Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the approval of funding for Virginia Tech’s research using machine learning, or artificial intelligence, to defend wireless communication systems from cyber-attack.

Researchers at Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology have discovered innovative ways to protect networks from cyber-attack using algorithms that enable machines to detect, identify, and block wireless threats to better defend systems.

“Today’s global landscape demands security in the cyber domain,” said Theresa Mayer, vice president for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech. “The cybersecurity capabilities developed at Virginia Tech have both national security and commercial applications providing threat identification that can be scaled to protect American infrastructure, businesses, and homes.”

More than $1.1 million was approved by the Virginia Research Investment Committee to support the applied research and development needed to advance this innovative technology to commercial products.  The award is being matched by support from the Arlington-based start-up company, DeepSig, which was founded by university researcher Tim O’Shea, to apply machine learning to improve the safety and security of wireless communications from cyberattacks.

“DeepSig is one of eight start-up companies founded by Virginia Tech faculty affiliated with the Hume Center,” said center director Charles Clancy. “These companies have raised more than $120 million in venture funding since 2012, and currently employ nearly 200 people, the majority of whom work in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are proud of our faculty’s tremendous work in commercializing research begun at Virginia Tech.”

The project will be conducted at the Hume Center, which leads the university’s research, education, and outreach programs focused on the challenges of cybersecurity, autonomy, and resilience for national and homeland security. The center’s education programs support a pipeline of uniquely qualified U.S. citizens entering federal service.

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