The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has been involved with various aspects of computer security ever since the idea of computer networking was being discussed.
Recently, AFOSR funding was critical to the successful development of a groundbreaking effort, called MultiView, which is a component of the SecureView platform that allows an intelligence analyst the ability to access multiple intelligence agency network feeds on a single desktop while maintaining source integrity with the highest levels of isolation and security.
With the push to collaborate between the various intelligence agencies, post-9/11, intelligence analysts were forced to keep respective agency intelligence feeds/domains completely separate from each other–imagine an analyst with 17 computers and associated monitors on his/her desk at the same time, given the fact that there are 17 separate intelligence networks within the intelligence agency community. While 17 desktops would be extreme, it would not be unusual to have to accommodate half a dozen or more different intelligence feeds, which would require six-plus separate computers, monitors and keyboards. SecureView pares that requirement down to one each, while still being able to access the respective intelligence data streams for viewing and analysis.
SecureView is capable of tying all of these network feeds into a single computer, while maintaining the security integrity of the respective data streams–without allowing data to jump across networks. But as one individual who was involved in the development of the system noted, “the real magic and discriminating capability is [due to] Multiview.”
AFOSR Program Manager, Dr. Robert Herklotz, has funded Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS), a small company based in Rome, New York, since 2000 through the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Information Directorate, and since 2008, with direct AFOSR grants to AIS. The concept for Multiview was first conceived in May of 2012 by Dr. Rian Quinn, Principle Investigator with AIS; the technology is currently patent pending.
As the key to SecureView, Multiview software allows those numerous intelligence data streams to be displayed on the same monitor. This is done via a replication process, thereby negating a direct source (intelligence agency) feed to the analysts’ monitor. In essence, the pixels from the original source are reproduced, via Multiview, and are then transferred to the viewing monitor. This single virtual platform is mated to software than ensures there is no two-way bridge, or compromise of data, between any of the respective systems. In addition, the system does not permit copying of data from one system to another. As such, the analyst can securely view multiple intelligence feeds on a single monitor simultaneously without fear of data sharing between any of the systems involved.
Multiview provides a way not only to simplify analytical tasks, but it does so without the need for numerous independent systems and the hardware that goes with them. Dr. Herklotz notes that the basic research funding led to more applied funding from the AFRL Information Directorate which led to a final product. Nice teaming.
AFOSR continues to expand the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Air Force’s basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFOSR’s mission is to discover, shape and champion basic science that profoundly impacts the future Air Force.