Secure End Nodes: The Future of Cybersecurity

Riverside Research is fundamentally changing the cybersecurity game by developing products with its government sponsors that minimize susceptibility, restrict threat access, and reduce exploitation potential.

Riverside Research is fundamentally changing the cybersecurity game by developing products with its government sponsors that minimize susceptibility, restrict threat access, and reduce exploitation potential. As users increase their connectivity and join multiple cloud computing domains, the threat to their computing devices increases. Even if the user is trusted, the end nodes themselves can compromise remote networks. A secure end node is a trusted individual computer that temporarily becomes part of a respective, trusted, sensitive, and well-managed network. As network changes occur, secure end nodes cannot persist information; data relative to one network or domain cannot be shared with another. Because secure end nodes often connect to a trusted network through an untrustworthy medium such as the public internet, a secure connection and strong user authentication is essential to avoiding malware infection, sensitive data extraction, and node impersonation—collectively known as the end node problem.

Riverside Research has considerable experience in cybersecurity research and development efforts, and is responsible for the creation, deployment, and support of numerous products that solve the end node problem for our government sponsors. These products include:

  • The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Trusted End Node Security (TENS) (formerly Lightweight Portable Security) and DISA and Bootable Media, or BootMe, creates a secure end node from trusted media on almost any Intel-based computer (PC or Mac). TENS boots a thin Linux operating system from removable media without mounting a local hard drive. Administrator privileges are not required; nothing is installed. TENS turns an untrusted system (such as a home computer) into a trusted network client. No trace of work activity or malware can be written to the local computer. Simply plug in your USB smart card reader to access CAC and PIV-restricted US government websites.
  • Secure End Node Testbed (SENT) - A single sign-on web server that authenticates DOD Common Access Cards (CACs) for US government web services and provides researchers a platform to evaluate end node trust.
  • Encryption Wizard - The DOD’s first easy-to-use, FIPS 140-2 accredited, file and folder encryption software used by over 450 federal organizations and 100,000 users enables the transmission FOUO and PII.
  • Secure Tablet - A multi-boot Android tablet device capable of operating in sensitive and public domains.

Through the above products and other end node applications, the technical staff of Riverside Research has greatly improved our nation’s cybersecurity.