Supercomputers power cyber-as-a-service offering

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Cybersecurity as a service, powered by supercomputers analyzing huge volumes of network data, looks like the next big thing in enterprise defense.

One such system, used by the U.S. military, is now available to commercial customers for the first time, said Barry Bolding, chief strategy officer at Cray Inc., which, in partnership with Deloitte Advisory, is offering the service. 

“We were selling to DOD and we starting talking to each other about a year ago … about how to provide this technology as a service” to other customers, he told FedScoop.

Powered by Cray’s supercomputing technology, the Cyber Reconnaissance and Analytics service, as it’s dubbed, is a subscription-based offering for “open, analytic software that is big-data ready,” according to Bolding.

The service is one of a number of products on the market that aim to use massive computing power to crunch large volumes of network data on a short enough time span that the analysis can be used for tactical defense.

U.S. Pacific Command is already a customer, using the service “to enable large-scale cyber data analytics to more proactively defend our networks,” said Clayton Jones, a cybersecurity adviser at the command headquarters.

The service crunches huge quantities of data about external and — if required — internal network flows, said Deloitte Advisory’s federal cyber risk services leader Deborah Golden. She said it had forensic and predictive or preventive value. 

“It’s looking for attacks that might have already occurred, and vulnerabilities” that haven’t yet been exploited, she told FedScoop. “We tell our clients what to focus on.”

She said the enormous computing power meant the network analysis could be done in “near real time.”

“We can see the clusters of behavior that might turn out to be attack activity,” Golden said, revealing that “what looked like a single attack was in fact part of a larger campaign.”

She said the service “looks at your organization’s network the way adversary looks at it.”

“It provides an outsider view,” she said.

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Cray, Cybersecurity, data analytics, Deloitte, Department of Defense (DOD), Departments, High Performance Computing, Inc., Supercomputing, Tech
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