Security vendor caters to new mission

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Terry Flyntz is counting on one thing when it comes to selling technology to the federal government — the fear that people can't be trusted.

His small Annapolis, Md.-based company, Secured Processing Inc., is developing a device that would be installed on computers to prevent insider threats to a network. The hardware uses a smart card to authenticate a user's identity and sets up that computer according to the user's access privileges.

In many facilities, networks that have different security levels must be accessed through different computers to keep secret information confined to machines with more security than those that can access unclassified data. Secured Processing's smart card-based Sentinel Cyber Security System allows the same computer to get data from more than one network.

The product carries an obvious economic appeal by cutting the number of computers

an agency needs and the amount of space required to house them.

Like many companies, Secured Processing's focus changed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said Flyntz, the company's chief executive officer. Although he had always planned to sell to the government market, his initial idea was to appeal to agencies' desire for simplicity and reduced system upkeep.

But after the attacks, Flyntz refocused his five-person company on the specter of an insider threat. The same system that streamlines access to data also locks out unauthorized users. Flyntz decided the new awareness of the terrorism threat and emphasis on security gave his technology an even better pitch.

"After [Sept. 11], the insider threat got a lot of notice," he said. "Somebody infiltrates your facility and it gives them the ability to jump on the network and do damage."

The National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have validated the technology, Flyntz said.

Secured Processing, which is part of the Chesapeake Innovation Center, an incubator focused on homeland security technologies, is close to completing development of the device. Officials hope to start producing it this year and are also working on tweaking the product for laptops and handheld devices.

Flyntz said officials with the Navy Marine Corps Intranet program are considering using the hardware, and the company is also in talks with the Air Force, and the Justice and Energy departments.

Secured Processing has spent about $1 million to develop the product. The funding has come mostly from other companies, including Delta Security Technologies Inc. and Diversified Technologies Inc.

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