Correction: This version of this story removes erroneous information provided by the company on the creator of the SITH contract.
WASHINGTON — Torch.AI, a data infrastructure artificial intelligence company, said it won a multi-million dollar contract to support the Pentagon’s efforts to combat insider threats.
The Pentagon will use the company’s NEXUS software to implement the capability, called the System for Insider Threat Hindrance, or SITH, an apparent Pentagon reference to the “Star Wars” film franchise. SITH aims to track insider threat risks and bring awareness to them before they become detrimental to the department.
The exact value of the contract was not disclosed, however, representatives from the Leawood, Kansas-based company valued the contract at “multiple millions” of dollars. A Pentagon spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for information.
“There are few situations where the quality and availability of data is more important than cyber and insider threat,” said Brian Weaver, the CEO of Torch.AI, in an Aug. 10 statement. “It’s a huge problem. It’s getting worse every day.”
Insider threats within public and private sector organizations pose a particular threat amid rising cyber crimes against companies and organizations. Insiders are responsible for around 22% of security incidents, according to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report.
Using machine learning and AI, NEXUS combines government and commercial datasets and makes the data machine-readable without human intervention.
David Kervin, the company’s chief solutions officer, said in an interview with C4ISRNET that the process aids the defense department in terms of speed, costs and accuracy. Not only does AI sort data at a faster rate than other technologies, but data sorted via AI is also more accurate, he said.
“An AI can actually perform above 100%,” he said, adding that “as long as the electricity is on, that machine is working for you.”
The NEXUS software also “objectizes” data, which reduces the size of the data to make it more usable. Rather than having a 10-gigabyte PDF, Kervin explained that AI can reduce the file size and extract all the relevant knowledge from the document.
Once NEXUS makes the information usable, the data sets exist in a data mesh, or “data ecosystem” that’s intelligent, meaning that the software knows where there are duplicates and what is the easiest pathway to get to the information the user needs.
Catherine Buchaniec is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where she covers artificial intelligence, cyber warfare and uncrewed technologies.