WASHINGTON —The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced the eighth cybersecurity technology transitioning to commercialization as a part of its Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Transition to Practice (TTP) program.
ZeroPoint, an exploit detection and analytics tool funded by the National Science Foundation and developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics. The technology focuses on analyzing documents, email, web content and server traffic for potentially hazardous content known as exploit payloads. With this technology, users will not need to guess whether a document is infected with malicious code and instead will be notified quickly before data is lost.
“Today, phishing and web-based attacks are all too familiar,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Providing innovative, effective and user-friendly technology is essential to protecting against full-scale data breaches and S&T is proud to prioritize new developments in this arena.”
The TTP program complements the S&T process of funding projects through the full research-and-development lifecycle and into the commercial marketplace. Each fiscal year, the TTP program selects promising cybersecurity technologies developed with federal funding to incorporate into the 36-month transition-to-market program. TTP introduces these technologies to cybersecurity professionals around the country with the goal of connecting them to investors, developers and integrators who can advance the technology and turn it into commercially viable products.
In spring 2014, the TTP program identified ZeroPoint as a promising candidate for transition to the commercial marketplace. The key to the ZeroPoint approach is a patented “execution-of-data” technology that uses an advanced micro-operating system built into the analysis engine to enable fast, accurate inspections of data and memory to identify malicious code.
“In the past, detection approaches relied on previously observed attacks, which are complex and costly,” said CSD Director Douglas Maughan. “The ZeroPoint approach is a unique technology that provides fast, transparent and accurate detection to stop cyber adversaries from harming enterprise infrastructure and networks.”
TTP has 24 active technologies and 16 additional technologies that have completed the program’s three-year process. Eight TTP technologies—Quantum Secured Communications, Hyperion, Hone, NeMS, PathScan, PACRAT, LOCKMA and now ZeroPoint—have successfully transitioned to the marketplace.
With the success of the ZeroPoint transition, S&T hopes commercial technology partners and end-users will take notice of other technologies in the TTP program and the government-wide R&D community for solutions to complex cybersecurity issues.
CSD’s mission is to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the Internet by developing and delivering new technologies, tools and techniques to defend against cyberattacks. The division conducts and supports technology transitions and leads and coordinates R&D among DHS customers, government agencies, the private sector and international partners. For more information about CSD, visit https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-research.