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RF Activity Detected With Sensor Solution

Bastille Networks has released a portable kit for temporary deployments to help government agencies and companies view and manage the wireless activity taking place in their secure areas.
By Claire Swedberg

Along with the sensors, Bastille's solution includes a central appliance to configure the sensors and manage the data they collect. The sensors and software employ RF-tomography to detect the conditions around a facility and any obstacles that might affect the detection of transmissions, such as shadowing created by a wall. "We infer where the walls are," Baxley says, and adjust the software algorithms to identify location using that inference.

In addition, each Bastille sensor device includes field-programmable gate array (FPGA) IP cores to demodulate RF signals, as well as to determine whether it is interacting with another device. Often, Baxley explains, a wireless communication that serves as a threat might be entirely inadvertent, such as when an employee's device may be infected with malware. "It could be a user with innocuous intent," he says, but with the sensors detecting each transmission, "We have all this data about when they are connected." The system can also distinguish between networked and unnetworked devices.

The software also enables users to view historical data. "They can rewind in real time," Baxley says, to see what wireless activity might have taken place onsite, creating vulnerabilities at a specific time and date, and at a specific location. Users can configure the system based on rules around that data. If they seek only certain vulnerability detection capabilities, they can create settings to receive alerts regarding those specific events.

When working with a company, Baxley says, "We go to an enterprise customer and help them do an integration to their email alerting system," which can use an incident responses system such as PagerDuty, ServiceNow or Lenel OnGuard to send an SMS or e-mail alert to authorized managers. Companies can also set up Bastille to talk to their mobile device management system to automatically turn off a phone or camera issued to an employee.

The Bastille solution is designed to be upgradable to accommodate additional protocols as new wireless products are released using them. Typically, an installation requires five or more sensors to provide granular location data, while each device could cover an area spanning approximately 3,000 square feet. Baxley says customers are deploying dozens to hundreds of the sensors at their sites. Users typically purchase the sensors and pay an annual fee for data access.

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