Cyberinfrastructure More Resilient From Attack Possible Thanks To Grant

In the United States, cybersecurity attacks have seen an increase every month since February. Because of this, the need for cyberinfrastructure funding has also increased, to develop programs that are resilient against ransomware. Currently, there a grant available for projects related to cybersecurity.

Recent Cybersecurity Attacks:

February: On February 5th, 2021, hackers were able to temporarily gain access to a wastewater treatment plant’s computer system in Florida. Officials stated the plan was to poison the water.

March, CNA Financial Corp, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, paid $40 million in ransom after a breach locked them out of their systems for over two weeks. This payment is the largest ever paid ransom to hackers.

April: Then in April, hackers infiltrated the Houston Rockets, one of Texas’s NBA teams. Hackers claimed they were able to obtain over 500 gigabytes of data. This allegedly included financial documents, non-disclosure agreements, and contracts.

May: The Colonial pipeline, which starts in Houston, Texas, suffered a ransomware cyberattack. This is especially significant because the pipeline provides much of the oil to the Southeastern part of the United States. This caused shortages and induce panic around oil.

June: There was an attack on multi-national meat manufacturer JBS S.A. This forced production to shut down for two days following the breach. The attack closed off 1/4th of all beef operations in the United States while the company tried to deal with the breach.

Cyberinfrastructure plays a crucial role in our nation’s security. As the technology of the hackers increase, so must the development of more resilient programs against ransomeware .

Strong Cyberinfrastructure Is Critical: How Can We Make It More Resilient?

The University of Texas at San Antonio was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support the ongoing efforts of fighting cyber attacks. The Cyber Center For Security and Analysis will receive this funding grant. Moreover, this funding will allow for the team at CCSA to be able to develop algorithms and data-driven methods to be able to combat ransomware and develop a more resilient cyberinfrastructure.

“This is a very competitive grant from the National Science Foundation. Typically, it is very difficult for these types of grants to be awarded to a single faculty. I’m very honored and humbled that the NSF saw immense value in the proposal and which endeavors to address the ransomware problem from a multidimensional perspective”

Elias Bou-Harb, Director of the UTSA Cyber Center for Security and Analytics

Funding is Crucial Against Attacks

As we’ve previously discussed this goes far beyond the theoretical. The attacks on infrastructure like the pipeline, wastewater plant, and other sites, present real dangers. That’s why funding for a project like this is so critical. Elias Bou-Harb explains:

“The new grant from the NSF will address the ransomware problem by analyzing these attacks targeting U.S. infrastructure and by building defensive and preventative methods. It will also train Ph.D. students in cyber and forensics. We also hope to generate several operation cybersecurity capabilities that the broader community can use in its fight against ransomware.”

Final Notes:

Funding continues to be absolutely critical for projects like this. GrantWatch hopes to see more stories like this, that can keep American infrastructure and businesses safe. Discover grants for cybersecurity on grant listing databases such as GrantWatch.com For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. We wish you the best of luck with your grant-seeking!

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