DOE-developed network monitoring tech licensed for commercial use

Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

A software tool developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be sold by a company based in Atlanta, according to the lab.

The app, called FLOWER, which stands for Network FLOW AnalyzER, collects two-way network conversations between computers to help blunt cyberattacks, according to the lab.

PNNL officials said in a July 19 statement that FLOWER has been incorporated into other Department of Energy cyber tools to help staunch the thousands of attempted cyberattacks the agency’s facilities face every  day.

zSofTech Solutions, an Atlanta-based provider of cyber software, data analytics tools, artificial intelligence and infrastructure and cloud management solutions, has licensed the technology, it said.

The app uses a “passive network tap” that can be located within an enterprise to look for suspicious network flow patterns and computer interactions, PNNL said. It can deconstruct packet header data and remember up to 1 million packet headers every second, according to the lab.

FLOWER doesn’t look to see what’s inside the data packet, however. It leverages other means to determine whether the contents are suspicious, according to the lab, which didn’t specify the exact techniques.

The software was tagged by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Transition to Practice Program as a likely candidate for commercialization, PNNL said.

FLOWER, according to the lab, is the 10th technology commercialized through TTP, which selects fewer than a dozen technologies per year as likely commercialization candidates. The program exposes the chosen tech to possible investors or companies that can turn the innovations into commercial products or services.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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