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Team for Ubiquitous Secure Technology

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Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST)  (University of California-Berkeley)

Research Focus

The Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST), a University of California at Berkeley-led group, develops cybersecurity technology aimed at radically transforming the ability of organizations to design, build and operate trustworthy information systems for the nation’s critical infrastructure.

The need to enhance cybersecurity has become critically important. There has been an escalation in cyberattacks in the last decade, ranging from so-called “phishing” scams that lure people into revealing sensitive and private information to Internet attacks that crash popular websites.

Large-scale cyberattacks have the potential to topple widespread systems, destabilizing national and economic security and paralyzing key resources such as power and water. These attacks can come from enemy foreign governments as well as independent terrorist groups and hackers.

The center's research partners include Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, San Jose State University, Stanford University and Vanderbilt University. It also has more than a dozen industry collaborators, including Intel, Cisco Systems, IBM, Symantec and Qualcomm.   

The center has an ambitious research agenda that includes efforts to improve the security of physical infrastructure and prevent identity theft and privacy invasions, especially when it comes to medical records. Center staff members also are working on new technologies to combat phishing, spyware, botnets and other threats as well as promoting legislation and policies to protect privacy.

Research Outcomes

TRUST researchers worked on California legislation that requires companies to notify individuals whose private data might have been compromised as a result of company actions. The California security breach notification law is believed to be the first in the nation, and more than three dozen states have since passed similar laws.

TRUST’s policy work focuses also on issues such as paths to identity theft, privacy in social networking and social media, and the use of web browser tracking technologies for targeted advertising.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center is supporting a clinical trial of TRUST-developed technologies that will help medical professionals protect privacy and better treat conditions such as sepsis and congestive heart failure.  This healthcare work attracted the attention of the Department of Health and Human Services, prompting the department to create the Strategic Healthcare IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP), a program that explores the potential uses of health information technology nationwide, and ensure they are secure.

The federal SHARP program has awarded $15 million grants to each of four universities and/or health care systems to study how patients and physicians can use these electronic systems to improve care and involve patients, while protecting privacy, similar to what TRUST researchers are doing with the Vanderbilt project.

The center also is collaborating with the federal Departments of Treasury and Energy.  At Treasury, they are advising officials on how to protect large banks and trading partners against financial crime. At Energy, they are helping to protect the nation’s physical infrastructure against attack.

One of its long-term major goals is to build a solid science base upon which to develop an inherent cyber security defense system. The center wants to move computer security from a reactive stance to a proactive one.

Education & Outreach

TRUST education focuses on integrating trustworthy technologies, systems, and policy into learning opportunities for High school, undergraduate, and graduate students and junior faculty. TRUST knowledge transfer programs establish the Center as a true public/private partnership--namely a trusted intermediary between industry, government and the research community and provide a means by which research results are transitioned from TRUST faculty and students to society with an emphasis on technology developers, infrastructure stakeholders, decision makers, policy makers and government agencies.

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  • simulation of collaborative tools
The Cornell-developed Live Distributed Objects system helps provide collaboration tools with the look and feel of virtual-reality immersion systems.
Krzysztof Ostrowski, Cornell University/Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology