Jul 5, 2017

UTSA Institute of Cyber Security Receives $5M in NSF CREST Research Grants for New Cloud Computing Research Center

Researchers at UTSA have been selected to receive a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program to establish a multi-disciplinary center for cloud computing and cyber security education and research. The UTSA CREST Center for Security and Privacy Enhanced Cloud Computing (C-SPECC) is scheduled to open this Fall 2017.


Dr. Ravi Sandhu, UTSA professor of computer science and executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security, will work with a team of a dozen faculty members from four UTSA colleges to establish the center.


The center’s multi-disciplinary approach aims to train students in an integrated learning environment where research and education are at the intersection of cloud computing and cyber security.


C-SPECC will articulate three research thrusts: Protection, Detection and Policy. The Protection sub-project will develop access control, private computing and protected computing technologies for cloud computing. The Detection sub-project will focus on system and host monitoring techniques to detect anomalous activity in a cloud along with digital forensic techniques for cloud-based systems. The Policy sub-project will research policy specification, composition and verification techniques for secure cloud computing.


Sandhu and his team hope this center will become nationally recognized for excellence in research, innovation and education in security and privacy enhanced cloud computing. C-SPECC intends to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM professions, especially high technology computing, and to pursue innovative research-based educational strategies for grades 8-12, undergraduate and graduate students in this field.


“UTSA’s exceptional faculty are leading the way in cybersecurity and setting national the bar for top-tier institutions,” said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Science. “UTSA is charting a path to lead San Antonio to the highest standards of cybersecurity research and innovation.”