Tech Transfer eNews Blog

UNSW Sydney start-up gets $1.3M investment to advance software that protects IoT devices from cyber attacks

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 5th, 2020

A start-up from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney has landed a $1.3 million investment to advance a technology that protects Internet of Things (IoT) devices from cybercrime.

Founded by a research team under UNSW Sydney lecturer Hassan Habibi, CyAmast has developed software that guards against cyber attacks in order to keep large networks of IoT devices safe in a scalable, cost-effective way.

The technology continuously monitors network traffic and intelligently detects abnormal IoT behavior, all at a speed of billions of bits per second, without the need for highly customized and expensive infrastructure. By contrast, traditional solutions are more static and involve inspecting individual “packets” of data to determine threat signatures.

“These attack-signature-based solutions are increasingly being defeated as they can’t keep up with the increasing percentage of network traffic that’s encrypted and therefore can’t be opened and inspected,” says Habibi. “Our technology develops a model of expected behaviors for each device, based on the manufacturer’s specifications. The model is enriched with our patented, real-time artificial intelligence-based algorithms, to check data flows against expected behaviors.”

IP Group, an investment firm that partners with universities around the globe, is providing the $1.3 million to help CyAmast take the technology to market.

“The use of IoT devices and sensors is growing exponentially, and as organizations’ networks expand, it’s increasingly difficult to track these assets and secure them,” says Michael Molinari, IP Group’s managing director in Australia. “Dr Habibi and his team have developed technology that enables operators of smart environments — like enterprise campuses, commercial buildings, industrial facilities and airports — to rapidly identify every IoT device connected to their network and continuously monitor each one and ensure that it’s functioning normally.”

Eliathamby Ambikairajah, acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of Enterprise at UNSW Sydney, comments, “CyAmast is an industry-changing business that will transform the way individuals and organizations around the world protect the growing number of IoT devices that intelligently assist our everyday life.”

Source: UNSW Newsroom

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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