Leidos wins IARPA R&D contract to anticipate cyberattacks using novel sensors

leidos-112Leidos of Reston, VA announced on September 28 that it has won a prime contract from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to research and develop multi-disciplinary methods that provide accurate and timely cyberattack forecasts under the Cyberattack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) program. The cost plus fixed fee contract has an initial 18-month base period of performance with two one-year options. If all options are exercised, Leidos’ contract is worth $14 million. Leidos is one of four awardees.

Studies show that detection of a cyberattack typically occurs in the later stages of a multi-phase attack, and in many cases, is discovered by external parties other than the victim organization. IARPA’s CAUSE program aims to develop and test new automated methods that forecast and detect cyberattacks significantly earlier than existing methods. Leidos will look to create and fuse sensors from disciplines beyond those conventionally used for cyber, including the social / cultural, economic, and behavioral sciences. The solution would increase the number of events uncovered and the time available for organizations to respond through identification at the earliest stages of threat.

Leidos has a strong resume in helping secure public and private industry resources against cyberattack. The contract demonstrates Leidos’ research capabilities for novel approaches to cyberattack forecasting and detection, even at the earliest stages in the attack timeline. Leidos will be supported by three subcontractors, Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

“The possibility of pushing threat detection closer to its originating point in the attack chain holds significant promise for reducing or potentially preventing the damage caused by cyberattacks,” said John Fratamico, president of the Leidos Advanced Solutions Group. “IARPA sees the value in CAUSE as high-risk, high-payoff research to explore new methods that could result in advanced forecasting technologies for cyber defense. Our team is poised to deliver that value for cybersecurity analysts.”

Source: Leidos