Protecting Our Nation Through Big Data Analytics

big data

The past decade has seen significant data generation around the globe. Market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that the amount of data generated globally will grow from 33 zettabytes today to 175 zettabytes by 2025, for a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent.

End result: Data will continue to move faster and grow more quickly than data users can handle.

Billions of location-rich data sets stream every day from satellites, drones, ships, aircraft, sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other sources. In a word, nearly every conceivable aspect of work and life generates digital traffic: endpoint and network devices, servers, applications, and cloud infrastructure in the form of system logs and other telemetry data.

To interpret and visualize this data in near real time, companies have turned to Artificial Intelligence (AI) focused initiatives. But often, there is a lack of clarity on the elements of analytics – business intelligence, data science, machine learning and AI – and how they interact with one another.

In tandem with this ever-increasing amount of data, we see the convergence of cyber and physical systems (CPS). Over the years, we have become reliant on industrial control systems such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and distributed control systems (DCS) for monitoring processes and controlling physical devices. CPS generates large amounts of data that are at once a tremendously useful resource and an attack vector.

Hackers are increasingly becoming more interested in operational technology, the physical connected devices that support industrial processes. We have seen serious attacks on industrial control systems and networks that have disrupted operations and denied critical services to society. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack is just one example. Since the onset of the pandemic, ransomware attacks have increased more than 500 percent.

ManTech’s 53-year history provides us with an excellent understanding of our customers’ problems, and access to the most complex – and informative – technological use cases. Our approach to staying ahead of the curve of the technology evolution and offering our customers innovative ideas is manifest in ManTech’s Innovation and Capabilities Office (ICO) organization, which embodies our commitment to “Bringing Digital to the Mission.”

Leveraging ManTech’s domain knowledge advantage in related technologies such as AI, big data analytics and Deep Neural Networks (DNN), our experts work with our customers to keep adversaries out of the government’s networks.

Among the many ways that ManTech helps protect our nation’s networks:  significant investments in analytics for cyber physical systems over the last 10 years. Two of those investments are ACRETM, a cyber analytics platform and ArchimedesTM, a big data platform.

ACRE provides a high-fidelity modeling, emulation, and training environment. This is a hybrid physical-virtual platform driven through software architecture that can be on-premises or on the cloud – all self-contained to simulate benign and malicious host and network-based traffic generation.

ACRE enables ManTech’s experts to model complex IT environments and run complex analytics on a safe digital twin where we can inject malware, ransomware attacks, and other hostile actions to reveal previously unknown vulnerabilities. Our experts run thousands of such scenarios on this virtual model to see how the system responds to it. On the successful completion of these cyber training exercises, ManTech’s team works with the customer to apply lessons learned to their real world, physical enterprise networks to harden their networks and systems to deter hostile attacks.

Archimedes is a big-data analytics platform that can run on any cloud platform or be hosted on- premises. It provides the ability to ingest huge volumes of data, process and curate that data,  provide analytics results at scale and speed to support dynamic mission challenges.

ManTech supports the Department of Homeland Security with big data analytics, automation, and AI solutions. Among the many key use cases: At our nation’s borders, ManTech solutions rapidly analyze volumes of data on incoming people, cargo and transportation, and provide analysts with relevant real-time information for critical decisions.

ManTech stays ahead of the curve with its continued investments in advanced cybersecurity, and is a market leader in understanding how security analytics and intelligence work together to support national security – key differentiators that make us the trusted partner of government.

Learn more about ManTech’s full-spectrum cyber capabilities here.

About Srini Iyer
Srini Iyer is the senior vice president and chief technology officer at ManTech.