Government-funded ICS technology heading to commercial market

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released an industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity solution via its Transition to Practice (TTP) program technology, the sixth marketplace transition in the last six months.

By Gregory Hale, ISSSource January 17, 2018

An industrial control system (ICS) security technology is leaving the confines of governmental research and development and headed to the commercial world.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released the technology via its Transition to Practice (TTP) program technology, the sixth marketplace transition in the last six months.

The ICS cybersecurity solution—called SerialTap—ended up licensed exclusively by IP Group, an intellectual property commercialization company that provides insight, capital and supporting infrastructure to technologies from universities and laboratories.

It transferred to a newly formed portfolio company called Cynash, Inc., which will introduce cybersecurity solutions to the marketplace. The release comes during Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which builds awareness and appreciation of the importance of critical infrastructure and reaffirms the nationwide commitment to keep our critical infrastructure and our communities safe and secure.

SerialTap, developed by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is a cost-effective, nonintrusive embedded device that passively taps serial-line communication and transmits the data over an Ethernet network.

The encapsulated data ends up transmitted to a centralized location to leverage current enterprise analysis solutions such as cybersecurity incident and event management systems, resulting in comprehensive process control system situational awareness. One of the advantages of SerialTap is it integrates easily with legacy IT enterprise security solutions as well as with ICS used by critical infrastructure sectors.

"The SerialTap commercialization continues the impressive recent run of TTP transitions," said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology for the Department of Homeland Security. "This track record shows the S&T TTP model has been successful in moving federally funded technologies into the commercial marketplace, something that is especially important in light of the growing need for critical infrastructure owners to be able to defend themselves against many types of cyberattacks."

"This transition is strong validation that the strategies, techniques, outreach methods and tools used by TTP to prepare its technologies for commercialization are effective," said TTP program manager Nadia Carlsten. "We look forward to expanding on these successes and continuing to work with our partners within the federal laboratories and our network of investors with a singular focus of paving the path to transition for all technologies."

The TTP program, which is administered by S&T’s Cyber Security Division (CSD), part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, complements the S&T process of funding projects through the full research-and-development (R&D) lifecycle and into the commercial marketplace.

Each fiscal year, the TTP program identifies the most promising cybersecurity technologies developed at federal laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and universities for the transition-to-market program. Selected technologies take part in a structured transition process designed to increase maturity and market readiness and are introduced at TTP-hosted "Demo Day" events to investors, developers and integrators who can turn them into commercially viable products.

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (, a news and information Website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector. This content originally appeared on ISSSource is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

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