This article is published in the February 2019 issue.

CCC Response to NITRD RFI to Update the 2016 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan

The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) National Coordination Office (NCO), on behalf of Federal agencies and the NITRD Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Integrity Working Group, put out a Request for Information (RFI) from the public on the update to the 2016 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan.

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) responded to the RFI on behalf of the community. An overarching theme of the CCC response is that systems are now ubiquitous, and need to be considered as socio-technical systems that must be secured, not simply technical systems.

One of the key recommendations for research in new areas, that was not included in the 2016 plan, is the realization that the “one key vulnerability that has become prominent recently is the ability to rapidly spread misinformation and disinformation throughout computing systems with the specific goals ranging from manipulating opinion to leading to destructive actions (including inciting riots, as has happened in India, to potential interference in the election process, including the recent Brazilian presidential election).” Combatting this vulnerability will require multi-disciplinary research across agencies and expanded education to ensure the best minds can tackle the problems from the many different viewpoints.

The CCC hopes that the NITRD NCO and Interagency Working Group will view the full recommendations in the response as valuable input from the computing research community that can be used to update the Strategic Plan.