ENGINEERING, AND INSTITUTIONS
Lynette I. Millett, Baruch Fischhoff, Peter J. Weinberger, Editors
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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This project was supported by the National Security Agency with assistance from the National Science Foundation under award number CNS-1400278. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45529-9
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Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24676
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Foundational Cybersecurity Research: Improving Science, Engineering, and Institutions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24676.
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COMMITTEE ON FUTURE RESEARCH GOALS AND DIRECTIONS FOR FOUNDATIONAL SCIENCE IN CYBERSECURITY
BARUCH FISCHHOFF, Carnegie Mellon University, Co-Chair
PETER WEINBERGER, Google, Inc., Co-Chair
JANDRIA S. ALEXANDER, The Aerospace Corporation
ANNIE ANTÓN, Georgia Institute of Technology
STEVEN M. BELLOVIN, Columbia University
SEYMOUR E. GOODMAN, Georgia Institute of Technology
RONALD L. GRAHAM, University of California, San Diego
CARL E. LANDWEHR, Independent Consultant
STEVEN B. LIPNER, SAFECode
ROY A. MAXION, Carnegie Mellon University
GREG MORRISETT, Cornell University
BRIAN SNOW, Independent Consultant
PHIL VENABLES, Goldman Sachs
STEVEN J. WALLACH, Micron Technology
LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director and Senior Program Officer
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
FARNAM JAHANIAN, Carnegie Mellon University, Chair
LUIZ ANDRE BARROSO, Google, Inc.
STEVEN M. BELLOVIN, Columbia University
ROBERT F. BRAMMER, Brammer Technology, LLC
EDWARD FRANK, Apple, Inc.
LAURA HAAS, IBM Corporation
MARK HOROWITZ, Stanford University
ERIC HORVITZ, Microsoft Research
VIJAY KUMAR, University of Pennsylvania
BETH MYNATT, Georgia Institute of Technology
CRAIG PARTRIDGE, Raytheon BBN Technologies
DANIELA RUS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
FRED B. SCHNEIDER, Cornell University
MARGO SELTZER, Harvard University
JOHN STANKOVIC, University of Virginia
MOSHE VARDI, Rice University
KATHERINE YELICK, University of California, Berkeley
JON EISENBERG, Director
LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer
SHENAE BRADLEY, Administrative Assistant
EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer
RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager
KATIRIA ORTIZ, Research Associate
For more information on CSTB, see its website at http://www.cstb.org; write to CSTB, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; call (202) 334-2605; or e-mail CSTB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This study emerged from an informal request to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) from Brad Martin of the National Security Agency. The project was initiated by the Special Cyber Operations Research and Engineering (SCORE) Interagency Working Group and sponsored with assistance from the National Science Foundation. The statement of task for the Committee on Future Research Goals and Directions for Foundational Science in Cybersecurity, established by the National Academies to carry out this study, is as follows:
An ad hoc National Research Council committee will conduct a multiphased sequential study to consider future research goals and directions for foundational science in cybersecurity, to include relevant efforts in economics and behavioral science as well as more “traditional” cybersecurity topics. It will also consider how investments in foundational work support mission needs in the long term. The committee will review current unclassified and classified cybersecurity research strategies, plans, and programs as well as requirements in both domains. It will consider major challenge problems, explore proposed new directions, identify gaps in the current portfolio, consider the complementary roles of research in unclassified and classified settings, and consider how foundational work in an unclassified setting can be translated to meet national security objectives. Phase 1 will involve preliminary data gathering and analysis by the committee, but no report will be issued. In Phase 2, the committee will undertake additional data gathering, analysis, and deliberations. In Phase 3, the committee would extend
its data gathering and analysis from Phase 2. The study will result in two reports: (1) a public report at the conclusion of Phase 2 providing a high-level roadmap for foundational cybersecurity research based only on public domain information and (2) an additional, brief public report and a non-public classified annex as necessary reflecting the committee’s work in Phase 3.
This report is the result of Phase 2. The committee, whose biographies are listed in Appendix B, gathered input through a number of data-gathering sessions. The committee appreciates the insights and perspectives provided by the experts who presented briefings; they are listed in Appendix A.
With a perennial societal challenge like cybersecurity, a topic that has been explored extensively and where real breakthroughs have proven elusive, a challenge is to avoid well-trodden ground. The committee was mindful of the sponsor’s request to focus on opportunities where a fresh approach to the problem could prove fruitful. Thus, this report does not present a list of hard open research problems (there are many such worthy lists, some of which are summarized in Appendix C) nor argue for specific programs. Instead, the committee offers alternative approaches to framing research problems, organizing research programs, and integrating research and practice. We hope to offer fresh ways to realize the potential of the resources and intellect invested in addressing cybersecurity challenges.
This report represents the cooperative effort of many people. We thank the individuals who came to speak with us during the course of the study. We appreciate the work of our committee. Circumstances beyond the committee’s control delayed activity at certain phases of the project, and we appreciate its members’ patience and that of our sponsors throughout the process. We also thank the reviewers whose comments helped to strengthen the report considerably.
Baruch Fischhoff and Peter Weinberger, Co-Chairs
Committee on Future Research Goals and Directions for Foundational Science in Cybersecurity
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan,
Frederick Chang, Southern Methodist University,
John McLean, Naval Research Laboratory,
Peter Neumann, SRI International,
Robert Oliver, University of California, Berkeley,
Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, Dartmouth College,
Angela Sasse, University College London,
William Scherlis, Carnegie Mellon University, and
Fred Schneider, Cornell University.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft
before its release. The review of this report was overseen by William H. Press, University of Texas, Austin. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.