DHS S&T Awards Kansas State University $900K for Building Control Cyber Security Research

Author: 
Dept of Homeland Security Science & Technology Press Office

Washington, DC – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $900,000 to Kansas State University for the development of technology that can help defend building controls from cyber-attacks.

The project titled “Modeling Security/Safety Interactions in Buildings for Compositional Security/Safety Control” was awarded through Broad Agency Announcement HSHQDC-14-R- B00016 and is part of the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division's larger Cyber Physical Systems Security (CPSSEC) program.

“Automated building control systems are becoming more intelligent. Along with potential benefits, this also brings new security and safety risks,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “S&T is working to develop innovative solutions to keep pace with the changing threat environment.”

Advances in networking, computing, sensing, and control systems have enabled a broad range of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) devices, including modern vehicles, medical devices, building controls, the smart power grid, and the Internet of Things. Driven by functional requirements and fast moving markets, these systems are being designed and deployed quickly. The design choices being made today will directly impact our nation’s industries and critical infrastructure sectors over the next several decades. S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD) recently launched the Cyber Physical System Security project that aims to “build security into” emerging CPS designs.

“Cyber physical systems and the Internet of Things are changing the way we interact with the physical world,” said Dr. Dan Massey, S&T CPSSEC Program Manager. “Modern buildings no longer depend on keys and manual controls. Instead, networked and automated systems connect the buildings in which we live and work. This interconnectivity adds conveniences but also introduces new cyber threats.”

The Kansas State team, led by Dr. Simon Ou, proposes to design a layered architecture for enforcing building security and safety requirements. If successful, the results can be widely applied to a range of building control systems. S&T CSD is partnering with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) on this effort.

For more information, visit scitech.dhs.gov/cyber-research or email SandT-Cyber-Liaison@hq.dhs.gov.