ATLANTA—Venafi, a privately held cybersecurity company, has signed a $79,000, one-year contract with Georgia State University’s Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBC) to search the dark web for activity that has the potential to impact its clients’ machine identities.
“Venafi’s concern is how the vast expansion of machines used around the world is impacting the security of machine-to-machine communications,” says criminologist David Maimon, director of the ECB and a NextGen associate professor in Georgia’s new Cyber Training Center. “They want us to find interesting things on the dark net, things they can develop protections against, and share that knowledge with them.”
Venafi protects and secures machine identities by developing software to secure the cryptographic keys and digital certificates that authorize and control all machine-to-machine connections and communications. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, it has offices in California, the United Kingdom, Finland and Australia. Per its website, Venafi “protects machine identities for the largest companies on the planet,” the Global 5000.
The Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group is made up of faculty experts from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the Department of Computer Science in Georgia State’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Computer Information Science in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business.
“This is the first research contract signed with our three-month-old research group,” says Maimon. “As word of our unique evidence-based cybersecurity research grows, we are ready to sign and execute many more such contracts, with startups and up to the world’s largest firms.”