system security (Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock.com)

2018 Government Innovation Awards

Citizen-soldiers’ cyber solution

When it comes to cybersecurity, time is of the essence. So the Missouri National Guard Cyber Team (MOCYBER) designed a capability that shrank the time it takes to collect information from compromised servers from two days down to 20 minutes.

Dissatisfied with firewalls and other available tools, MOCYBER sought to dramatically reduce software development time and reduce risk while keeping existing applications intact. The team’s solution is the Response Operation Collection Kit Network Security Monitoring (RockNSM), which consolidates multiple open-source tools into a single platform to facilitate data collection and incident response.

Beyond blocking threats, the platform allows the team to discern traffic patterns so that it can improve hacking prediction and enhance forensics after a breach. RockNSM has worked so well that MOCYBER shared the code on GitHub. Now the U.S. military services, commercial sector and allied forces are using it for hydroelectric dams, military aircraft and ships. Data flows from networks into RockNSM for scanning without decreasing network usability, stability or reliability.

By taking the project open source, MOCYBER created a cybersecurity community that spans the National Guard, industry, and domestic and foreign government agencies. The result is a constantly evolving capability that allows the military to respond more quickly and effectively to cyber adversaries.

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