A Self-shielding Network Architecture Integrating Mutation Paradigms
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: The current static nature of systems and networks allows attackers to gather intelligence, perform planning, and then execute attacks at will. If instead we remove this underlying static nature and make the network dynamic, many classes of attacks can be prevented by making them too difficult to carry out without detection as well as by reducing their probability and level of success. To address this critical need, IAI, along with our collaborator Lockheed Martin MS2 Tactical Systems, proposes a novel network architecture to induce and manage dynamics in the network. By creating a System-level Dynamic Network Architecture (SDNA) that allows the use of multiple techniques in a complementary manner, the system can more effectively prevent and respond to attacks. Dynamically mutating various network components such as availability, routing, addressing, and naming in a coordinated way forces attackers to expend significant effort when conducting attacks. SDNA also allows static parts of the network to be presented as dynamic to users and attackers, while limiting the modifications needed to end users and applications by acting transparently and automatically. Through these combined techniques, SDNA disrupts an attacker"s ability to compromise and spread through the network. BENEFIT: The market addressed by the propose work includes all systems with security and survivability concerns. A wide range of DoD and commercial systems suffer from the need for a stronger operation posture against attacks and can potentially be enhanced by the proposed work. Complex systems such as the Global Information Grid (GIG) must be secure, survivable, and maintain an operational posture with maximum transparency through cyber attacks. Enterprise systems require security to allow sensitive financial, industrial, and personal information to be transmitted across computer networks. Countless time and money is spent as system administrators constantly work to stay ahead of potential attackers, effort which the proposed approach will help automate. This work also directly complements the Air Force Software Protection Initiative (SPI) program, providing network and system security.
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