Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cray and Deloitte Join Supercomputing with Security-as-a-Service 

When cyber-criminals look at your network, what do they see? Providing the adversary's perspective on computing infrastructures they're intent on attacking is a core concept of a new "cyber reconnaissance" capability that combines the supercomputing of Cray Inc. and the Deloitte Advisory Cyber Risk Services.

According to the two companies, the service is capable of rapidly ingesting, analyzing and issuing reporting based on data sets scaling up to 50 terabytes.

Deborah Golden, federal cyber risk services leader for Deloitte Advisory and principal at Deloitte & Touche LLP, told EnterpriseTech the service was designed around the new computing paradigm of large, data-intensive organizations, including more interoperability, the shift from physical to virtual spaces, the adoption of the cloud and off-premises data centers, and widespread use of remote devices. Dynamic interconnections among entities (e.g., third parties, customers and the public) encourage free flow of data where the “system boundaries” are often beyond an organization’s physical walls. Data is generated and stored at a much faster rate than it can be analyzed, leaving open opportunities for malicious content to hide and maneuver undetected.

Deloitte logo"As you look at changes in the infrastructure, we're now looking at a much broader attack surface," Golden said. "The different types of vectors and vulnerabilities really create a very complex environment that is causing us to rethink how we look at the traditional adversary and the threats that might be occurring. We're also looking at magnitudes of data, exponentially larger amounts of data, that we simply couldn't process in a timely manner.... So it's a compelling thing for us with Cray and the infrastructure they provide. It's truly the HPC capability to do that."

The service is powered by Cray Urika systems, a series of Cray’s analytics platform that can handle multiple analytics workloads concurrently, enabling Deloitte to deliver analytics to several clients using the same system. The joint venture with Deloitte is the first time Cray has sold computing resources as-a-service.

The Urika is pre-integrated with the Hortonworks Data Platform providing Hadoop and Apache Spark, as well as the Cray Graph Engine, designed for large and complex graph analytics problems. It includes Intel Xeon Broadwell cores, 22 terabytes of memory, 35 terabytes of local SSD storage capacity, and the Aries supercomputing interconnect.

Golden said threats that had taken days or weeks to analyze can now be processed in hours, enabling companies to anticipate threats before an attack is successfully launched.

Deloitte said the service is in use by remediation teams at the Department of Defense to analyze potential threat vectors and identify specific flows, network locations, times and events. “We are leveraging Deloitte Advisory's Cyber Reconnaissance service to enable large scale cyber data analytics to more proactively defend our networks and support critical national missions,” said Clayton Jones, USPACOM J6 senior advisor and strategic cyber integrator.

Barry Bolding, chief strategy officer at Cray, told EnterpriseTech that Cray and Delloite have been working on the joint program for about a year.

"We're able to leverage Cray's unique platforms...that bring a unique ability to process large volumes of data very quickly, the ability to store all that data in memory, to be able to do search and discovery against that data," he said. "We're bringing supercomputing technologies to bear on one of the most complex and timely problems that we see today."

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