Critical infrastructure software to be showcased in DC

A CSU computer science team’s cloud-based platform for comprehensively monitoring critical infrastructure – from banks to emergency services to telecommunications – will be featured at a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored public showcase in Washington, D.C.

Christos Papadopoulos

The 2016 R&D Showcase and Technical Workshop will be hosted by Homeland Security’s Cyber Security Division, Feb. 17-19. It will include the CSU-led project as one of 11 innovative technologies that address today’s “complex cybersecurity challenges and have the potential for transition into the marketplace.”

A team led by Christos Papadopoulos, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences, will demonstrate WIT, a cloud-based monitoring system for Australia’s critical infrastructure.

The Australian government supported the project, which aims to increase cybersecurity capabilities for important government interests like public works and financial institutions. WIT is a multi-layered, networked platform that provides real-time alerts and monitoring of critical services that are vulnerable to cyberattack.

WIT Is the researchers’ latest version of a tool they developed several years ago called BGP Mon (border gateway control monitoring). BGP Mon was originally funded by Homeland Security, with recent support from the National Science Foundation. It provides real-time monitoring of an internet routing infrastructure. WIT is an upgrade to BGP Mon and involves migrating the capabilities to a distributed database, or cloud software.

WIT’s cloud structure allows for flexibility for private deployment, making it suitable particularly for classified infrastructure. It can also detect, for example, an international reroute of classified information – something many countries wish to avoid.

Papadopoulos likens the upgrade to moving from separate alarm systems in every home to one comprehensive neighborhood alarm system.

“We hope to provide information that would be interesting to every federal agency,” Papadopoulos said. He added that he and his students plan to present WIT to CableLabs, a national research consortium of cable companies based in Louisville, Colo.