News Release 

ACM launches industry-focused journal on digital threats

First issue looks at incident response and security teams

Association for Computing Machinery

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Credit: Association for Computing Machinery

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today announced the launch of Digital Threats: Research and Practice (DTRAP), a new peer-reviewed open access journal that targets the prevention, identification, mitigation and elimination of digital threats. As DTRAP seeks to bridge the gap between academic research and industry practice, the new journal is aimed at concrete, rather than theoretical, threats. As of the first issue of DTRAP, all papers will be published on a gold open access basis and will be free to read and share via the ACM Digital Library.

The inaugural issue of DTRAP is a special issue of the 2019 FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams) Conference, a five-day global event that brings together incident response and security professionals from around the world to share their experiences and expertise. The conference consists of presentations selected from abstracts submitted. The guest editors, Andrew Cormack of Jisc Technologies and Jeroen van der Ham of University of Twente, invited authors of selected abstracts to submit full-length papers, which were then subject to peer review by reviewers from academia and industry.

"Keeping computing systems secure from threats, whether those threats jeopardize our health information, our personal information, or our voting systems, is one of the most urgent and essential tasks of modern life," said DTRAP Co-Editor-in-Chief Leigh Metcalf of the CERT Cybersecurity Division at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. "An ongoing challenge in our field is that threats emerge so quickly. DTRAP will fill a niche in our field for cybersecurity professionals to share information and insights about the real challenges that are out there now, as well as proven approaches for mitigating them."

"We encourage submissions from people with a wide range of expertise in all fields related to cybersecurity," added DTRAP Co-Editor-in-Chief Arun Lakhotia of University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Cythereal, Inc. "Too often, leading-edge cybersecurity researchers at universities, and practitioners working on the front lines of keeping systems secure, have worked within their own silos. We believe the DTRAP journal will be a way to foster more dialogue and engagement between these two important groups, which will vastly improve the toolbox cybersecurity professionals are working with."

"In addition to DTRAP, ACM publishes additional journals on computer security, including ACM Transactions on Information and System Security (TISSEC) and IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (TON), each with their own editorial focus," added ACM Director of Publications Scott Delman. "All three of these journals serve computing professionals by providing high-quality rigorous content on one of the most important topics in computing today. However, DTRAP is the first in an entirely new genre of publication for ACM that will appeal to both researchers and computer security practitioners in industry interested in access to content at the intersection of research and practice. ACM has assembled an outstanding editorial team overseeing the journal's content and we are confident that this new journal will be a highly valued contribution to the field as the journal establishes itself over the coming years."

DTRAP plans to publish a new class of articles called "Field Notes." Designed to capture interesting empirical observations that may provide a data point for future research and unusual or novel occurrences, a Field Note is envisioned as an article that provides some insights into some problem that is interesting and relevant for further research investigation.

In addition to a new selection of research papers each quarter, DTRAP will invite contributions to two regular columns: "With the Benefit of Hindsight" and "Leaving the Laboratory: Putting Research into Practice." "With the Benefit of Hindsight" will detail what authors have learned from past cybersecurity successes or failures, exploring themes such as lessons learned during a security event, how the landscape has changed since the event, and what further development remains to be done.

Each installment of "Leaving the Laboratory" will examine a peer-reviewed research article from a recent issue of DTRAP with respect to implementing research, essentially taking the research into practice. Topics for this column will include general concerns for both researchers and practitioners that relate to doing research effectively, or examining actual changes seen in the security landscape as a result of researchers and practitioners collaborating.

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In addition to Co-EICs Metcalf and Lakhotia, the DTRAP editorial team includes 32 Associate Editors representing various countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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