[ISN] Navy SPAWAR turns to Promia for network-security software

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Oct 04 2001 - 01:06:17 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Security UPDATE, October 3, 2001"

    [OK, its a borderline press-release, but its rather interesting way to
    look at things.  - WK]
    OCTOBER 1, 11:26 EDT 
    SAN DIEGO -- Computer scientists at the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare
    Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego needed advanced Internet
    security software. They found their solution from Promia Inc. in San
    SPAWAR officials awarded a $7 million contract to Promia to test and
    deliver twenty Advanced Internet Security systems, Promia officials
    announced Sept. 27.
    The Internet security system to be delivered to the U.S. Navy is
    code-named the "Intelligent Agent Security Module" (IASM) and is to be
    deployed as a primary means of providing information analysis and
    protection on ships and shore-based facilities.
    This procurement represents Phase III of a U.S. Navy Small Business
    Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and compliments a multi-year
    research and development effort by Promia and the U.S. Navy to design
    and build the systems, Promia officials say.
    IASM addresses known problems in intrusion-detection devices such as
    false alarms and the inability to detect new types of attacks.
    Navy experts "will be working closely with the community of interest
    in this area to ensure a conclusive, easily displayed and understood,
    highly interactive system," says Lt. Frank Ottaviano, the SPAWAR
    information assurance project engineer.
    IASM is a supercomputer-based system that uses a secure component
    architecture based on the Common Object Request Broker Architecture --
    better known as CORBA. The IASM manages how network-security software
    detects and validates internally and externally generated network
    incidents, Promia officials say.
    It system detects known attacks using various techniques to correlate
    single and multiple events, while it detects novel attacks using
    analytic techniques to identify aberrant behaviors.
    IASM also includes a visualization component to help operators
    understand complex events with selectable levels of response suitable
    to the needs of the U.S. Navy and other branches of the U.S.
    Department of Defense, Promia officials say.
    Beowulf cluster machines, which are supercomputers platforms developed
    at NASA, support the analytic modules of IASM. "This makes it feasible
    to expose aberrant behaviors even within the sea of normal traffic,"
    says Promia Principal Analyst Dr. Stephen Neville. "Traditionally
    hackers have had the luxury of hiding their actions within the large
    volumes of network messages. The combination of advanced analytic
    techniques with low-cost scalable supercomputers seriously hinders the
    attackers ability to hide."
    Promia's work "is significant because it is based on a reusable
    framework for automatically assessing large amounts of sensor data,
    simultaneously, across multiple networks, providing pattern matching
    and novel attack detection," says John Mullen, Promia's president and
    chief executive officer.
    Mullen notes the importance of applying emerging technologies such as
    fuzzy logic and neural networks to cyber attacks. Fuzzy logic refers
    to a branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on reasoning amid
    uncertainty or incomplete data.
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