AIS is committed to leading the industry in the development of cross domain solutions, performing advanced research and development and growing a line of commercial software products for both domestic and international customers.
SecureView exemplifies this dedication to building solutions from start to finish. SecureView is a cross domain access solution originally built in support of the Air Force, that is now used across the United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC). SecureView provides access to multiple networks operating at different security levels and eliminates the need for multiple physical workstations.
SecureView started as a requirement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), after realizing there was no mechanism for communicating quickly and effectively across the various departments within the US Government. At the time, the solutions available were not feasible for what ODNI needed.
ODNI contacted Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and asked them to create a team to evaluate the problem and provide a list of possible solutions as well as help envision the path forward.
AFRL assembled a team and quickly realized they were going to require secure hypervisor technology to support the proper isolation of systems. AFRL enlisted AIS due to our expertise in hypervisor security through an early research and development project called SecureCore.
“We were added to the SecureView team because AFRL was familiar with work we did under SecureCore, since this project helped us establish a highly credible reputation in hypervisor technology,” said Rian Quinn, Chief Technology Officer at AIS. “We were brought on in an advisory role, until they decided to implement the Virtual Private Network Virtual Machine (VPNVM), which was the first actual code we developed for AFRL.”
The implementation of the VPNVM led to additional work by AIS in support of AFRL. That is how AIS became the prime contractor for SecureView.
“SecureView enables users to simultaneously access multiple security domains with an unparalleled level of security and solves some of the hardest security access problems in cross domain,” said Adam Hovak, Operations Manager. “Today, it is one of only two products in the world certified by the NSA for accessing multiple independent levels of security.”
Areas of Operation
The team has three areas of operation: Development, Testing and Deployment.
- The Development team is responsible for developing new features, fixing issues and providing support to the Test and Deployment teams. The developers create Feature Design Documents to present to the customer and provide demonstrations. They keep the customers informed and engaged throughout the development process.
- The System Engineering/Test team tests for hardware validation, software functionality and security, as well as issue tracking and regression testing. This team also tracks public software security announcements to evaluate against current software versions and ensure the platform maintains the highest level of security.
- The Deployment team oversees end-user solution engineering, network design, preparing customer sites for solution installation, installing and performing security testing. The deployment team is also responsible for designing and testing the network infrastructure supporting SecureView implementations and conducting end-user training.
“The three teams work interactively to support SecureView customers across all efforts,” said Sue Stein, Program Manager. “From new feature design to solution testing and implementation, all members of the team are needed for SecureView to be successful.”
Andrew Criscolo, Senior Software Engineer for SecureView sees the significance of the work the team does for the customer.
“We provide a highly usable, trusted multi-level security environment, featuring best-in-class security measures that would be extraordinarily challenging for any adversary to circumvent,” said Criscolo. “The end result is that our customers, the people performing some of our nation’s most critical tasks, are able to discharge their duties with an unparalleled degree of trust in their environment, while saving on hardware spending and improving their work-flow.”
CMMI Level 3 Certification
In late 2019, our Cross Domain Virtualization Solutions (CDVS) Group was appraised at level 3 by the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Institute. CMMI is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance. This achievement is a result of the hard work of AIS employees, as well as a strategic partnership with Broadsword Solutions, a leader in performance innovation and process improvement.
A Growing Team
In April of 2019, the SecureView team moved into a new office space. They did not move very far, however. Much of the team now sits just across the street from the headquarters in Rome, New York. The move allows the team to utilize the new lab space and be in an environment that will continue to foster growth.
“We have a dedicated training room to support our monthly SecureView training classes without having to setup the equipment and tear it down each time,” said Stein. “We also have a large raised-floor test lab which will support testing, customer specific engineering, troubleshooting and support. There is a conference room with VTC capability, so we can easily meet with our remote employees and customers, which is extremely important to us.”
“The SecureView team is close knit and friendly, we share common interests and truly enjoy working together,” said Criscolo. “On top of this, I feel as though my team can accomplish anything, so there’s this incredible empowerment and privilege that comes with steering such a talented team and being a part of their growth.”
*SecureView® is a registered trademark of the United States Air Force