HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Every hour of every day, hackers are trying to penetrate computer systems. It’s why cybersecurity has become so important to everyone from a small business, to local government, to the nation’s Defense Industry, to critical infrastructure.
The latest hack that got the nation’s attention was the ransomware attack on the Colonial Gas Pipeline. It only shut the line down for a few days but caused panic buying and gas shortages.
“When you start thinking about all the things that are connected to networks and the internet more broadly, our threat exposure is quite large,” said Chuck Speaks a Senior Program Advisor at INTUITIVE Research and Technology in Huntsville.
The threat exposure does include everything from infrastructure to weapons systems. INTUITIVE has a tool they believe is a major weapon against the threat.
“The human is the weak point in cybersecurity, however when you’re detecting cyber adversaries, the human can actually be the strong point as well,” said Speaks.
The problem of course, how to get the right information to the human so they can see the threat, and then as the industry says, mitigate it. The quantity of information is so large that it’s almost unquantifiable. You could say the data points are as numerous as stars in the night sky.
“The computer can help focus, and say there’s a lot of similarity in this constellation,” said Mike Yohe a Program Manager at Intuitive.
When he says constellation, he’s talking about what we can see in the night sky, related stars, which we refer to as constellations, like the Big Dipper for instance. In the cybersecurity world, the constellations would be related information. INTUITIVE’s cyber tool takes the related information and puts it in visual form.
“And then the human-computer takes over and uses its intuition to be able to find out exactly what is related in there, and what’s the best course of action to mitigate it,” said Yohe.
Doing the operation, as Mike Yohe describes it, requires the computing power of the cloud. “It looks at all the data very quickly and is able to determine and correlate to determine things that are interesting,” said Yohe.
The INTUITIVE tool is called DECIDE, and Chuck Speaks and Mike Yohe both say it allows a single analyst the ability to look at the information, and not only work security for their entity but also detect threats that are nearby.
According to INTUITIVE, numerous clients are using DECIDE right now as part of their cybersecurity efforts.