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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has been fostering the cyber-defenses of financial institutions. This research-and-development effort will focus on adding cyber-intrusion deception, moving-target defense, and isolation and containment capabilities to strengthen detection and response capabilities.

The DHS awarded $200,000 to Veramine, which will automate the collection of security-relevant events and detection of commodity and advanced attackers as well as provide flexible searches of collected data and rapid response to detected attacks, according to the DHS website.

Last June, the U.S. Air Force awarded Veramine Inc. a contract under the Small Business Innovation Research program to conduct cyber-deception research in support of Air Force network defense efforts. The ongoing R&D will result in new active cyber-defense technologies that will directly support the needs of the federal government. Developing these new cyber-defenses may deter planned attacks by significantly increasing the economic costs for potential attackers to hack financial services systems.

“DHS’s role to defend, strengthen and secure the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors includes protecting the finance sector against cyber-threats,” said DHS Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology William Bryan. “S&T’s NGCI Apex Program takes a novel approach to identify security capabilities prioritized by finance-sector technology leaders and seeks innovative solutions for these critical problem areas.”

The NGCI Apex Program addresses the challenges facing our nation’s cybersecurity critical infrastructure sectors, enabling infrastructure to operate effectively, even in the face of sophisticated, targeted cyberattacks. The program seeks to provide technologies and tools to harden critical systems and networks. Critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. have an immediate need for technologies that can adequately detect, defend, protect, restore, and respond to sophisticated cyber threats. The Cyber Apex program will identify, develop, test, evaluate and deploy cutting-edge technologies to deter cyberattacks against the critical sectors.