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Cyber Innovations

Making Strides in Automated Cyber Defense

Posted by Battelle Insider on Oct 17, 2016

Anyone who is good at their job is aware of trends in their industry, keeps track of new tools available and has a general understanding of what competitors are up to. When you work in the cyber industry, keeping abreast of what’s going on can be a lot of fun, and necessary to stay ahead of adversaries in an ever-evolving world. 

Battelle’s Cyber Innovations team always has one eye on their monitors and one on industry leaders/innovation. Some of the team’s favorite events that really reflect trends in cyber defense happen near the end of summer: DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge, Black Hat USA and DEF CON.

Whether we’re presenting at these events or hosting viewing parties to watch what’s going on, there are always plenty of takeaways - like the below video of Battelle's Chris Domas at last year's DEF CON.

The most intriguing thing that captured our attention this summer was the Cyber Grand Challenge, where seven finalist teams pitted “specially-engineered” autonomous hacking machines against each other.

The event billed itself as the world’s first all-machine “capture-the-flag” style tournament and offered a unique opportunity for autonomous activities like evaluating software, testing for vulnerabilities, generating security patches and applying them to protected computers on a network.

Battelle utilizes symbolic execution and intelligent fuzzing – two components of the Cyber Grand Challenge – to enhance our vulnerability research.

The Cyber Innovations team believes automated cyber defense will help alleviate the sheer load on human engineers, but the industry will never be fully automated. These systems will certainly begin to do a lot of the tedious defense and offensive research processes so humans can focus on action/reaction instead of detection.

Learn more about Cyber careers at Battelle.


Photo: battelle employee using a virtual workboard