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In CSL, the Information Trust Institute (ITI) calls for a holistic approach to the trustworthiness of our cyber systems. ITI thus looks not just at security but also at the resilience, availability, accuracy, and reliability of computer data, processes, and systems. ITI is also concerned with maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of such data as necessary (for medical records, for example), even in extreme situations.

For example, the networks used by first responders may be partially compromised by natural disasters or manmade malicious activities. CSL researchers are exploring ways to quantify such damage, limit the impact of such situations, and safely bring back our data communication and control systems. Another aspect of ITI research addresses the reality that systems such as the nation’s electrical grid include components that are decades old and can be upgraded only gradually and in segments. It is thus imperative to acknowledge that fact in research and development rather than design technologies that would work only with the latest state-of-the-art sensors and control systems. Finally, as devices become smaller, they typically have less processing power and simpler programs, and are more sensitive to stray radiation. Networks and distributed computing platforms must be designed to be resilient to such conditions.