Private labs and the federal government long have developed some of the most innovative security technology, but often it’s kept to themselves for, well, security reasons.
Now that’s beginning to change. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just released a fourth security technology for commercial development through the Transition to Practice (TTP) program from its Science and Technology (S&T) directorate that aims to get government security innovations into the mainstream.
The DHS S&T has licensed its PathScan technology to Ernst & Young LLP. The technology is a network anomaly-detection tool developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“Innovative technology solutions are key to keeping pace with today’s cyberthreats,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers, in a press release. “Our TTP program is bridging the gap between the private sector and national labs to help transition lab technology to the commercial market.”
PathScan uses statistical models to identity network behavior, detecting the movement of hackers once they breach a network, according to the DHS. In this way it allows security teams to move quickly to defend networks and data. The DHS in 2012 identified the technology as a good candidate for the commercial market.
The DHS formed the TTP program in 2012 as part of S&T’s Cybersecurity Division. The program looks to transition federally funded cybersecurity technologies from the lab to enterprise customers. It also aims to create partnerships between the cyber research community, investors, end users and information technology companies by demonstrating the technologies across the country to create opportunities for collaboration, according to the DHS.
Each year the program selects eight promising cyber technologies for a 36-month program. S&T introduces these technologies to end users around the country with the goal of transitioning them to investors, developers or manufacturers that can continue development to eventually turn them into commercially viable products.
TTP currently has 24 technologies—eight from fiscal year 2013, nine from 2014 and seven from 2015—that are ready to be transitioned into the marketplace. Before Pathscan, three other technologies—Quantum Secured Communication, Hyperion and NeMS—also were licensed for commercial availability.
During the next few months, S&T will introduce eight new technologies to TTP’s fiscal-year 2016 roster. The DHS will then begin to demonstrate them within critical infrastructure sectors and to potential investors for the next step of the program.
TTP Program Manager Mike Pozmantier said that with the growing sophistication of hacker technology, the private sector needs to up its game and fight fire with fire. The PathScan technology and others from the TTP program will help them do this, he said.
“If the cybersecurity industry can bring these types of services and tools to market, the playing field will start to level between the offense and defense,” Pozmantier said.