The Department of Homeland Security is teaming up with risk management firm Waverley Labs and the Cloud Security Alliance to start working on an open source Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) that they hope can help federal agencies and the IT industry at large better protect cloud and critical infrastructure from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The idea behind SDP is to only allow TCP connections from pe-authorized users and devices, with the ultimate goal of creating 'invisible clouds" by eliminating DNS information or IP addresses from application infrastructure.
"The multiple layers include completely hiding your critical servers behind what we're calling a dynamic firewall where you completely remove all the rules, have a deny-all at the firewall level and then punch holes through the firewall when the user needs access to the application that is sitting on a server," says Juanita Koilpillai, founder & CEO of Waverley Labs. "This architecture is designed for you to secure all layers, not just layers one through four--which is what most products do--or to secure the user access, which is a different layer but is not tightly integrated with the communications layer so you can access the application securely."
Currently commercial SDPs are already gaining traction at enterprises such as Coca-Cola, says Jim Reavis, CEO of the CSA. DHS is pouring approximately $630,000 into this project in order to open-source components that make up the model.
"We are already seeing success with commercial SDP deployments by Global 100 corporations and we are pleased to see Waverley Labs advancing open source development of SDP for the Federal Market," Reavis says. "We believe that federal agencies will find many applications for this DHS-funded SDP project in protecting both legacy IT assets and cloud services of all classification levels."
As Waverley makes progress on the project, Koilpillai says that she hopes to start first with the initiative to help user hide servers from attackers by offering up SDP gateway technology as the first open-source technological component.
"There's no need for your servers to be listening for connection--maybe listening for legitimate traffic, that's it," she says. "The controller and gateway combination is the first thing we're putting out open source and we're working with DHS to figure out what else we need to make open source to help the community adopt SDP faster."