ReFirm Labs goes deep in the supply chain to get ahead of IoT security issues - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 25, 2019 11:29 am

ReFirm Labs goes deep in the supply chain to get ahead of IoT security issues

The Fulton, Md.-based company wants to help spot security vulnerabilities in connected devices before they reach the market.
A screenshot of ReFirm Labs’ Centrifuge Platform.

A screenshot of ReFirm Labs' Centrifuge Platform.

(Courtesy image)

As the number of connected devices grows, the potential also exists that they could fall victim to a cyber attack.

As a company that focuses on Internet of Things (IoT) security, that’s a reality that members of the team at ReFirm Labs confronted first working at the National Security Agency, and now developing the Fulton, Md.-based company’s commercial product, called Centrifuge Platform.

The company’s own lifecycle to date shows a path through Maryland’s cybersecurity community: Members of the team honed experience inside NSA. Then they formed a company called Tactical Network Solutions. From that company’s work on the platform, ReFirm Labs spun out and received backing from DataTribe, a Fulton-based startup studio looking to support technologists who worked inside government agencies that are now building startups.

For his part, CEO Derick Naef, a two-decade veteran of leading startups in the region, joined the company in January. Cofounder Terry DunlapCraig Heffner created an open source tool called Binwalk that’s designed to help researchers. It was designed as a resource, and Naef said said the tool has tens of thousands of users who are working on research to reverse engineer firmware images. The company wants to continue to support that community, and sees it as an “entry level tool.” So it’s continuing development with a new version called Binwalk Pro that has additional capabilities.

“It’s something we’ve built up to support the community, and we’d like to continue doing that,” Naef said.

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