sciences – and three established research institutes. We will take what UTSA does well and for which we are already recognized – cybersecurity and teaching – and take a multidisciplinary approach to create a larger and more diverse pipeline of students who will be better prepared when they arrive on campus. Upon graduation, they will be ready to address the complex needs of industry and government in all things cyber, particularly as it relates to our national security portfolio,” explained Dr. Bernard Arulanandam, Interim Vice President for Research, UTSA.
The center will pursue three main research areas of focus: protection, detection, and policy. The protection sub-project will develop access control, private computing, and protected computing technologies for cloud computing. The detection sub-project will focus on system and host monitoring techniques to detect anomalous activity in a cloud along with digital forensic techniques for cloud-based systems. The policy sub-project will research policy specification, composition, and verification techniques for secure cloud computing.