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IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, NSWC Crane to collaborate on cybersecurity

Indiana-based organizations will combine talent, expertise to address some of the nation’s toughest cybersecurity issues

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Protecting computers from hackers is very different than the Department of Defense preventing terrorist attacks, but the connection between national security and cybersecurity is a lot closer than you think—at least at Indiana University.

The IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) has entered into a two-year agreement with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, to tackle cybersecurity challenges. The agreements, signed July 14 by Captain Jeffrey T. Elder, Commanding Officer of NSWC Crane, and IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler, set forth a collaborative relationship between the two partners to share personnel and cybersecurity expertise.

"The partnership with NSWC Crane furthers CACR’s extensive capabilities in information security and Crane’s role in national defense," said Wheeler. "The partnership will help experts from the two centers share best practices and thus further develop cybersecurity expertise in the state of Indiana."

"Cybersecurity and IT research are part of Indiana’s newest growth industry," added Kirk White, IU assistant vice president for strategic partnerships. "This agreement will strengthen the state’s position to attract and retain new projects, jobs and talent."

NSWC Crane’s prowess in research and development is supported by technologies that are increasingly networked, similar to the Internet of Things—physical objects equipped with network connectivity—making cybersecurity a top priority. NSWC Crane engineer Rob Templeman and CACR chief policy analyst Craig Jackson are leads on the collaboration.

Jackson is experienced in risk management and helping organizations develop information security programs. A former Marine Corps officer with a PhD from IU, Templeman is an expert in hardware assurance and communications security. Templeman’s expertise in these areas will bolster CACR’s abilities and foster a better understanding of Department of Defense cybersecurity challenges at CACR and Indiana University.

"The Department of Defense is undergoing a transition in the framework they use for information security and NSWC Crane’s mission is critically important to national security, so this is a huge opportunity for CACR to contribute,” said Jackson. "NSWC Crane and the CACR both recognize that cybersecurity is an inherently interdisciplinary field, and we can’t fully address the cyber problem from isolated silos of expertise."

The agreement between NSWC Crane and CACR is envisioned as the initial phase of a meaningful, long-term partnership in addressing cybersecurity. This Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is administered through NSWC Crane’s Technology Transfer (T2) program. A CRADA allows a federal laboratory to partner with industry and academia to facilitate research and development in common areas of interest. It allows the two parties to leverage expertise, data and intellectual property in order to optimize resources and reach a common goal.

"This CRADA is just another example of Technology Transfer that benefits both NSWC Crane, Indiana University and the region," said Captain Elder. "Both Crane and IU are organizations with game-changing technology advancements, technical experts and national leaders in the cybersecurity area and a partnership like is this is only natural."

The T2 Program provides access to the valuable shareable assets that are located at the lab. This includes the transfer of technology developed by the national experts at NSWC Crane to other government organizations, academia or commercial enterprises. T2 emphasis is usually placed on the transfer of Navy-developed technology to commercial enterprises to strengthen the U.S. industrial base. The T2 Program helps link federal research and development to the private sector and has partnerships with more than 160 businesses, individuals and academic institutions.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s warfighter.

The Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) is distinctive in addressing cybersecurity from a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary perspective. CACR leads the National Science Foundation’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and tackles a range of real-world cybersecurity problems by drawing on Indiana University’s wide range of scholarly expertise in computer science, informatics, accounting and information systems, criminal justice, law, organizational behavior and public policy, as well as the extensive practical cybersecurity experience of its operational units.

Founded in 2003, CACR is a research center affiliated with the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute. CACR is a member of IU’s rich cybersecurity community, which includes: The Maurer School of Law, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics and Computing, the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC), the University Information Policy Office and the University Information Security Office.