To Innovate & Protect: Lockheed’s NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center

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In November 2009, in the wake of a dramatic yearlong rise in cyber attacks across the globe, Lockheed Martin unveiled a sophisticated new deterrent: a 25,000-square-foot research facility in Gaithersburg, Md., called the NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center (NCITE).

Since the advent of computer networks, Lockheed Martin had built cyber security into the IT systems and networks it delivered for customers, but in 2009, foreseeing the sheer number and diversity of threats on the horizon, Lockheed proposed a new initiative. 

It was an alliance, a collaboration between Lockheed Martin and more than a dozen of the world’s most elite technology providers to develop new cyber security solutions to address a rapidly-evolving online threat.

The association would be called the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance — a group that would include McAfee, Symantec, Microsoft, Juniper Networks and Verizon — and perform its work within the new cyber center.  

A New Range of Opportunities
NCITE was a new breed of R&D facility, a high-tech laboratory for collaboration, experimentation and development. It boasted everything from collaborative work areas and a green IT datacenter to telepresence and cloud computing capabilities, all designed to help innovate solutions to proactively thwart cyber attacks from traditional hackers as well as organized and well-equipped nation states.  

At NCITE, Lockheed offered specialized training to help cyber analysts repel new attacks while allowing them to test products from members of the Cyber Security Alliance on Lockheed’s Global Cyber Innovation Range, simulating both offensive attacks and defensive countermeasures.

Meanwhile, the center’s proximity to Lockheed Martin’s Security Intelligence Center (SIC) paid immediate dividends in helping the team create customized products of its own. Charged with ensuring the day-to-day protection of Lockheed Martin’s corporate-wide networks, SIC engineers sat side by side with technologists, exchanging ideas on how best to combat attacks from a range of threats. It was a collaborative loop that allowed for new measures to be quickly designed and seamlessly integrated into Lockheed’s overall enterprise defense system.

A Global Safety Net
These collaborations introduced an array of new solutions, each designed to help government agencies and corporations alike defend their networks and systems against the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) without having to make extensive financial commitments.

Two of those products, StarVision and Palisade, converted many of the technologies used by SIC into serviceable products, allowing clients to detect threats earlier, enjoy greater visibility of network traffic and more easily defend against attacks.

As a result of NCITE’s success in the United States, Lockheed Martin opened subsequent NCITE facilities in the United Kingdom and Australia, expanding the company’s commitment to pursuing cyber security initiatives around the globe.


Sources and Further Reading

 

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NEXGEN Center

highlights
  • Since the advent of computer networks, Lockheed Martin had built cyber security into the IT systems and networks it delivered for customers.
  • NCITE was a new breed of R&D facility, a high-tech laboratory for collaboration, experimentation and development. 

NEXGEN Center