Florida Tech Leads Moving Target Network Defense Research under $1.9 Million Department of Defense Funding

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology leads a new security effort to design and implement a command and control framework for moving target defense management and coordination for computer networks. The three-year project, in collaboration with the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, is funded by a $1.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The effort is led by Marco Carvalho, associate professor of computer sciences in the Florida Tech College of Engineering. It focuses on the design of a software agent-based solution, founded on recent research efforts of Carvalho and collaborators, on human-agent teamwork, systems behavior, attacker co-evolution modeling and cyber resilience.

“The challenges are compounded by the fact that the system must remain observable and predictable to administrators and users while it undergoes dynamic changes,” said Carvalho, who is also the director of the Intelligent Communication and Information Systems (ICIS) Laboratory at Florida Tech.

Most current computer network systems are configured to operate in relatively static configurations and structures. Once deployed, such systems are often observed, probed, and carefully studied by attackers seeking potential vulnerabilities or entry points. The concept of Moving Target Defense (MTD) prescribes the design of advanced computer network systems that are capable of dynamically changing their configuration and structure in order to increase the uncertainty and cost to attackers, while maintaining their functionality and availability to legitimate users.

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