The MITRE Corporation, a nonprofit technology researcher for the public and private sectors headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, is the new home of the Advanced Cyber Security Center, according to a recent report from Boston-based consulting firm Mass Insight Global Partnerships.
The center is the result of a collaborative Internet security effort between government, industry and academic organizations. It will be tasked with developing new data security strategies and tactics for use by government agencies and private sector businesses alike. The center will also conduct operations on the campuses of MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts.
Both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Attorney General Martha Coakley were on hand to officially open the ACSC on September 20.
“Cyber attacks and data breaches are a threat to our security, and increasingly, to our economy,” said Coakley said. “As we see more of these attacks every year, it’s important that private industries, law enforcement and regulators work collaboratively through initiatives like the Advanced Cyber Security Center to help protect consumers’ identity and finances.”
Internet security has earned widespread recognition this year, as several high-profile incidents have come to light. Most recently, it was discovered that an Iranian cybercriminal stole security certificates from Dutch security firm DigiNotar and used the information to spy on as many as 300,000 of his countrymen. The incident resulted in the bankruptcy of DigiNotar.
Researchers working at and with the ACSC will combine threat analysis and best practices to improve defenses and root out data security vulnerabilities that may be exploited by hackers.
Data breaches hit close to home for many Massachusetts residents, as Coakley’s office recently released a report that revealed 2.1 million of the state’s citizens have been affected by data loss since the beginning of 2010. About a quarter of such events involved deliberate hacking, Coakley said.