Integrated cybersecurity protection for MIL-STD-1553  

Integrated cybersecurity protection for MIL-STD-1553  

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Abaco Systems has launched a security bus monitoring technology for MIL-STD-1553-based systems which provides an additional layer of protection against cyber-attacks.

1553Guard is an integrated solution which is directly built into the 1553 interface for legacy avionics systems. Other technologies require expensive hardware and significant software modification but may not include threat mitigation. The plug-and-play device detects and alleviates threats in real-time from a single point through continual monitoring and protection for the entire bus, protecting equipment from damage and preventing attacks that could otherwise compromise platform integrity or mission security.

MIL-STD-1553 was released by the US Department of Defense before the advent of modern cyber-warfare and lacks many of the tools used to secure modern networks. More recently it was identified as a potential danger that adversaries could leverage to compromise equipment and spread malicious software across a system.

The 1553Guard continuously monitors bus traffic, identifies incidents based on user-defined rules and algorithms, then mitigates the threat. 1553Guard can actively defeat cyber occurrences in real time in hardware that cannot be easily bypassed or disabled by malicious software or users.  This reduces risk for on-platform use or when integrated into test and maintenance equipment which rely on the standard.

The system protects the entire bus through a single device, reducing integration time and effort by avoiding the costly and complex process of hardware and software redesign and requalification of existing LRUs and modules. Once added to the bus, 1553Guard is entirely passive and does not interfere with normal bus communication. When improper messages are detected, those messages can be individually disabled without interruption to normal bus traffic. It can also be integrated onto any existing bus using one of Abaco’s existing XMC, USB or mPCIE products or using a stand-alone device connected to the bus.

“Abaco continues to invest in new technologies like this to deliver solutions which will help secure systems and equipment. It is more cost effective and easier to integrate than other technologies which may protect only a single point or device,” said Pete Thompson, vice president of product management for Abaco Systems. “We are determined to deliver a product focused on ensuring our customers have the right tools to succeed. The 1553Guard does just that – by providing an innovative cyber resiliency solution to protect mission ready systems from attack.”

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