Cyber Defense at Internet Scale

Centripetal Networks was founded with one vision, to protect the Internet at Internet scale. The Internet is a big place. It has the potential to reach every nation, every individual and every machine on the planet. Thus the scale of our vision is enormous. An effective Internet-scale cyber defense will require billions of decisions at lightning speed and line rate. It is a significant challenge; however, the world’s confidence in the Internet may depend on fulfilling it. This vision both captivates and drives our employees forward.

A Significant Challenge

Everyone understands the importance of the Internet. It is a single network that can link together everyone and everything in the world. This network is well on its way to becoming the single biggest idea in technology — ever. It is an idea with great promise — and tremendous challenge.

Originally it was thought that the key driver of the Internet would be the networking infrastructure which includes the cables and wires that carry the Internet’s data around the world. This challenge was difficult at first, with little transmission capacity. However, multi-fiber bundles, along with multi-frequency fibers became the answer, creating an incredible amount of transmission capacity. The next major problem was the switching infrastructure, Internet routers and switches had to keep up at these capacities. Eventually, this challenge was overcome as well. Today data can be sent from any major city, to another city in the world, rapidly and at a remarkably low cost.

Another problem now looms and it is so simple to solve. The Internet, with its worldwide openness, has revealed what may be the most difficult problem of all, security. On the Internet anyone can reach anyone or anything. Unfortunately, it means that anyone can also attack anyone or anything, anywhere on earth. This problem crosses both geographical and legal boundaries. The result is that today we see a flood of Internet crime. The flood is growing at an alarming rate. It is so serious that if a solution is not found soon, the very trust needed for the Internet to succeed, will be eroded.

Key Innovations

Scale: The scale of the cyber problem is significant. There are already millions of known network threat actors and indicators active on the global network. To action this intelligence requires a threat processing engine with a scale to match. Before Centripetal, achieving such a scale was thought to be impossible. It would require many orders of magnitude increase in processing speeds. CNI achieved this breakthrough by creation of a new class of parallel algorithms. These algorithms, combined with our leading-edge hardware platform, make it possible.

Speed: Interactive Internet applications must be able to communicate quickly. Packets of data must not be slowed or held up as they course through the network. Typical security analysis and inspection can greatly slow a network down. It can even make interactive applications appear to be sluggish or even impossible to use. CNI’s goal is to make the security function so fast that it is invisible to users. To achieve this level of performance is a very significant challenge. For effective security, consider that millions of tests would have to be performed, on each and every packet of Internet data. Finally, all tests, on each packet, must be completed before the next packet arrives. This is an extremely difficult goal. Centripetal’s unique design has fully achieved this requirement. It has the amazing ability to perform full rule-base packet inspections, at a full duplex, 10 Gigabits per second, with latencies of less than ten microseconds. This speed is so fast that customers see no observable decrease in network performance or user experience.

Agility: The threat landscape is a very dynamic place. New threats are constantly appearing, and old ones are frequently cleared. An effective intelligence-based defense must be able to update and change continuously. This means that updates must be seamless. Most existing systems will not update security rules, policies or threat information without network interruption. These updates can also be lengthy, taking hours. Centripetal has created a unique update system that allows large threat policies to be changed rapidly and while the system is live. This means that there is no loss of service when changing policies. In addition, new policy compilation is extraordinarily fast. This allows updates to take place very frequently, as fast as one per minute. Policies can change a single policy element, or the entire policy, with equal ease. Finally, this agility is revertible. That means that you can flip between pre-stored policies in milliseconds, both forward and backwards again. This unique capability enables CNI’s systems to keep pace with dynamic threat intelligence and still support mission-critical operations.

History

Centripetal Networks is a new company founded in early 2009. The company’s founder, Steven Rogers, is a technologist, corporate leader and entrepreneur. Security is largely missing from the backbone of the Internet. Steven recognized that that security would ultimately need to be incorporated into the Internet fabric. Steven assembled a team at CNI that set about addressing this problem by the use of scaled packet processing, for decision-making at Internet speed and scale.

Near the end of 2011 Centripetal reached a major milestone in the development of the RuleGate® solution. We deployed our first RuleGate device by testing with a prominent global Internet provider. This device showed, for the first time, a full one million rules, executed, full-duplex, with throughput at a ten Gigabit/second line rate. The scale of this accomplishment was over one thousand times that of any other known technology. This achievement validated CNI’s vision that security could be added to the network.

Since 2012 Centripetal worked on several programs for the U.S. Government, which proved the potential uses of the new technology. These included projects for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies.

In 2013 Centripetal Networks provided its first commercial products, which include the new RG2010 and RG2100 RuleGate® appliances. These network devices execute millions of security rules at up to ten- gigabit/second line rates. They all feature ultra-low latency and full network performance. The RG2010 and RG2100 introduction are joined by the first of many new applications.

In 2014 Centripetal introduced the first real-time network threat-intelligence based cyber defense system. This system enables customers and users to apply live threat intelligence directly to their network operations. This system is ideal for financial services firms, the critical infrastructure, and all enterprises and government agencies, where safe Internet use is vital to daily operations.

Steven Rogers
Founder & CEO

Sean Moore
Chief Technology Officer

Brian Costello
Vice President - Sales, Public Sector

Mary Cay Cousart
Vice President - Sales

Pierre Mallett
Vice President - Software Engineering

Sean McGurk
Vice President - Business Development

Neel Price
Vice President - Customer Support

Brett Claydon
Vice President - Product Development

Jonathan R. Rogers
Chief Financial Officer

William P. Crowell
Chairman

Steven Rogers
Director, President and CEO

Cristóbal Conde
Director

Sophia Corona
Director

Robert Flores
Director

Robert Gourley
Director

Gilman Louie
Director

Paul Kaminski
Chairman, Board of Advisors

Bob Bigman
Advisor

Gen Ron Burgess (ret)
Advisor

A great place to work

If you are interested in products that solve big problems, then Centripetal Networks (CNI) may be the place for you. We develop and build products. Our goal is to manufacture everything we can, locally, in the U.S. Our products include both unique hardware and software.

Join the Best

Our team has developed some of the most advanced products in our field. We have pushed the edge of various disciplines; computer science, hardware design, processing power and density, dense multi-core processors and truly advanced algorithms. If you are interested in pursuing the edge of technology, CNI could be the place for you.

We are seeking people with expertise in:

  • Product marketing
  • High-speed hardware design
  • Dense-multicore processing
  • Advanced algorithms
  • IP protocol development
  • Sales and support of technology products
  • Network engineering for reliability and security
  • Packet processing

Current Positions:

 

Centripetal Networks is an equal-opportunity employer. We actively recruit military veterans.

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