Colorado Springs Company Joins Forces With Academy to Counter Cyberattacks

Colorado Springs-based cybersecurity provider root9B announced Monday that it will work with the Air Force Academy to develop technology to counter cyberattacks.

Under the agreement, root9B and the academy will create a research team to recognize and protect industrial control systems from threats and add to existing information on intrusion detection and protection for industrial control systems, according to a root9B news release. Company personnel will mentor cadets on research designed to evaluate capabilities for intrusion and detection systems that are beyond current technology.

“Our work with the Air Force Academy will help identify and mitigate malicious attacks that corrupt military, industrial or commercial infrastructure, thereby averting costly and potentially life threatening system and critical mission failures,” Earl Eiland, root9B’s senior cybersecurity engineering and industrial control system expert, said in the release.

Industrial control systems are computers that run factories, power plants and even simpler things such as air-conditioning units.

The agreement comes after the academy sought industry partners this year for help in setting up the research team and comes less than a week after the company announced it had received a $480,000 contract to train Navy cybersecurity personnel to defend operational networks. The company also said last week that it received a $250,000 contract from a “leading commercial infrastructure provider,” which it did not identify, for advanced cybersecurity services, using its “attack surface baseline” approach integrating tailored threat intelligence to identify and fix network vulnerabilities.

The company said it has secured more than $12 million in contracts this year for work spread over several years with commercial customers that include Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies.

Root9B was started nearly five years ago in Colorado Springs, where it also operates its Adversary Pursuit Center, a $2 million operations center that opened a year ago to provide government and commercial clients remote computer network defense, training and other services. The company employs 80 in the Springs and at offices in New York, San Antonio and Charlotte, N.C. The company has been listed at the world’s top cybersecurity provider in each of the quarters this year in a quarterly list of the world’s top 500 leading cybersecurity providers from New York-based online publication Cybersecurity Ventures.