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$5.4M in Cybersecurity Big Data Grants Awarded

Hsinchun Chen
Hsinchun Chen
Paulo Goes
Paulo Goes

Mark Patton
Mark Patton

Congratulations to MIS faculty Hsinchun Chen, Paulo Goes and Mark Patton for being awarded two security big data grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling $5.4 million. The projects will address the significant cybersecurity research and education challenges facing the U.S. and the international community today.

Chen, Regents’ Professor and Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology is principle investigator on both projects.

The first project, Cybersecurity Scholarship-for-Service at the UA or AZSecure, has been funded through 2018 with $4.2 million in total. “AZSecure will support about 40 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students over the next five years,” Chen said. “The students will be immersed in advanced cybersecurity analytics and information assurance education for placement in government agencies and industry.” AZSecure is one of the largest Scholarship-for-Service grants awarded by the NSF in the nation. The Department of MIS at the Eller College is a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, a designation of the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Chen is joined by fellow principle investigators Paulo Goes (head of the Department of MIS), Salim Hariri (Director of the Autonomic Computing Laboratory at the UA), and Mark Patton (Associate Director of the MicroAge Lab at the Eller College).

The second project focuses on understanding cyber attackers and attacks via social media analytics. The project is funded through 2016 in the amount of $1.2 million. “We have built an interdisciplinary team around the Hacker Web project,” Chen said. ”We aim to answer important questions about hacker behaviors, markets, community structure, communication contents, artifacts, and cultural differences using big data analytics.”

The proposed integrated computational framework and the resulting analytical algorithms and techniques will allow researchers, policy makers, and industries to better understand the hacker community and its highly complex ecosystem and impacts. Selected students in the AZSecure project will be embedded in the Hacker Web project.

Chen is joined on the Hacker Web project by fellow principle investigators Hariri, Ronald Breiger (Professor of Sociology at the UA), and Thomas Holt (Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University).

More details about Chen’s research is available on his Artificial Intelligence Laboratory website, ai.arizona.edu.

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