The Department of Homeland Security has announced a program offering $40 million in funds for cybersecurity research and development.
DHS announced the program on January 26th, and is seeking proposals for projects on a broad range of information security challenges, including "software assurance, enterprise security metrics, usable security, as well as the challenges posed by insider threats," according to an article in ThreatPost.
Individual grants under the new program will vary depending on research proposal specifics and will offer funding of up to three million dollars for a project.
The program arises from concerns about factors involved in a variety of military, government and defense industry security events, and seeks to bolster network defenses in the face of ever growing threats.
The program invites the development of new solutions and prototypes as well as the innovation and advancement of existing technologies.
The ThreatPost article indicates that "proposals and white papers will be evaluated based on the potential of the technology to meet the goals of individual topic areas, soundness of the technology and proposed development, a qualitative assessment of the ability of the organization or individual proposing the idea to bring it to fruition and the proposer's track record of success."
Also offered in the program is access to the DHS's Cyber Defense Technology Experimental Research (DETER) Network for examination of project feasibility.
The move by DHS highlights the need for increased cooperation by the public and private sectors in addressing the challenge of advancing information security efforts.
It is estimated by a senior defense official that as much as 90% of the government's critical communications and network infrastructure is based in the private sector.
“The challenge, of course, will be in today’s environment, with the resource constraints we have, to get each to leverage capabilities to move quickly to counter this threat," the defense official said.