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NASA’s Martian autonomous cybersecurity defence test is a resounding success



In time most cybersecurity systems will have to be autonomous in order to keep pace with the attacks, and this fully autonomous IOT trial was a resounding success.


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NXM Labs, a self professed leader in advanced cybersecurity software for connected devices, announced this week that it’s released the latest version of its NXM Autonomous Security Platform that prevents hackers from gaining unauthorized access to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. And in case you’re asking why that might be newsworthy well, as we head into a world where Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the machines take over control for defending – and attacking – our mission critical systems and devices in this case it’s the autonomous capability that’s got people interested. Especially NASA


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Tested in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) NXM successfully demonstrated the ability of its ground-breaking technology to enable future Mars rovers to automatically defend themselves and recover from cyberattacks – a world first.

Caltech manages JPL on behalf of NASA.


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NXM’s engineers worked with JPL’s AI, Analytics and Innovation Division, and Information Technology and Solutions Directorate (ITSD) along with the Robotic Surface Mobility Group in Pasadena to integrate the company’s software with the navigation and ground control systems of JPL’s self-driving Athena test rover.

During testing, NXM’s software successfully detected unauthorized attempts to gain access to the rover’s autonomous navigation systems and then automatically protected the vehicle from harm in real-time without impacting its normal driving operations.


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Tests also showed that NXM’s platform was capable of securing millions of devices with virtually no impact on network latency and that it was able to operate up to 1000x faster than other decentralized platforms previously tested by the US Department of Defense under simulated battlefield conditions.

“NXM’s technology is game-changing,” said Lt. General Harry Raduege, USAF, the CIO for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Space Command.

“NXM provides a new layer of cybersecurity that enables unified command and control, as well as data interoperability, providing an unprecedented capability that we have long sought but until now wasn’t possible,” he added.

The Athena test rover was developed by JPL as part of NASA’s High Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) program to develop new computing technologies with vastly more capabilities than current spaceflight computers. JPL engineers harnessed the advanced computing power of the rover’s off the shelf NVIDIA Jetson edge AI platform to develop innovative machine learning based applications for future Mars rovers. This includes AI software that identifies objects of scientific interest as a vehicle traverses the Martian terrain, using vision based navigation and path planning software to significantly increase the driving distances of energy limited rovers.


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“We’re thrilled to have collaborated with NASA JPL to show how our security can protect critical assets in space as well as here on Earth,” said Scott Rankine, NXM’s President and Co-founder. “Our unique zero-trust and zero-touch security software is chip and cloud agnostic, enabling device manufacturers and their component suppliers to easily and cost-effectively develop the industry’s most trustworthy products that can be deployed rapidly and remain secure for their entire operating lifetime.”

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