National Security Agency (NSA) Technology Transfer Program

National Security Agency (NSA) Technology Transfer Program

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

No

Address

9800 Savage Road
Suite 6843
Ft. Meade, MD 20755-6843
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

The NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP), located within the Research Directorate, establishes partnerships with industry, academia, and other government agencies. These partnerships help accelerate mission goals, advance science, foster innovation, and promote the growth and commercialization of technology originally created for Agency mission. Successful transfer of NSA technologies: 

  • Gives traction to the federal government's annual commitment to research and development, not totaling over $145 billion
  • Mobilizes mission solutions by engaging NSA personnel with trusted technology partners
  • Creates new companies, new job jobs, and new revenue
  • Strengthens the economy, which in turn strengthens national security

For a full listing of our technologies, please download our full-color, PDF Patent Portfolio here.

Mission

The NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP) mission is to:

  • Establish partnerships to transfer NSA discoveries into commercial products and practical applications that strengthen national security and help grow the economy, and
  • Stimulate the exchange of expertise and capabilities between NSA and industry, academia, and other government agencies to advance NSA mission, technology, and innovation.

Our mission fulfills federal technology transfer legislation, White House Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals, and NSA mission objectives.

Tech Areas

Available Technologies
Displaying 1 - 10 of 96
Accelerated Batch Digital Signature Verification
Acousto-Optic Bandpass Filters
ALADDIN: Database Searching and Identifying Text
Amplifying a Digital Signal
Assessing Language Translation and Interpretation
Automated Detection of Duplicate Audio and Voice Recordings
Automated Separation of Handwritten and Machine-Printed Images
Automatic Topic Identification
Automatic Voice Activity Detection in a Signal
CICADA: Synchronizing Time without a Broadcast Signal

Pages

No Funding for this lab
No Programs for this lab
No Facilities for this lab
No Equipment for this lab
No publications for this lab
Success Stories

The value of discrete pieces of intelligence to national security varies for many reasons, but among them, its perishability may be the most important. To ensure that the most important information was identified and prioritized across its communications infrastructure, NSA developed NiagaraFiles (NiFi)—technology that has helped manage the flow of data for NSA and across the entire Intelligence Community (IC).

NiFi automates the management, manipulation, and storage of large streams of data in real time. The technology can interpret and transform information in a variety of formats, facilitating transfer across different systems and agencies. The technology also provides interactive command and control of data flows, allowing engineers to quickly make changes in how data is assessed and transmitted. By automatically embedding context into discrete data flows as they move across and between systems, NiFi creates a fine-grained chain of custody for information, which led to organic interest across the IC.

The technology was released in 2014 to the open source software (OSS) community as Apache NiFi, where its source code is freely available to view, modify, and adapt. Open sourcing engages a much larger development community to continue the technology’s evolution and ensure it remains secured from emerging vulnerabilities. The improved Apache Nifi has been distributed across the Agency and has become the foundation of many corporate dataflow services. More than 60 non-federal contributors have developed features for Apache NiFi that are important for both government and industry. For example, within a month of the OSS release, a contributor from Germany identified a way to reduce the time it takes to compile NiFi’s codebase by 75%, allowing even greater agility and flexibility as the technology continues to evolve.

Several hundred companies worldwide are using Nifi, including Fortune 500 companies ExxonMobil, AT&T, CapitalOne, and the United Kingdom’s British Gas. Hortonworks, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in the commercial distribution of open source big data software, has developed two NiFi products as part of its suite of open source big data technology offerings.

As a side benefit, releasing technology to OSS is of interest to IT professionals because it promotes a free, collaborative exchange of ideas that spurs rapid creative, scientific, and technical advances. Tony Kurc, an NSA technical director and recruiter, says that “highlighting Apache NiFi as an OSS technology that originated at NSA is a great tool in attracting the brightest new hires.” Examples of how companies use NiFi are available at http://nifi.apache.org/powered-by-nifi.html.

The NSA patent portfolio features all of the agency's technologies that are available to license. View the NSA patent portfolio here: https://www.nsa.gov/what-we-do/research/technology-transfer/assets/files/nsa-technology-transfer-program.pdf

NiFi

Ever wonder how secure your data really is after you hit “Send”? With the progression of the digital age, and an increase in dependence of those who rely on it, the protection of our information systems has not only become more complicated—it has also become a critical necessity. Systems and accounts need more than just a password to be protected; data must also be authenticated and encrypted in order to keep unauthorized users from accessing it. And while everyone knows the importance of protecting their personal data, few have mastered securing its access.

Kapalya, a Hawaii-based technology development company, hopes its latest offering will become a standard in data security; the company is using Agency-developed technology to ensure seamless end-to-end protection of data during transport. The technology was originally developed at NSA as a software program to encrypt and authenticate data for mission. With a powerful authentication mechanism, this technology is able to encrypt a message when sent and enables the recipient to authenticate the message upon receipt. Its easy implementation allows it to be used towards a variety of applications.

In March 2017, Kapalya signed a patent license agreement (PLA) for exclusive licensing rights to NSA’s authenticated cryptography technology. Exclusive licensing allows Kapalya to use and commercialize the technology as a unique product in the marketplace. The agreement has already paid off for Kapalya; it helped Sudesh Kumar, Kapalya CEO, win financial backing at a shark tank competition during the Future Focus conference sponsored by the Hawaii Business Roundtable and the University of Hawaii.

Kumar credits the exclusive license from NSA in setting him apart from the rest of the competition. “A game changer…that is how I describe the effect of licensing NSA technology on my business. The next generation of our data encryption app will have NSA’s patented technology as the foundation. Once released commercially, this app will be cryptographically stronger and more efficient than existing authenticated encryption solutions in the marketplace.”

The NSA patent portfolio features all of the agency's technologies that are available to license. View the NSA patent portfolio here: https://www.nsa.gov/what-we-do/research/technology-transfer/assets/files/nsa-technology-transfer-program.pdf

 Kapalya

Being able to save time, money, and effort while achieving mission can be easily classified as a “win-win situation” for everyone involved. Fortunately, researchers at NSA Hawaii (NSAH) are doing just that.

NSAH is training machine learning models to further develop algorithms that will generate a topical list and, eventually, visual images of words. The goal is to provide any user with a topical word list so that the user can quickly assign a meaning and perspective to foreign language content, without having any prior knowledge of that language. In need of a better way to continue their research, NSAH discovered Hawaii-based startup AlgorithmHub at a speed networking event and quickly saw potential in what the company had to offer.

To meet NSAH requirements, the NSA TTP finalized a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with AlgorithmHub to apply their data science cloud compute environment to NSA’s unclassified machine learning research problems. The partnership with AlgorithmHub allows NSA researchers to deploy algorithms in a cloud environment without lengthy delays and costs associated with provisioning and maintaining virtual machines. AlgorithmHub’s unique Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for commercial cloud services provides data scientists with the ability to experiment and share their data science algorithms while leveraging the compute power and storage capacity of the cloud. The partnership has also enabled AlgorithmHub to improve their services, as well. John Bay, CEO of AlgorithmHub, says, “Through our CRADA with a data science team at the NSA, we have enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in evaluating machine learning algorithms for topic identification. These new features are not only valued by data scientists at the NSA, but also with other AlgorithmHub customers. The CRADA has provided us critical feedback and validation needed to continue to evolve the AlgorithmHub platform into an innovative, commercially viable product.”

After a highly successful data science workshop with NSA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Institute of Defense Analysis (IDA), NSA hosted a topic modeling cohort, subsequently extending testing and evaluation time in the AlgorithmHub environment. A more comprehensive upcoming workshop includes broader participation and will further refine the model for additional use of the AlgorithmHub platform by NSAH. This effort is developing a model for continuing collaboration for data analytics development for use across the enterprise and with other researchers in academia and industry.

The NSA patent portfolio features all of the agency's technologies that are available to license.  View the NSA patent portfolio here: https://www.nsa.gov/what-we-do/research/technology-transfer/assets/files/nsa-technology-transfer-program.pdf

 

AlgorithmHub

Though organizations focus on firewalls and security software, multitudes of open network ports on computers, routers, and Voice of Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone jacks in public and seemingly secured areas create an often overlooked cyber vulnerability that can result in unauthorized network access. Access to these open data ports can result in covert extraction of data and introduction of malware onto systems. Often, evidence of such breaches comes long after the damage has been done.

NSA’s data port protection technologies provide an innovative layer of defense for vulnerable open data ports by deterring access and ensuring that there is visible evidence of any attempt to tamper with the port. This technology was developed and was quickly adopted at NSA as an effective security measure for our military counterparts. It was shared across the IC until its popularity ultimately spurred a search for an industry partner to manufacture the port protectors, keep pace with government demand, and commercialize the product to broaden the customer base.

The NSA TTP was successful in activating several patent license agreements with PadJack, Inc., a Florida-based company providing NSA and its mission partners with a more direct and efficient method of production and supply. With the help of a growing workforce, PadJack has developed five new products from these NSA technologies for both government and commercial use, uses two manufacturing facilities, and has sales that continue to increase. Today, every branch of the military, the IC, and leading-edge firms are using PadJack products to enhance their information assurance security posture. PadJack Founder and CEO Jim Bolain says, “Licensing NSA’s port protector technology has allowed us to expand our market share and add new product lines. As a small business, we benefited from the NSA TTP’s work to create a partnership that scales to our needs as we grow. “

In 2017, the NSA TTP received the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for this lab-to-market success.

The NSA patent portfolio features all of the agency's technologies that are available to license.  View the NSA patent portfolio here: https://www.nsa.gov/what-we-do/research/technology-transfer/assets/files/nsa-technology-transfer-program.pdf

 

Cyber Security at the Physical Level…NSA partners with PadJack, Inc.

National Security Agency server port protection devices guard against cyber crime. Network breaches an data loss are threats that impact everyone. But not everyone knows that the common device port can be one of the biggest cyber vulnerabilities. The commercialized devices provide a physical layer of cyber security.