Georgia Tech Research Institute Leads $10 M Open Source Initiative

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has named the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to lead implementation efforts for the five-year, $10 million Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) program. The HOST program will investigate open source and open cyber security methods, models and technologies, and identify viable and sustainable approaches that support national cyber security objectives.

"The strategic objective of the HOST program is to lead efforts of discovery and collaboration, seeding development in open source software and practices that produce a measurable impact for government cyber security systems," said Joshua Davis, associate division head at GTRI's Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory and principal investigator for the HOST program. "The collaborative nature of open source and open technologies provide unique technical and economic value and opportunities for government users."

Open technologies are not a panacea for all challenges, Davis added. HOST will reach out to government, industry, academic and open source community representatives to learn where and how open technologies have been successfully adopted within public and private systems and where the challenges still remain.

"As we go, we are sharing this information across government agencies and helping to build networks of users, service and support providers and policy influencers, and providing a venue to enable them to discuss, share and learn from collective experiences," Davis said. "The collective is what gives open source its strength. We are simply applying this successful strategy to address government cyber security challenges."

GTRI is leading HOST efforts in conjunction with the Open Technology Research Consortium (OTRC), a collaborative network of leading academic research institutions, industry partners and open source community organizations that work to promote the advancement of open source software adoption within government agencies. OTRC members participating in the HOST program include: Georgia Tech Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin, the Open Information Security Foundation and the Open Source Software Institute.

Securing the nation's cyber networks and protecting critical infrastructures is a primary focus of the Department of Homeland Security. To accomplish this, DHS seeks to drive innovation and promote the adoption of cyber security technologies, techniques and procedures that produce safe, secure and resilient cyber systems for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies.

Within DHS, the Science and Technology Directorate is responsible for sponsoring advanced research activities and leading the development of collaborative working relationships to exchange ideas and technical resources between the public and private-sector environments.

Additional information on the HOST program will be made available through the DHS HOST website (www.cyber.st.dhs.gov/host.html) and through a publicly accessible informational portal to be launched this summer.

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Media Relations Contacts: Kirk Englehardt (404-407-7280)(kirk.englehardt@gtri.gatech.edu) or John Toon (404-894-6986)(jtoon@gatech.edu).