Tech Center Gets $6.5 Million to Prevent Cyberterror

Posted: February 5, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

Protecting the country’s basic infrastructure systems from cyberterror attacks is the goal of a new partnership between George Mason and James Madison University, funded by a $6.5 million grant from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary.

An increasing number of essential systems, from banks to air traffic control to electric power, are dependent on computer networks. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Project, a collaborative effort headed up by the National Center for Technology and Law (Tech Center), is taking a closer look at ways to keep those networks secure. The project will draw on the expertise of federal officials, business leaders, and university researchers in law, public policy, information technology, and economics, with the goal of clarifying the technical and legal intricacies of network security and keeping essential networks stable and secure for government agencies and private industry.

“We believe there is great value in having the technology and policy communities interface,” says Bradford Brown, chairman of the Tech Center. “Since Sept. 11 we have seen a huge collaborative effort between government and industry to sort out the jumble of technology, law, and policy questions. With the resources of the university, the guidance of government agencies, and the support of the many technology companies in this region, the Tech Center is perfectly positioned to address this issue.”

This project is a continuation of research the Tech Center has conducted on cyberterrorism defense for more than a year, says School of Law Dean Mark Grady. “It is very exciting, especially in light of Sept. 11, for us to be able to contribute to the study of these issues,” he says.

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