Protecting critical infrastructure against physical and cyber attacks is among the most crucial challenges facing government and commercial organizations in the 21st century. The solution is elusive because it requires “Big Data-in-Motion Analytics,” the real-time analytical processing of enormous volumes of disparate data streaming at high velocity from multiple sensor networks.
TerraEchos Inc., which introduced the Adelos® S4 sensor-knowledge system last year, has again tapped into the IBM InfoSphere Streams technology to develop a solution to the Big Data-in-Motion challenge. At GEOINT 2011, TerraEchos will unveil Kairos, a real-time analytical processing (RTAP) appliance that is ready to serve as the streaming-data analysis hub for public and private sensor webs.
Critical infrastructure spans the full spectrum of facilities operated by public- and private-sector organizations. Around the world and here at home, the U.S. military maintains bases and intelligence-gathering nodes that are vital to protecting our citizens and resources. Just as important to our national interests, private companies must ensure the safe operation of office buildings and factories, as well as the uninterrupted generation and distribution of energy. This includes the protection of cyber infrastructure, which so often provides command and control functionality for physical infrastructure.
The continuous monitoring of the security and health of these facilities is increasingly the domain of multiple sensor networks. In terms of physical security, these include acoustic fiber-optic lines, video cameras, radio scanners, biometric readers, motion detectors, and live unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) feeds. Even in cyber space, discrete sensors monitor the security of the software and computer systems that keep many of these most vital assets—including next-generation Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and other Smart Grid technologies—operating without breech or incursion.
Each of these sensor networks collects and delivers terabytes of data in volumes, varieties and velocities that overwhelm the human mind and saturate the most advanced computers, storage systems and database architectures. And the data-stream problem will only magnify as new sensor systems are developed and existing sensors gather higher fidelity data.
Managing Data Streams
As a leading provider of next-generation sensor analytical solutions, TerraEchos and its sister company, GCS Research, both of Missoula, Mont., have answered the Big Data-in-Motion challenge for both physical and cyber infrastructure with an integrated and scalable appliance. Kairos leverages IBM InfoSphere Streams as its central nervous system, capable of digesting, correlating and classifying data streams in real time. Kairos has the ability to interact autonomously with sensor networks to focus data collection geographically or trigger additional sensor activation in response to initial analysis.
Based on the detection, location and classification of the massive data feeds—whether physical or cyber—and multiple indices of normal/anomalous conditions and behaviors, Kairos uses advanced analytics to derive meaningful information from the data. Kairos can generate smart alerts customized for delivery to appropriate individuals in the decision-making chain of command and suggests a prescribed course of action. This actionable intelligence enables these individuals and organizations to make better-informed decisions regarding the adequate level of response needed to eliminate or neutralize the threat.
The volume, variety and velocity of incoming data streams will increase exponentially in coming years as more sensor networks are deployed and as the Smart Energy Grid is assembled. Extracting meaningful information from these data sets will be the biggest challenge—one Kairos is ready to face today.
For more information, visit TerraEchos at http://www.terraechos.com/