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Keeping networks, devices and critical systems open, safe and secure is the compelling issue of today throughout the industry. While security professionals today try to stay one step ahead of events that could cause unwanted downtime or a safety incident, bad guys are already planning their next moves.

That is why the National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting social and technical cyber security research, as well as education and workforce development programs.

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Along those lines, the NSF launched a special report: “Cybersecurity: Tech, Tools and Training to Secure the Future.”

From cryptography and network security to spam prevention and phishing detection tools, NSF funds research that makes the Internet a place where billions of people work, communicate and conduct business.

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Today, NSF invests nearly $160 million each year in research, education and workforce development at labs, centers and universities across the U.S. This support helps scientists develop the tools, training and people to help keep the nation safe and maintain online privacy.

In the special report, NSF looks back at seminal technologies like public-key encryption and software debuggers created by researchers that are the basis for today’s cyber-protection.

The research looks forward to explore the future of encryption; new ways of securing medical devices and automobiles; and new types of experimental infrastructure required to create solutions that are unbreakable by design.

It remains clear cyber security is not just a technical problem; people play a critical role. By studying the online behavior, social dynamics, and economics of individuals, hackers and adversaries, and by training cyber security experts capable of combating emerging threats, NSF supports the human side of cyber security.

The special report looks at research into the behaviors of insider threats and how hackers communicate, as well as efforts such as CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service which trains thousands of cyber security experts each year.

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