Kansas State University (KSU) researchers, in collaboration with Princeton University (PU) computer scientists, are developing tools to secure information systems spanning large distances. The research team, led by KSU’s John Hatcliff and PU’s Andrew Appel, received a five-year, $3 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The new tools involve creating mathematical and logical models that can be used by special auditing programs to make sure that information systems are secure. “We’re doing foundational research on novel forms of mathematical models and logics that enable designers and analysts to precisely state what information is allowed to flow from one point to another and under what conditions,” Hatcliff says. The researchers also are working with Rockwell Collins, a company that creates communications and aviation electronics. Rockwell Collins wants to apply the KSU research to several systems currently in development at the U.S. Department of Defense. The new tools also have the potential to be integrated into the health care system for use with patients’ medical records, Hatcliff says. The researchers say the tools already have been used by several academic research groups and various industries from around the world.
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