NIST begins process of choosing nonprofit group to run National Cybersecurity Center

Posted by John Keller

GAITHERSBURG, Md., 21 May 2013. Leaders of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md., plan to establish a group run the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) to promote cooperation between government and private business to adopt integrated cybersecurity tools and technologies.

NIST is sponsoring a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) to enable a nonprofit organization to support the NCCoE, which was established in February 2012 to help safeguard computers from hackers and software bugs. NIST will release a solicitation to manage the FFRDC next fall, and the FFRDC will be dedicated solely to enhance the security of the nation's information systems, NIST officials say.

FFRDCs are independent nonprofit organizations that have beyond normal access to government and supplier data, and are independent of any particular company, technology, or product.

FFRDCs help balances contractor and government control of the NCCoE Federal employees will manage the center, and the FFRDC will provide research, development, engineering, and technical support.

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The NCCoE is bringing together experts from industry, government, and academia under one roof to develop computer security to help safeguard complex information technology (IT) systems from hackers or software bugs.

These technologies for protecting IT assets can enhance trust in U.S. IT communications, data, and storage systems, lower risk of using IT systems, and encourage development of cybersecurity products and services, NIST officials say.

The NCCoE will have three primary purposes: research, development, engineering, and technical support; program and project management; and facilities management.

The center will encourage private business to adopt cybersecurity technologies, and work with the federal government to move technologies developed by federal cybersecurity organizations to production and use. The center also will develop cybersecurity standards for government and industry.

NIST will take comments on the proposed FFRDC until 22 July 2013. companies interest may email comments to NIST's Keith Bubar at

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