Northrop, UMBC spur growth of cybersecurity solutions firms

Newly formed incubator has enrolled first 2 companies

In an attempt to spur young technology companies to develop solutions to counter cybersecurity threats, Northrop Grumman Corp. and the University of Maryland Baltimore County Research Park Corp. have created the Cync Program incubator facility.

The opening ceremony Thursday in Baltimore included Five Directions and Rogue Networks, the first two companies accepted into the program.

“The Cync Program is a partnership between Northrop Grumman and bwtech@UMBC to create a new incubator tailored to the specific challenge of developing innovative technology to protect the nation from cyberattacks,” according to the April 21 joint announcement.

The program builds on bwtech's business-incubation framework by offering a "scholarship program" for companies with the most promising cybersecurity ideas.

Participants in the program will draw on UMBC's research expertise and Northrop Grumman’s resources to develop tools that secure and protect the computer hardware, software and virtual networks vital to national defense, the announcement states.

Five Directions is an early-stage company working to develop technology that would enable high-assurance file-sharing via public or private clouds. Using a data-centric approach, Five Directions secures access through credentialing, encryption and a robust audit trail.

Rogue Networks is working to develop BreachBox, which enables traffic monitoring, alerting and the enforcement of flow policies on large enterprise networks. This early-stage company recently deployed BreachBox during a pilot study with the General Services Administration to enforce traffic policies and contain activity based on internal identity use.

Northrop Grumman Corp., of Los Angeles, ranks No. 2 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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