DHS Taps Israeli Company to Help Prepare Cyber Defenses for Financial Institutions

October 2, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) reported that it had awarded a $200,000 contract to Israel-based Morphisec to develop technology solutions to prevent cyberattacks on financial institutions. The award was made as part of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), under the Financial Services Cyber Security Active Defense Technologies solicitation, which sought technology to protect financial institutions from bad actor attacks, according to DHS.​ Morphisec will seek to extend, deploy, test and evaluate a Moving Target Defense (MTD)-based cybersecurity solution for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments, the department said. 

A MTD-based solution randomly changes different areas of a VDI environment’s memory such as the location of libraries, functions, variables and other types of data. MTD-based solutions increase the uncertainty and complexity of attacking the system, reducing the window of opportunity and increasing the cost of attack efforts. Morphisec’s objective is to prevent and trap all zero-days and advanced attacks to VDI environments, thus protecting connected machines, with minimal resource cost and without requiring updates or databases. “The use of VDI has grown in recent years, most commonly as an efficient structure for servers, both physical and cloud-based,” said Greg Wigton, S&T project manager. “If attacked while unprotected, vulnerabilities in a VDI environment may impact every connected device and each machine can be a potential target for entry to the VDI.”

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