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Charles River Analytics Improves the Trustworthiness of Cyber Defense Systems with T2-MIND

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, presents T2-MIND, a system to aid cyber defenders interpret and use automated cyber defense systems. Security experts face an ongoing and evolving threat, both in the government and commercial sector: hundreds to thousands of infected computers may be attempting to penetrate a network’s defenses. Cyber defenders must analyze a tremendous amount of information and quickly decide which systems are vulnerable or no longer trustworthy. To aid this process, Charles River Analytics is combining novel displays with tangible controls that allow cyber defenders to better interpret and use automated cyber defense systems. The program is called Tangible Trustworthiness for Mixed-Initiative Network Defense, or T2-MIND.

The Problem

Security experts face an ongoing and evolving threat, both in the government and commercial sector: hundreds to thousands of infected computers may be attempting to penetrate a network’s defenses. Cyber defenders must analyze a tremendous amount of information and quickly decide which systems are vulnerable or no longer trustworthy. Understanding this information quickly and efficiently is critical to combating cyberattacks, but cyber visualizations are often overwhelming and difficult to understand.

The Charles River Analytics Solution

Charles River Analytics, under the program Tangible Trustworthiness for Mixed-Initiative Network Defense (T2-MIND), is combining novel displays with tangible controls that allow cyber defenders to better interpret and use automated cyber defense systems. A shared work surface allows defenders to collaboratively monitor cyber security systems, while individual work surfaces allow defenders to create and manage role-tailored displays by directly manipulating physical objects. For example, a defender can move the object that represents a network host into an individualized intrusion detection display to review logs of recent access attempts for that host. Policy changes made in the individualized display would then be pushed back into the shared display for review by the other defenders at the table.

The Benefit

T2-MIND allows users to perceive and interact more intuitively with abstract network properties in traditional display solutions. It also allows for customization—users can define a network layout that makes sense to them. Better understanding of the network allows cyber defenders to note vulnerable areas more quickly and take appropriate actions to defend against cyberattacks. This approach to cyber defense also allows multiple cyber defenders to monitor individual network systems more effectively while still maintaining awareness of the broader operational context.

The video below provides an overview of T2-MIND.



 

This material is based upon work supported by the United States Air Force under Contract No. FA8650-12-M-1403. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force.

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