The National Security Institute: A Year of Success!

October 13, 2015

In 2011, the State University of New York (SUNY) introduced the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, designed to strengthen and expand the state’s public universities. Under that program, the Stony Brook Cluster Hiring Initiative was created in 2014, which enabled the hiring of 250 new faculty members. In response to this initiative, Stony Brook University created the National Security Institute (NSI), part of the Department of Computer Science (CS).

“NSI has had an incredible first year! Key relationships have been developed and funding continues to enable our research. We recently learned that our faculty received the largest number of awards from the NSF’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace”, said Radu Sion, NSI Director.

The mission statement of the NSI is “To secure our homeland by researching and developing technologies and insights for secure, trustworthy, and available communications and computing platforms.” The NSI had its sights set high at its inception, looking to become a leading research, education, and awareness institution on a global scale.

In the first year of its existence, the NSI has received over $8.1 million in funding and grants. It’s contracts have come from groups such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Comcast, and the United States Navy.

The NSI takes a multidisciplinary approach in reaching a scientific understanding of the modern world and taking steps in ensuring its safety. The have published over 40 papers in the past 12 months and aim to average around 35 papers per year. These papers cover a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to: computer hardware security, cloud computing, health technologies security, and privacy in online social networks.

As a part of Stony Brook University, many CS faculty members are affiliated with the NSI. These include Long Lu, Nick Nikiforakis Michalis Polychronakis, Radu Sion, and Scott Stoller, all of whom are professors who in addition to their research, they manage labs, oversee graduate research assistants and teach high-level cybersecurity courses.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so it is especially relevant to give recognition to the outstanding work that these individuals are doing. The NSI teaches many courses on computer security and networking security, and also offers research opportunities. You can find out more at their website:

by Michael Curatola