Anti-cybercrime software mimics DNA matching process

1 min read

A Scottish university spin-out has attracted £170,000 of funding to commercialise an anti-cybercrime software based on the same algorithms for DNA sequence analysis.

Inquisitive Systems, which spun-out of Edinburgh Napier University, has attracted the funding from private investors as well as a SMART:Scotland award and Seed funding package, both from Scottish Enterprise.

Dr Jamie Graves, chief executive and co-founder of Inquisitive Systems, said the software, dubbed GuardInQ, differs to other anti-cybercrime technology because it continuously, rather than intermittently, monitors the activity of secure computer network systems.

‘Up until now that has been really hard to do because that produces an awful lot of data and if you try to do it in the way our competitors do, it would be drinking from the fire hose,’ he said.

Inquisitive Systems’ biologically inspired software digitally mimics the DNA matching process used in the real world. The software tracks the sequence of events that follow a hacker’s first access request into a secure network system and creates a ‘digital fingerprint’.

Graves said the fingerprint can be traced back to the cybercriminal. Within seconds the hacker can be blocked from attaining further access to the system, he said, and the GuardInQ analysis program will determine whether private information has been compromised or malicious software has been uploaded.

The recent funding from SMART:Scotland, which provided £70,000, is being directed towards a research and development feasibility study with a test partner, a financial organisation based in Edinburgh.

It is expected that Inquisitive Systems will be in a position to sell its products to market within the next six months.

Graves said the company will initially target cloud computing systems, which are notoriously difficult to secure. Eventually, he said, the company would like to expand into homeland security and government markets.