IBM and FAA Join Forces
IBM and the Federal Aviation Administration just announced that IBM will be building a security system that will aid the FAA: IBM is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to develop a prototype security system utilizing advanced analytics to stop cyber-attacks. The research project will use streaming analytics in an effort to enable the FAA to better correlate and analyze data. According to an IBM statement March 30, the system will "look retrospectively at event occurrences and system compromises ... to correlate historical traffic patterns with data from monitors, sensors and other devices capturing information about network traffic and user activity in real time." IBM said it also plans to build customizable dashboards that can "deliver up-to-the-second information on the security posture of the FAA networks. These dashboards will give FAA officials visual representations of network workloads, tickets for found malware and historical trends to facilitate decision making and early action in the event of network anomalies suggesting a possible attack." I weighed in on the matter for a TechNewsWorld article: Many large corporations, such as banks and other financial institutions, have similar problems with security threats, said Mike Logan, president of Axis Technology, a provider of enterprise information technology consulting and data security offerings. "Anywhere there is something of value on the Internet, there is a risk," he told TechNewsWorld. Beyond Traditional Defenses This collaboration may eliminate some of the risks present in today's IT environments, Logan said. "It goes beyond traditional defensive solutions and tries to proactively look for threats." There will be challenges ahead for the cybersecurity system being designed by IBM and the FAA, however. Analysis relies on identifying patterns that match known threat patterns, which only works the second time it happens, Logan pointed out. "The challenge will be analyzing the data going over the network and being able to determine its nature and if the person, computer or application has the appropriate rights to access it," he said. "It will take time and some smart analysis to realize the full potential of the system."