Visible to the public NSA Science of Security Research Initiative

Science of Security and Privacy Research Initiative
Jump to: SoS Lablets | SURE Project

The Science of Security and Privacy (SoS) Initiative at the National Security Agency Research Directorate promotes foundational cybersecurity science that is needed to mature the cybersecurity discipline and to underpin advances in cyberdefense. Beginning in 2012, one part of the initiative is to fund foundational research at "Lablets." With emphasis on building a community, each lablet created partnerships with other universities called "Sub-Lablets." Science of Security researchers often freely collaborated with researchers in other institutions worldwide. The SURE project was founded to investigate cybersecurity in the cyber-physical systems realm and ran from 2014 to 2018. In 2018, CPS research was folded into the Lablet Research.

The SoS Initiative has defined 5 Hard Problems as the research areas for the initiative and community to work on. The problems are: 1) Resilience Architectures, 2) Scalability and Composability, 3) Metrics, 4) Secure Collaboration and 5) Human Behavior.

Annual Reports: Index | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021 | 2022

Mission and Goals

Critical cyber systems must inspire trust and confidence, protect the privacy and integrity of data resources, and perform reliably.  To tackle the ongoing challenges of securing tomorrow's systems we must develop the scientific underpinnings of security to understand what is possible in that domain as well as develop a collaborative community of researchers from government, industry and academia.

As part of that effort NSA began funding academic “Lablets” focused on the development of a Science of Security (SoS) and a broad, self-sustaining community effort to advance it.  A major goal is the creation of a unified body of knowledge that can serve as the basis of a trust engineering discipline, curriculum, and rigorous design methodologies. The results of SoS Lablet research will be extensively documented and widely distributed through the SoS Virtual Organization. Our intention is for the SoS VO to be our primary resource for describing Lablet research, and for creating a broad community effort to advance security science.

Currently Funded Research Lablets

Carnegie Mellon University
International Computer Science Institute
North Carolina State University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Kansas
Vanderbilt University

NSA Lablet Point of Contact

Heather Lucas - NSA Lablet Program Lead

SoS Quarterly Lablet PI Meetings Index

Agenda and presentations from past quarterly lablet meetings can be found here.

SoS Community Support

The SoS Initiative supports the growth and vibrancy of the Security Science Community. Besides the funded Lablets (see above), the Initiative has the following efforts.

Recent Activity

Mission and Goals

The project on the System Science of SecUrity and REsilience for cyber-physical systems (SURE) was established in 2014, with the goal of developing foundations and tools for designing, building, and assuring cyber-physical systems (CPS) that can maintain essential system properties in the presence of adversaries. The technology base of SURE will provide CPS designers and operators with models, methods, and tools that can be integrated with an end-to-end model-based design flow and tool chain.

Recent Activity: