This Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site is a nine-week summer program on DSU campus, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The goal is to offer motivated undergraduate students from DSU and other institutions across the nation with a competitive research experience in information assurance and security (IAS). The summer 2012 program will host nine students (five to six from other institutions) to conduct research with active and experienced research faculty. Through the research experiences, students will improve their ability to formulate and solve a research problem, and increase their communication proficiency in both a scientific and community context. Each student will receive a total stipend of $4,320, reimbursement of the travel expenses for a round-trip from their home school to DSU, paid housing and meals, and a paid community center (gymnasium facility) pass.

The nine-week summer program is scheduled as follows: In the first two weeks, students will focus on developing projects. Tutorials and workshops will be held to help students establish necessary background knowledge and learn about how to conduct scientific research. Students will also work with their mentors, read literature, and design their projects. From week 3 through week 8, students will carry out their projects under the supervision of their mentors. They will also attend the weekly seminars by faculty and invited industry speakers and report their weekly progress. In the last week, students will prepare a written report in the format of a scientific paper and an oral presentation modeled after a scientific meeting. Several field trips to local industry and social events will be scheduled throughout the summer program.

Why Information Assurance and Security?

IAS involves policies, procedures, methods, and techniques that protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality and non-repudiation. Presidential Decision Directive 63, issued in 1998, identified the security and assurance of our nation's information and communications infrastructure as a national priority.

Information assurance and security also has a far-reaching impact on our daily life. Securing the sensitive business and personal data across the untrustworthy Internet environment is of paramount importance yet remains a critical challenge. Today, an increasing number of people rely on the Internet and even mobile devices to manage their financial activities. The threat to online banking, however, is even greater - as the money is stored on and moved around the Internet, the intelligent criminal would migrate from the physical crime to the less dangerous options available online. In 2008, for example, Falk et al. examined the web sites of 214 U.S. financial institutions and found that 76% of them suffered from at least one design flaw.

Why DSU?

DSU is a national Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education, with a focus area in banking and finance. DSU is designated by both the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as meeting the rigorous requirements to become a national center. DSU offers undergraduate and graduate information assurance degrees, bringing both depth and breadth in its information assurance curriculum. In the past five years, DSU has been awarded grants from NSF, the Department of Education, DoD, NASA, the State of South Dakota, and several other regional funding sources for information assurance research and education. In January 2009, DSU established the National Center for the Protection of the Financial Infrastructure through a $2M grant from the State of South Dakota, in partnership with Citibank, Wells Fargo, First Premier, the Federal Reserve, FDIC and the Department of Homeland Security.