Unisys' Stealth Solution

Unisys unveils new secure data model

Unisys Corp. has announced a new technology method for safeguarding the flow of sensitive information across shared information networks.

The new approach allows individuals, working within pre-established communities of interest, to obtain a digital workgroup key and, through a new technique, share information in a way that prevents users outside their communities from accessing the data.

The new Stealth Solution for Network, as Unisys calls it, reduces the need for separate, dedicated networks designed to handle restricted data. It also offers the opportunity to establish secure information sharing tunnels between nations or strategic communities of interests.

At the heart of the new technology is a set of algorithms which scramble data at the bit level into multiple packets as the data move through the network, said David Gardiner, vice president of Security Technology and Solutions, Unisys Federal, in a Nov. 11 interview. The technology then reassembles the information packets for delivery to authorized users. The packets are secured, using certified encryption. But even if the packets were intercepted and their encryption decoded, the contents would prove meaningless without being reassembled with the related packets, Gardiner said.

And only authenticated users who had obtained a workgroup key, authorized by a Stealth Solution server, would have the means to reassemble and unscramble the packets. The technology manages the bit-splitting process so that even if some of the packets failed to reach their destination, or fell into the wrong hands, the surviving packets would contain enough information to fully reconstruct the information.

The Stealth Solution for Network is a combination of software that resides on users' personal computers and--for now'a Dell 1950 server that manages and provides the workgroup license keys. Once authorized and granted workgroup keys, users create peer-to-peer encrypted tunnels over available networks to share information.

The technology would eventually permit data to be stored at rest in commercial data centers and moved over the Internet cloud with no risk of being accessed, Gardiner said.

'You can create a situation where you have some data stored in a packet, called a mandatory packet, and stored on the cloud,' said Gardiner, and if an embassy was suddenly taken over, its information would be 'rendered useless without the mandatory packet,' he said.

Unisys officials estimate the U.S. federal government employed more than 4 million users of sensitive information in 2007, and said the number was expected to grow as other state, local and international governments continue to deploy homeland security initiatives.

The technology, which was demonstrated successfully at the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration 2008 in June, relies on SecureParser from Security First and encrypts information in compliance with the government's FIPS 140-2 standard. The solution is under evaluation for Common Criteria certification for use in classified environments.

Unisys did not release pricing information, but Gardiner said it would be based on the number of connections managed by the server.

But the economic benefits look compelling. The Stealth Solution would allow the Navy to reduce the number of networks typically required on some of its ships from six to three, along with the associated infrastructure, Gardiner said. And many military installations could see even greater reductions, he said.

Unisys officials said the company plans to introduce a suite of Stealth solutions next year. In addition to the Unisys Stealth Solution for Network, Unisys also is developing the Unisys Stealth Solution for SAN (Storage Area Network), which will extend the benefits of increased security, agility and cost reduction opportunities to the SAN environment.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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