Red Tiger Labs’ new tool puts cyber security in the limelight

Joe Cummins, of Red Tiger Labs, and his team of Carleton students have developed software to assist organizations to better determine the threat of a cyber-attack. Cummins is an entrepreneur-in-residence at 1125@Carleton. (Susan Hickman Photo)

A company that uses artificial intelligence to inform about security risks says it has developed next-generation technology that provides 3-D visualization of what’s going on inside the web.

“You can drive through your network and see what it looks like on the screen,” explains Joe Cummins, principal consultant of Red Tiger Labs, which has been employing Carleton University students since its establishment in 2008.

“It’s a live network with a heartbeat,” he adds, explaining how he came to design the new technology that can illustrate what is happening at a wire level, in real time. He calls it CLAW for Control Layer Assessment Workstation.

CLAW allows users to “see” cyber-attacks coming into an organization, a boon in the cyber-attack age, when every organization faces challenges of safeguarding intellectual property and other valuable data as people come and go and new devices connect to networks daily.

The technology is so cutting edge, says Cummins, who is also entrepreneur-in-residence at the university’s living laboratory, 1125@Carleton, that Red Tiger has issued several patents to secure it.

Cummins says CLAW was perfected by last fall, after working on the concept in “stealth mode” for three and a half years.

Critical infrastructure utilities today have no clear method to solve cyber risks, Cummins explains. “It is up to an entire team of information technology people to act as one to provide a unified solution that an organization can grasp and work with in a forward-looking manner. CLAW will enable these organizations to successfully defeat the challenges they face from a cyber-security perspective.”

Cummins, who likes to speak metaphorically, says CLAW is the “seatbelt” every network needs to prevent serious harm. “It will give organizations the ability to discover the severity levels within their systems and provide them with a road map to effectively diagnose and repair.”

Public Safety Canada, which works with several agencies, governmental departments, first responders, community groups and the private sector on issues of national safety and security, has helped fund the research.

“When this takes off, it will be transcendent,” says Cummins.

“In the near term, this is allowing us to open doors that were never before accessible. We will be able to bring in good cyber security people from all over the world. In the long term, we will be measuring the international need, in the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and other NATO countries.”

Several large companies have already expressed an interest in Red Tiger’s new technology, including energy and renewables in the Middle East. Cummins plans to travel to Kuwait to explore this opportunity.

Pointing to what he calls ineffective cyber security policies that are currently in place, Cummins expects Red Tiger to be “making a lot of waves” by spring. “Then we can move an agenda forward that makes sense. To be able to do something about cyber security risks is my dream come true.”

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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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