Charles River Analytics Addresses Vulnerabilities in Cloud Computing in Cyber Defense Contract

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, announces a contract in cyber defense with the US Air Force to assess vulnerabilities in cloud computing platforms. Although cloud computing offers many benefits to its users, security is a major concern. Charles River is developing the Framework to Assess Trustworthiness, or FACT, to address these security concerns by addressing vulnerabilities in cloud-based systems.

“To support verifiable access to applications and data residing in cloud infrastructures, we are developing a framework that treats the cloud as a black box and assesses its trustworthiness from the trusted cloud client,” explained Curt Wu, Chief Software Engineer at Charles River. “Our solution generates and performs diagnostic tests to assess the trustworthiness of cloud-based applications. Diagnostic tests for data objects stored in the cloud are based on a separate cryptographic hash-based check that verifies their data integrity.”

FACT is the most recent effort that builds off of Charles River’s three-part approach to resilient system design. Through software trustworthiness monitoring, such as FACT, Charles River monitors applications and anomalous behavior to detect threats or malware. Through biologically inspired system design, Charles River incorporates ideas from biology and psychology to design more efficient, adaptive, and robust computational systems. With system-level component isolation, it creates firewalls between programs while allowing communication to reduce the potential damage from a faulty or malicious software program.

“An important way to defend against cyber attacks and other cyber failures is to rethink many of our basic premises about computer and network architecture design,” added Dr. Scott Neal Reilly, Vice President, Decision Management Systems. “We have been actively developing our cyber research and development capabilities, such as through designing novel computer architectures that are less vulnerable to attacks and failures.”

This project is sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).
Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited: 88ABW-2013-2592, dated 31 May 2013

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