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Autonomic Intelligent Cyber Sensor (AICS), created by researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory, has been licensed to Trust Automation, Inc., a woman-owned small business based in San Luis Obispo, CA, that designs, builds and supports control and power-management systems for defense, semiconductor, industrial automation, green technology and medical applications.

This is the 20th technology through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Transition to Practice (TTP) Program since the program launched in 2013.

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The company received an exclusive software license agreement that will allow Trust Automation to use AICS to upgrade the cyber-defenses of vulnerable legacy critical infrastructure systems, including natural gas distribution, water distribution and management, and electrical grid systems.

“Strengthening the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a key focus of the DHS mission,” said William N. Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the undersecretary for science and technology. “The commercialization of Autonomic Intelligent Cyber Sensor to a company with deep experience in designing and implementing industrial control systems for critical infrastructure entities will greatly improve the cybersecurity of these essential systems.” 

Cyber Security

AICS provides autonomous cybersecurity and state awareness for Ethernet-based Industrial Control System (ICS) networks. The technology employs autonomic computing techniques and a service-oriented architecture to automatically discover network entity information, deploy deceptive virtual hosts and identify anomalous network traffic with high accuracy.

ICS networks facilitate communication among critical infrastructure, but also are vulnerable to cyberattacks. AICS enhances cybersecurity defenses for ICS networks by providing both real-time monitoring of network host composition and agile response to changing network conditions. 

“AICS is an innovative technology that will help close a significant security gap in the Industrial Control System networks used within the nation’s legacy critical infrastructure,” said TTP Program Manager Nadia Carlsten.

The TTP program seeks to accelerate the transition of federally funded technologies to the marketplace through commercialization and partnerships. Each year, the TTP program identifies the most promising technologies developed at federal laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and universities across the country for its lab-to-market program. Selected technologies take part in a structured transition acceleration process designed to increase maturity and market readiness and are introduced at TTP-hosted “Demo Day” events to investors, developers and integrators who can continue growing them into commercially viable products.  

Out of a total of 40 technologies selected into the program, TTP has now commercialized 15 technologies and transitioned five more through open-source release.

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