The National Security Agency was selected from more than 100 nominees for a 2015 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, a recognition that is among the most coveted in the field. NSA's transfer of a wireless intrusion-detection system to the commercial marketplace - the reason for the award - reflects the agency's commitment to advancing the state of the art in cybersecurity.
The system was created in 2006 by Kristen Matlock, who then worked in NSA's Research Directorate. The solution she developed continuously protects government systems from potential threats that could come from WiFi channels. Traditional wireless intrusion-detection systems hop channels, leaving networks periodically exposed to undetected attacks. The agency's Technology Transfer Program (TTP) released the solution in September 2013 through an exclusive patent license agreement with Integrata Security, which went on to develop an application for high-risk industries such as banking.
"This prestigious award highlights the exceptional collaboration that occurred between NSA, academic institutions, and state organizations to transfer a technology from the lab to the market," said Linda Burger, NSA Technology Transfer Program Director.
NSA TTP facilitates the sharing of innovations and capabilities between NSA, industry, academia, and other federal agencies. The federally mandated program also brokers collaborative agreements that protect intellectual property, advance time-sensitive mission requirements, and drive economic growth.
Patent license agreements are the primary tool that federal and other technology transfer offices use to release technology. At NSA, proposed agreements undergo a rigorous review process. On the whole, the agency aims to raise standards for commercial technology so government users can eventually acquire high-quality, secure solutions from the private sector. The award highlights the value of federal technology-transfer initiatives.
NSA's program responds to President Obama's "2015 Cross-Agency Priority" goal to increase the economic impact of federally funded research and development. More information about NSA TTP is available online. The complete list of 2015 winners of the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology is also available online.