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dayton's SCADA security innovation teams up with air force on cyber-attack security software

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Cyber security is a red-hot topic of worldwide concern with would-be cyber attackers representing a significant problem for virtually every major service we use.

That’s according to Peter Jenney, chief technology officer of Dayton’s SCADA Security Innovation, Inc. (SSI), which develops software protection systems for Industrial Control System (ICS) equipment and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA).

The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has invented and is patenting software security algorithms to protect computers against cyber attacks. AFIT recently announced that it has partnered with SSI to commercialize the technology, granting an exclusive license to the invention for the ICS market and further rights for the automotive electronics market.

“This represents the first time in recent memory that AFIT has licensed technology for development in commercial markets,” says Rusty Baldwin, research director for AFIT’s Center for Cyberspace Research.

According to Jenney, the technology is aimed at general purpose computers, and SSI is focusing its efforts on specializing it for industrial control system networks that represent our critical infrastructure. The infrastructure includes everything from municipal water supplies, power plants and distribution systems to petroleum refineries, water and waste management facilities.

“Many of these computer control systems were not designed to withstand cyber attacks,” he explains.  “Unlike cyber attacks against banks or other institutions, the cost of these attacks is measured not in loss of credit card numbers and money, but in loss of life, environmental impact and cost of recovery.”

Vulnerable networks offer attack pathways into sensitive equipment that, should it be compromised, could enable an attacker to take over entire processes. The pathways may be used to capture sensitive information, such as research and development, process control or other proprietary secrets that could damage a company’s competitiveness or integrity.

“Our goal is to give cyber warriors the tools they need to make successful attacks against critical systems extremely difficult, if not impossible,” Jenney says.

SSI anticipates being ready to market the new technology in late 2013.

The company was established in late 2011 as a subsidiary of Boston’s Security Innovation, Inc. It received an investment of $200,000 from the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC). DDC says that commercializing technologies developed by or for the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a long-term key to encouraging new business investment that can lead to job creation.

Source:  Peter Jenney, SCADA Security Innovation, Inc.
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