MELBOURNE, FLA.—Richard Ford has been named director of the new Harris Institute for Assured Information at the Florida Institute of Technology. The Harris Institute, made possible by a $5 million gift from Harris Corporation last year, focuses on developing advanced solutions to help solve the global information security problem.
“Dr. Ford has the credentials and experience to lead the new Harris Institute to prominence,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “We look forward to the contributions that Dr. Ford and the Institute will make in this important area of study.”
The Harris Institute will ultimately be housed in a new 29,000-square-foot Harris Center for Science and Engineering now under construction on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus. Unlike other information research efforts that target classified government applications, the new Institute’s mission is to develop solutions for a wide range of real-world commercial and government applications. These include banking and finance, retail, healthcare, education, civil agencies and others.
“My vision for the Institute is to create a national center of excellence in Cyber Security here in Melbourne, leveraging the high-tech partners we have both locally and nationally,” Ford said. “We will strive to become the local center for ongoing workforce development in information assurance, and a thought leader in looking at the problems that users, companies and governments face with respect to using and storing information safely.”
Ford, at Florida Tech since 2003, graduated from the University of Oxford in 1992 with a doctorate in quantum physics. Since that time, he has worked extensively in the area of computer security and malicious mobile code prevention. Previous projects include work on the Computer Virus Immune System at IBM Research, and development of the world’s largest Web hosting system while he was director of engineering for Verio. Ford was previously director of the University’s Center for Security Science, and is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Sciences. His research interests include biologically-inspired security solutions, behavioral worm prevention, security metrics and computer forensics.