Parabon preps for cyber assault

Chicago (IL) – Parabon Computation has introduced a new testing service designed to help secure government and corporate networks against cyber attacks.

The company plans its first public demonstration of Blitz in Anaheim this week at the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Customer Partnership Conference, where it will conduct live fire denial-of-service exercises.

“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of cyber security, but few realize the degree to which many important government network services are vulnerable to cyber attack. The DISA Conference is a fitting venue for a white-hat wakeup call,” explained Parabon CEO Dr. Steven Armentrout.

Dr. Steven Hutchison, test and evaluation executive at DISA, noted that cyber “red teaming” – simulating large-scale cyber attacks – is an essential part of the US cyber preparedness program.

“As we move more and more into net-centric operations, the network and our information become prime targets for our enemies. Therefore, we must be able to discover and fix vulnerabilities before we field new capabilities; red team testing is essential if we are to do that,” said Hutchinson.

Blitz supports red teaming by coordinating thousands of computers on a Frontier grid to provide testing at bandwith analogous to a comprehensive cyber offensive. The service can also be deployed as an effective platform for testing and validating the functionality of heavily trafficked sites.

According to Parabon, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are among the most effective means of disabling network resources. Indeed, the Pentagon has reportedly spent more than $100 million over the past six months responding to cyber attacks, including those which recently comprised the US electric grid. In addition, the DOD’s 2009 Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review (QRM) Report to Congress emphasized that US national security remains inextricably linked to the cyberspace domain, where conflict is not limited by geography or time.

“The expanding use of cyberspace places United States’ interests at greater risk from cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Cyber actors can operate globally, within our own borders, and within the borders of our allies and adversaries. The complexity and amount of activity in this evolving domain make it difficult to detect, interdict, and attribute malicious activities. Because adversaries operate in the same shared environment, US forces have the ability to use non-kinetic options with new levels of global reach and immediacy against a variety of targets,” the report stated.