VenturCom's BXP/Secure Software Protect Data at DOE Nuclear Complex

7/8/2004 - VenturCom, Inc., and BWXT Y-12, L.L.C. announced that VenturCom’s BXP/Secure software solution has been selected to protect classified information at the Department of Energy’s Y-12 nuclear complex in Oak Ridge, TN.

VenturCom, the leader in designing and developing software products that control and manage devices utilizing the Windows operating systems, and BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., which manages the Y-12 National Security Complex under a contract with the Department of Energy (DOE), also said they have launched a collaborative effort to enable other government departments and agencies, as well as U.S. companies, to pilot the BXP software solution at the Oak Ridge facility as part of the federal “Work for Others” program.

BXP/Secure software, which enables PCs to run diskless, is an enhanced version of VenturCom’s globally deployed BXP software solution. VenturCom said that BXP/Secure meets National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) cyber-security guidelines and that BXP’s new, cost-effective storage-centric computing architecture will enable significant annual cost savings at the Oak Ridge facility in addition to meeting data security needs.

Diskless computing is a priority initiative for the Department of Energy. In a May 4 speech at the DOE’s Savannah River site, U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said, “We have had (security) problems in the past with classified hard drives and classified disks. To permanently eliminate the threat of such problems, I propose an initiative to move to diskless workstations for classified computing over the next five years.”

According to Y-12 Division Manager Kevin Finney, “VenturCom’s software is providing a significant enhancement to our operations and security. Our ability to control classified data in a manner that’s virtually transparent to our engineers and staff without any additional hardware is vastly improved. We’ve struggled with the problem for years, and BXP is the right solution.”

VenturCom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis said, “for the last two years we have worked very closely with the Technical Managers and Engineers at Y-12 to develop, and then perfect, this solution. BXP/Secure has been thoroughly tested and retested. We’re now at the stage where we can roll it out to other government agencies and also to the thousands of companies that have information security needs and that want to cut their technology costs. The DOE’s “Work for Others” program will be a particularly effective way for companies to evaluate BXP/Secure.”

The Y-12 National Security Complex sought to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of removable write-enabled storage devices from classified workstations at its Oak Ridge, TN, facility because many workstations use removable hard disks that must be strictly controlled in order to maintain security standards.

These secure workstations, located in non-vault-type areas, cannot contain fixed, write-enabled storage devices and the use of removable drives and other media created logistical and operational challenges – primarily the risk of unauthorized transfer of classified data to unclassified computer systems.

In addition to providing the necessary level of security, Y-12 wanted a solution that would eliminate the cumbersome and resource-intensive process of sanitizing workstations that contained removable hard drives.

Y-12 Technical Engineering’s research identified VenturCom’s BXP software as a potential solution, but additional security features were needed. Guided by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) cyber-security requirements, Y-12 and VenturCom technical and engineering teams worked to develop the specifications and requirements for a secure version of BXP. The resulting product, VenturCom’s BXP/Secure, meets NNSA ‘s very stringent cyber-security requirements at Y-12 and allows Y-12 to provide users with the workstation speed and computing power they need while eliminating persistent storage.

Diskless PCs have been available for more than two decades and businesses have long coveted the significant benefits that can be achieved by running diskless – better back up, better security, and much better management control to name a few. However, the difficult economics of the diskless PC infrastructure, mainly slow network speeds and prohibitive network storage costs, have prevented widespread adoption.

The business case for the Y-12/VenturCom collaboration is directly related to the elimination of costs associated with the overhead of classified workstations that had local write-enabled media. The economic, operational and security benefits include:

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