UCI News

Foundation gives UCI institute $1.4 million gift to study the security of the ‘internet of things’

March 28, 2019
Foundation gives UCI institute $1.4 million gift to study the security of the ‘internet of things’
Getty Images / iStock

UCI’s Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute has received $1.4 million from the Herman P. & Sophia Taubman Foundation to explore emerging threats to the “internet of things,” the vast global network connecting billions of computers, devices, machines and sensors. With everything from voice-prompted apps controlling lighting, heat and appliances in homes to sophisticated factory automation and monitoring, the playing field for hackers and cybercriminals has grown exponentially in recent years. The Taubman Foundation gift will enable CPRI to attack the issue of securing the internet of things via three research projects. Ian Harris, professor of computer science, will lead efforts to conduct internet of things technical testing and develop a cyber test range on the UCI campus. Scott Jordan, professor of computer science, will head research into government regulation and standards. And Shauhin Talesh, professor of law, will examine the growing role of insurance companies as de facto cyber regulators. The cross-disciplinary research projects will be overseen by Bryan Cunningham, executive director of CPRI. “Our very strong team will address important and pressing issues affecting not only the privacy and security of individuals but also our country’s economic and national security,” Cunningham said. “This mission is squarely in CPRI’s wheelhouse.” Perry Taubman, a visiting scholar at UC San Diego, said of his family’s support for the new initiative: “Our vision is that security will become a fundamental concern of engineers and companies for every relevant device, as opposed to an afterthought. There is a critical shortage of security engineers right now that needs to be addressed by higher education, but even more important is developing a culture of security engineering in all who graduate from our schools of engineering.”