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DHS selects UTSA to develop national cybersecurity standards

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(Sept. 4, 2015) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has selected a team led by The University of Texas at San Antonio as its Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAO) Standards Organization, responsible for developing cybersecurity information sharing standards and collaboration between the private sector and government. The other members of the team are the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) and the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC).

ISAOs are considered integral to national efforts to promote secure, rapid and widespread information sharing that helps organizations detect and block increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats.

“The ISAO standards developed by The University of Texas at San Antonio team will reflect the most effective and innovative ideas from the public and private sectors,” said Andy Ozment, assistant secretary, Cybersecurity and Communications.”

UTSA’s ISAO efforts will be led by Greg White, director of the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security and professor of computer science, with a $2 million annual grant that could be renewed for a total of five years.

“This is an incredible win for UTSA,” White said. “This is the single organization in the nation that will be creating the national standards for sharing and analyzing information in cybersecurity as directed by the White House.”

President Obama issued an executive order in February to develop standards for the creation of and collaboration with ISAOs. The UTSA research team is tasked with working with the private sector and federal agencies to develop those guidelines for sharing and collaboration.

“Through a public, open-ended engagement with business communities, civil society groups, and other stakeholders, The University of Texas at San Antonio team will develop transparent best practices that align with the needs of all industry groups,” said Ozment.

The UTSA-led team was awarded the grant following a competitive selection process. The university is already recognized as the nation’s leader in cybersecurity education and research. The university’s cybersecurity initiatives are housed within the College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Sciences. UTSA is a nationally recognized Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

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