MIT Lincoln Lab Network Security Software

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a Network Security Analysis application known as NetSPA. In short, I am very impressed with this tool. NetSPA (Network Security Planning Architecture) correlates firewall rules / ACL’s with vulnerability data such as Nessus output. This tool then visually plots attack paths through an interactive interface that lets you model different scenarios. It also allows administrators to prioritize which vulnerabilities should be fixed first. Rather than just relying on the severity of the vulnerability we reliably factor in attack vectors based on current network security rules. We (IT Security Ops team) have been working with the development team and helping to provide test data and general feedback. This tool is so impressive that we will be implementing it as part of our security change management process. We will be able to visualize what a firewall rule change will do to our security posture for example.

Having access to this type of technology and the research community is one of the many benefits of working at one of the finest research laboratories in the world.

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