Cy­ber­se­cu­rity firm leaves Ridge­field for Dan­bury space

The News-Times - - BUSINESS - By Alexan­der Soule

A Ridge­field dig­i­tal se­cu­rity in­no­va­tor is re­lo­cat­ing its head­quar­ters to Dan­bury, af­ter its big­gest year yet pro­vid­ing ser­vices to the mil­i­tary and fed­eral agen­cies, among other cus­tomers.

Owl Cy­ber De­fense Solutions will be lo­cated at 42 Old Ridge­bury Road on the west side of Dan­bury, with the com­pany hav­ing oc­cu­pied a com­par­a­tively small of­fice in Ridge­field at 38A Grove St.

It is one of two sig­nif­i­cant dig­i­tal in­dus­try in­no­va­tors at the mod­est com­plex in Ridge­field along with r4 Tech­nolo­gies, de­vel­op­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence for the re­tail sec­tor and other in­dus­tries. Sep­a­rately on Thurs­day, r4 an­nounced a joint re­search ef­fort with Cor­nell Univer­sity.

Owl Cy­ber De­fense’s new space can ac­com­mo­date 120 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to Maria Douich, an Owl Cy­ber De­fense mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager, with the com­pany hav­ing 80 em­ploy­ees to­day.

Known un­til last year as Owl Com­put­ing Tech­nolo­gies, un­der CEO Mike Ti­man, Owl Cy­ber De­fense sells data diodes that en­sure data can flow only one way in a net­work, elim­i­nat­ing points of en­try that could al­low in­trud­ers to in­fil­trate a net­work and stop­ping hack­ers or in­sid­ers from trans­fer­ring in­for­ma­tion. The Owl moniker is de­rived from an acro­nym for the phrase “one-way link.”

Mark­ing its 20th an­niver­sary this year, Owl Cy­ber De­fense has more than 2,000 in­stal­la­tions of its tech­nol­ogy in the field to­day, in­clud­ing with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Ma­rine Corps; fed­eral in­tel­li­gence agen­cies; and com­mer­cial cus­tomers like banks and power plants. Bos­ton-based Gen­eral Elec­tric is among the cor­po­ra­tions us­ing Owl Cy­ber De­fense’s sys­tems to mon­i­tor the per­for­mance of elec­tric tur­bines it sells through its GE Power divi­sion based in At­lanta.

Hack­ers con­tinue to st­ing cor­po­ra­tions with de­bil­i­tat­ing in­tru­sions. Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional dis­closed last week that per­sonal in­for­ma­tion was ex­posed for many as 500 mil­lion mem­bers of its Star­wood Pre­ferred Guest pro­gram, with Star­wood hav­ing been based in Stam­ford prior to its sale two years ago to

Bethesda, Md.-based Mar­riott.

“We pro­vide the next best thing to an air gap,” Ti­man told Cy­ber De­fense TV in a July in­ter­view, ref­er­enc­ing the term for the ab­sence of a con­nec­tion be­tween a com­puter and the in­ter­net. “Un­like a fire­wall where you are re­ly­ing pri­mar­ily on soft­ware to pro­tect your net­works, our so­lu­tion pro­vides hard­ware

en­force­ment of the one-way data flow. You can­not al­ter the hard­ware and it can’t be cir­cum­vented by soft­ware at­tack.”

In the Owl Cy­ber De­fense sys­tem, tan­dem cards are de­signed to com­mu­ni­cate only with each other, with the source card hav­ing no way to re­ceive data and the des­ti­na­tion card hav­ing no way to send it. That sets up a one-way flow of in­for­ma­tion and pre­vents any soft­ware-based at­tacks.

Owl Cy­ber De­fense in­di­cates its sys­tems have a per­fect record main­tain­ing op­er­abil­ity in the field.

Owl founder Ronald Mraz left the com­pany last year af­ter its sale to DC Cap­i­tal Partners, and has since been a lec­turer on com­puter sci­ence and elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing at the U.S. Coast Guard Acad­emy in New Lon­don and the State Univer­sity of New York at Al­bany.

Con­trib­uted photo

Owl Cy­ber De­fense Solutions is mov­ing its head­quar­ters to 42 Old Ridge­bury Road in Dan­bury af­ter years at a smaller of­fice com­plex in nearby Ridge­field.

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