Battle Stations is Helping Cyber Defense Teams to Train Where They Fight
Arlington Virginia, 21 July 2020: Cyber COAST Inc., a startup offering transformative software that optimizes cybersecurity programs across mission, threat, and budget, today announced that it has secured a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract with the Department of the Air Force. The eight-month, $500K contract is administered by the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff’s AFWERX program, which serves as an entry point for industry to do business with the Air Force and encourages innovation.
The Phase II contract follows the completion of Cyber COAST’s Phase I contract with the Air Force earlier last Fall. It will validate Battle Stations for improving tactical and enterprise cyber defense team performance against advanced threats on production defense systems.
Cyber COAST’s bid was one of more than one thousand entries vetted through the application process and this award is hailed as clear market validation of the innovative technology that Battle Stations brings to the mission. Cyber COAST is excited to partner with AFWERX to provide training against actual cyber threats on production Defensive Cyber Operations systems. Importantly, for our federal customer, the current SBIR contract now allows sole source awards for Battle Stations across the federal government.
Battle Stations is an application that safely employs real world tactics from across the MITRE ATT&CK framework to test, diagnose, and document the performance of cyber defense technology, processes, and personnel. It uses a security instrumentation platform and independently validates operator responses to threat activity it generates on the network. The results not only include root cause analysis, but also specific recommendations for improving performance across the program. Results from Battle Stations can simplify conversations between the CISO and the board by bringing empiric performance data regarding operational risk, current return on investment, and a clear rationale for future cybersecurity investments.
Battle Stations was developed after synthesizing results of a previous Air Force Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract revealed the dramatic performance improvement across people, process, and technology from this type of approach. Where current training approaches can only train personnel in a classroom or lab environment, Battle Stations has a comprehensive library of tactics and sequences to improve real-world production performance of personnel and critically, the technology and processes they use to operate. This approach has previously shown a three times detection increase, seven times improvement in operator identification speed, and provided recommendations that would lead to a ten times Return on Investment for Battle Stations. Together this enables organizations to tune and optimize their security for their mission and budget given the threats they are facing.
Christian Sorensen, Founder and Managing Director at Cyber COAST said, “We are excited to be working with the Air Force again and we look forward to improving their mission performance against real world threats. Training Cyber Defense Teams where they fight every day ensures technological and process improvements on production—it’s a game changer since classrooms and labs simply can’t offer that benefit.”
Lt Col Robert Cowan, the sponsoring Squadron Commander at the 89th Communications Squadron shared “The key advantage of this product is tactical, organizational, and program offices can actually see and measure individual Cyber Defender capabilities, skills, training, and learning progress. By receiving the AFWERX/SBIR funding we can now take this to the next level and integrate it into the operations and training development.”
About Cyber COAST: Cyber COAST helps organizations optimize their cybersecurity portfolio for mission, threat, and budget through real-world performance measures. These measures enable leaders to understand, communicate, verify, and improve the performance of their systems, processes, and personnel. This approach dramatically improves cybersecurity performance and enables customers to have newfound evidence and confidence in their cybersecurity investments.
About AFWERX: AFWERX is the Air Force’s team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation. Their mission is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the service by enabling thoughtful, deliberate, ground-up innovation. They do this with an approach that combines startup urgency with the largest pool of motivated talent in the world to uncover opportunities to improve Air Force capabilities, connect and engage the right stakeholders, and facilitate outcomes. AFWERX and Air Force Research Laboratory have partnered to streamline the SBIR process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants, and decrease bureaucratic overhead.