Research News

NSF investments in interdisciplinary research helped develop many of the web’s basic protections

October 19, 2015

Over the last two decades, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded basic research in cybersecurity–research that strengthens cryptography, limits vulnerabilities in software, hardware and networking, builds tools to help individuals and business work safely online and helps educate and train a cybersecurity workforce.

Even earlier NSF investments in computer science, math, statistics, psychology and economics laid the foundation for many of the tools that protect us today.

The infographic above describes just a few of the ways that NSF-supported research keeps us safe online today, including:

  • Network security monitors: Network analysis tools defend critical business, research and government networks from attacks.
  • Data breach notification: Examining how consumers act after finding out their personal data have been compromised can help improve notification policies and business practices.
  • Studying hacker communities: Analyzing hacker communications helps researchers understand the intentions of adversaries.
  • Cybersecurity education: The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Serviceprogram has trained more than 1,500 cybersecurity experts and placed them in positions in the federal government.
  • Public-key encryption: Methods that use complex mathematics and algorithms to protect electronic information against security threats make transactions on the Internet possible.
  • SMT solvers: Techniques to detect software vulnerabilities and fix them before they are exploited can prevent cyber-attacks, such as data breaches.

Adrian Apodaca,


Aaron Dubrow,


Related Programs

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace

CyberCorps(R) Scholarship for Service

Years Research Conducted

– 2015

Source: NSF News

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