UALR awarded cyber security grant

LITTLE ROCK — The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of more than $289,000 to faculty of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Department of Computer Science that could improve cyber security for people using mobile technology and social networking sites.

Mengjun Xie, UALR computer science assistant professor, was joined by Kenji Yoshigoe, computer science department chair and associate professor, in submitting the grant.

The project, “REU Site: CyberSAFE@UALR: Cyber security and Forensics Research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,” will enhance undergraduate research in cyber security protection for the public.

As a designated Research Experience for Undergraduates site, UALR offers its students research opportunities on a specific project for which they are paired to work closely with computer science faculty.

The CyberSAFE project seeks to integrate fundamental security and forensics research with the latest technology advances in mobile computing, cloud computing and social networks, Xie said.

“The grant will advance our understanding of cyber attacks by allowing us to explore novel and practical techniques and methods of collecting and analyzing digital evidence,” Xie said.

Xie said researchers will also investigate more secure and user friendly approaches to protecting people in using their smartphones, visiting their social networks and accessing their apps and data in computing clouds.

The NSF award was effective Feb. 1 and expires Jan. 31, 2017.