- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The University of New Orleans will use a $96,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to build equipment that will help address cybersecurity risks to the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as gas pipelines and power plants.

UNO researchers will create a so-called “test bed” of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, which is used to automate industrial and manufacturing processes. The “test bed” will contain scale versions of a pipeline, a water treatment plant and a power plant and allow accurate simulation of each.

The grant’s principal investigator, Irfan Ahmed, says connecting those systems to larger networks makes them susceptible to threats. He says the proposed equipment will enable UNO’s computer scientists to research infrastructure protection which, he says receives insufficient attention given its importance to society at large.

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