News Feature | January 19, 2015

DHS Investment Into Solutions Could Impact Commercial Market

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

DHS Investment Into Solutions Could Impact Commercial Market

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has invested billions of dollars in development and transitioning of research projects into viable commercial solutions for first responders and network operators, as Fed Tech Magazine reports. DHS announced the introduction of a mobile security app archiving technology funded by the directorate into the commercial market in early December. In the app release announcement, DHS states, “With the success of the mobile archiving application technology’s transition and as technology continues to evolve, S&T will continue to fund research and development for projects that can help in securing government mobile devices.”

The app was among more than 60 technologies highlighted at the Cyber Security Division R&D Showcase and Technical Workshop December 16 in Washington, D.C. “We’re thinking about things 5 to 10 months out and how do we provide solutions to first responders [and] network operators in a much more rapid fashion,” Doug Maughan, director of the Cyber Security Division within S&T told Fed Tech Magazine.

Maughan explains, “We don’t typically fund basic research …We start with applied research. We fund research, the development, testing, and evaluation, things like pilots and deployments with customers. That’s not a normal process for other agencies. That’s where we believe we are doing things differently than others.”

One particular success story of the research funding project is the rise of NowSecure, a small company from Oak Park, Ill., that developed mobile device forensic capabilities. S&T provided $1.9 million in R&D funding to help the company develop its suite of products. The company raised an additional $12.5 million from private investors to continue developing its security platform for mobile devices.

“The funding provided by S&T was specifically focused on capabilities including a project which helps law enforcement analyze evidence from seized disposable cellphones and additional enhancements of the small-business tool mobile phone forensics suite,” according to the directorate.

“Supporting small businesses is one of our priorities,” says Maughan. “By providing funding for innovative ideas, we allow companies the opportunity to expand their technology and achieve commercial success.”