Center for Strategic Decision Research


Technologies for Global Network Security

Mr. Anatoly Karachinsky
President and Chief Executive Officer, IBS Group
Mr. Vasily Suvorov
Chief Technology Officer, Luxoft


Network security is the big issue right now. As Sergey Kravchenko pointed out, today actual terrorist attacks can be rivaled by cyberattacks, because such attacks affect the infrastructure we rely on. And as we move into the future, our ability to access information, exchange information, and support transactions across nations will remain very important. 

If you look at existing technologies and network infrastructures, you will see that cyberterrorist attacks are very effective at shutting down networks; they cause governments to actually shut down websites and seize data communications. Certainly, the United States understands this, and spends a good deal of money to ensure greater security. But in order to overcome many of the problems in this area, we need to think globally about network security; we cannot think in terms of whether one measure is internal or another is external. A network is very open, and while that results in a lot of benefits, it also brings with it a lot of threats and risks. Therefore we need to work globally with other countries and deploy better technology. 

But what kind of technology can you actually deploy? For example, at Luxoft and in other Russian companies as well, much research is looking into so-called multi-agent systems. Such systems allow you, in combination with artificial intelligence techniques, evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, and other interesting technologies, to create lifelike systems that exhibit humanlike behavior. These systems, like the human body, can recuperate from illnesses and detect viruses and adjust. So by applying these technologies and using some of the DARPA initiatives such as Active Networks, you can actually build an adaptable system that does not have to know about virus attacks or hacker attacks upfront but can adjust and learn and react to them. 

However, we have to work on such efforts globally. One such project that we started recently is creating a concept document that describes the concept of a network security center that can be deployed not only in Russia but in the United States and other countries. The concept of that center includes such things as ability to classify attacks, first-responder teams, and the evolution of technology. This project will hopefully gain support because it is a very important initiative. 


Another interesting technology is the visual simulation technology that our colleagues from Silicon Graphics will talk about in detail. In our experience, it is very important to be prepared for emergencies, to be prepared to act and be able to verify your plans and procedures for how you are going to deal with emergencies. Certainly, you are all aware of the critical infrastructure protection initiative in the United States and the need to make sure that things such as nuclear reactors, chemical factories, and other material sites and transportation systems are adequately protected. But it is very hard to know in advance that a plan is going to work, that people are going to be aware of what they need to do in various situations. 

Simulations make these determinations more easily than drills because drills are purely educational exercises but simulations actually allow you to make "what if" analyses. In combination with some of the multi-agent technologies, you can create sophisticated simulations that will allow you to do such things as vulnerability assessments, because you can apply evolutionary tactics to your attacking forces and see what you can come up with-and you may come up with something you had not thought about. 


Biometrics is another important area because it permits us to identify people who commit crimes and terrorist attacks and track them as they cross borders or travel to destinations within countries. This is an exciting technology that also requires international cooperation, because if you install one type of biometric system in the U.S. and a different one in France or Russia, how will you exchange information or make sure that Russia or France can actually detect criminals before they travel to the U.S.?  

The story that follows will give you another example of an interesting technology available in Russia. A group of scientists who had graduated from Moscow State University worked on a robotic-vision technology that enables the creation of a 3-D model of the surface the robot is facing. When the scientists realized the great potential for their work, they combined it with forensics algorithms. This allowed them to look at a person's face like a 3-D surface and measure it, even identify curves. The new technology is more precise than the 2-D version, and produces much more data than 2-D pictures. 


The U.S. Energy Department is pursuing a program in Russia for the prevention of the proliferation of atomic and nuclear technologies. This is an example of positive cooperation between our countries. As part of this program, Luxoft is retraining nuclear scientists to become software developers. We are teaching them about all the modern techniques, tools, programming languages, and project management methodologies as well as how to work with customers and improve their language skills. By giving these sophisticated people with very good algorithmic backgrounds a better understanding of modern programming and software-development techniques, they are able to work on very sophisticated problems. 

These types of skills, as well as critical thinking and the scientific method, are needed to develop all the technologies that we discussed. There are many technologies with great promise still out there, but to discover and develop them we need to work globally. We need to utilize all the best minds and skills and do that more effectively and economically, because R&D costs are high in the U.S. but low in Russia and elsewhere. When we combine our brainpower and our economies, we will be able to truly work together and build the trust that is required to deploy solutions globally. 






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