About Us

The INSuRE project develops a partnership among four successful and mature Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) and the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies in order to design, develop and test the research network. INSuRE is a self-organizing, cooperative, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-level collaborative research project that can include both unclassified and classified research problems in cybersecurity.

The project provides an opportunity to students to working on problems proposed as well as mentored by practitioners in the real world rather than only faculty led research. More pressing and urgent problems are addressed, allowing and the students to also benefit from the guidance of multiple and interdisciplinary research faculty from several institutions. The student led research may provide solutions for pressing national problems.

To facilitate scientific discovery, learning, and collaboration we use an open source software platform called HUBzero®. HUBzero includes a powerful content management system built to support scientific activities. Users on a hub can write blog entries and participate in discussion groups, but it is possible to do so much more. They can work together on projects, publish datasets and computational tools with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), and make these publications available for others to use—not as dusty downloads, but as live, interactive digital resources. Simulation/modelling tools published on a hub can be accessed with the click of a button. They run on cloud computing resources, campus clusters, and other national high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and serve up compelling visualizations.

In addition, we use Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) to allow researchers from around the world to access digital information in a unified location.

This work is funded by NSF Award No. 1344369.

NSA's Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) protects and defends National Security Information and Information Systems, in accordance with National Security Directive 42. National Security Systems are defined as systems that handle classified information or information otherwise critical to military or intelligence activities. IAD is responsible for NSA's defensive mission and is widely acknowledged for leading innovative security solutions. Partnering extensively with government, industry, and academia, allows IAD to ensure appropriate security solutions are in place to protect and defend information systems, as well as our Nation’s critical infrastructure. IAD's work is guided by its vision to create "Confidence in Cyberspace."

What Do We Do?

  • IAD delivers mission enhancing cyber security technologies, products, and services that enable customers and clients to secure their networks; trusted engineering solutions that provide customers with flexible, timely and risk sensitive security solutions; as well as, traditional IA engineering and fielded solutions support.
  • Information Assurance Operations which include remote and deployed operational groups, with 24X7 integrated support as needed that protect critical national security networks.
  • Fusion, Analysis, and Mitigations teams that analyze and characterize large volumes of IA data, using an automated and persistent approach to identify vulnerabilities, and develop solutions to mitigate them.
  • Training and security awareness support.
  • The Key Management Infrastructure that provisions end cryptographic units.

NSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (IA/CD) Education (CAE IA/CD), IA 2-year Education (CAE2Y) and IA Research (CAE-R) programs. The goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in IA/CD and producing a growing number of professionals with IA/CD expertise in various disciplines. To this end, NSA/IAD partnered with Purdue University (CAE-R) to create the Information Security Research and Education (INSuRE) project. INSuRE pair’s students with NSA/IAD Technical Directors to tackle “real-world” problems for their research projects. INSuRE’s ultimate goal is to increase our understanding of robust cybersecurity technology, policy, and practices by leveraging the knowledge and expertise at 60 CAE-Rs spread throughout the Nation. Time is of the essence in the area of cybersecurity, leading to the need for less internal competition, and more cooperation to enable our Nation to effectively prevent, detect, or respond to a catastrophic cyber event.