StealthPath believes you can't be too careful. The Virginia-based cybersecurity company's technology is literally called a zero-trust platform, which brings a "never trust, always verify" attitude to the devices StealthPath protects. The zero-trust mantra, used throughout the telecommunications industry, is to verify a device's trustworthiness each time it wants to gain access to an asset.
StealthPath's zero-trust technology was designed to use one of two primary operating modes: passive or active. Nothing needs to be installed on endpoint devices in passive mode, whereas active mode requires some software to be installed.
In passive mode, StealthPath can monitor a network and then create digital files that represent the communication patterns of that network. This information can then be analyzed by IBM Watson artificial intelligence. IBM is a StealthPath partner.
The approach holds promise as a way to protect connected cars from hackers.
StealthPath's Clif Triplett, chairman of the technology advisory board, said passive mode could be used to monitor each car an automaker has access to and then compare an individual car's behavior with that of other cars to "provide early detection of an entity who is attempting to gain access to a vehicle's internal systems or if it is suspected that a compromise has already been successful in manipulating the car's behavior."
Active mode would allow an automaker to have more direct control over the communication interactions by creating an encrypted path (similar to a virtual private network) that only permits preauthorized connection routes. Cars could be built to only allow specific traffic on specific operating system ports. StealthPath can also be configured to inspect any data that's about to enter a StealthPath active-protected endpoint to meet the company's operating philosophy of closing all doors for device interaction unless those doors are specifically authorized and trusted.
StealthPath says its zero-trust technology is applicable to a number of other industries, as well, including manufacturing, medical and defense.