The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is committed to identifying innovative approaches from promising small businesses to help address homeland security needs. Our success stories highlight companies that have made lasting impacts to our nation with successful technological innovations through the DHS SBIR Program. These examples showcase a number of small businesses from around the nation that have worked with S&T to develop and support the technology needs of our nation and homeland security end-users.
Recent Success Stories
- Identifying Vulnerabilities in Mobile Threat Detection Technologies - Data breaches have been gaining considerable attention in recent years with more occurring due to firmware or hardware vulnerabilities, including on mobile devices. In response to the DHS SBIR Automated & Scalable Analysis of Mobile & internet of things (IoT) Device Firmware (H-SB018.1-008) solicitation topic, mobile-security firm Quokka, Inc. (formerly Kryptowire), of McLean, Virginia, developed SAFARI: Scalable Analysis of Firmware for Android and IOS. SAFARI makes it possible to identify firmware vulnerabilities at a large scale by automatically testing the security of mobile and IoT firmware and applications to the highest of government and industry software assurance standards. Quokka, Inc. is dedicated to continuing research and development to update and advance technology to meet national security needs.
- Authenticating Calls in Real Time to Combat Spoofing - Call spoofing in which callers pretend to be government employees or financial service representatives and mislead victims into providing personal information or make payments have become a scourge on the American public while enabling a long list of illegal activities from impersonation attacks to account takeovers and financial fraud. In response to the DHS SBIR Do Not Spoof Services for Modern Telephony (H-SB017.1-003) solicitation topic, SecureLogix of San Antonio, Texas, developed a call authentication service to stop Caller ID Spoofing by auto-authenticating calls in real time. Today, their solution is a commercially successful product with industry customers, including Verizon and AT&T.
- Protecting Emergency Systems from Cybersecurity Attacks - Americans have been trained to dial 911 in case of emergency – but what happens in the event of a cybersecurity attack that renders emergency systems useless? Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks render emergency systems unavailable by saturating them with bogus calls, potentially causing great harm to those who require urgent first responder attention. In response to the DHS SBIR Enhanced Distributed Denial of Service Defense (H-SB015.1-003) solicitation topic, SecureLogix of San Antonio, Texas, developed Call Secure, a managed service that provides security protection to mitigate TDoS attacks by authenticating calls and helping to defeat fraudulent call spoofing, shifting the advantage from TDoS attackers to network administrators.
- Protecting Networks with Cyber Threat Intelligence Enforcement - Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) refers to a dynamic, adaptive technology that leverages large-scale threat history data to proactively block and remediate future malicious attacks on a network. As the threat continues to evolve, current security technologies are quickly becoming outdated. In response to the DHS SBIR Large-Scale Network Survivability, Rapid Recovery, and Reconstitution (H-SB010.2-003) solicitation topic, Centripetal of Reston, Virginia, developed a disruptive solution to augment the CTI cycle with machine intelligence to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs of cybersecurity analysis.
- Sensor Processing for Screening at Speed - May 2023 - The Apex Screening at Speed program fuses data from multiple sensor technologies and algorithms to detect potential threats in real time. The success of the program hinges on the fusion of data across multiple sensors to provide robust detection with no false negatives and few false positives. In response to the DHS SBIR Sensor Processing for Screening at Speed (DHS SBIR-2018.OATS-18.OATS-004-0001-II) solicitation topic, Accipiter Systems, Inc. of Wexford, PA, developed a solution that eliminates multiple levels of translation between compute and storage devices.
Past Success Stories
- Real-Time Authentication to Counter Caller ID Spoofing – June 2020 - The shift from land-line phones to mobile devices and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has enabled new types of call spoofing where an adversary appears to be coming from a trusted number but in fact has no relationship to that number or location. In response to the DHS SBIR Do Not Spoof Services for Modern Telephony (H-SB017.1-003) solicitation topic, Illuma Labs of Plano, Texas, developed an audio authentication technology that secures voice communications by verifying the identities of inbound callers in real-time.
- Hazardous Gases and Particulate Matter Detector – June 2020 - Fire Investigators and other first responders involved in a post-fire investigation require the ability to detect, monitor, and analyze the potential hazard fire gases and particulates could pose to the health of the first responders at the scene. In response to the DHS SBIR Field Detection and Analysis for Fire Gases and Particulates (H-SB014.2-006) solicitation topic, N5 Sensors, of Rockville, Maryland, developed an ultra-small, low-cost hazardous gas and particulate matter detector using novel chip-scale chemical sensor technology that can be used by firefighters.
- Code Ray: Software Assurance Risk Management Framework for Hybrid Analysis Mapping – Organizations need an automated security management system to efficiently and quickly detect security vulnerabilities in software applications. In response to the DHS SBIR Hybrid Analysis Mapping (H-SB013.1-002) solicitation topic, Applied Visions of Northport, New York, developed Code Ray, a software assurance risk management technology that improves the speed, accuracy and confidence in detection of vulnerabilities and source code weaknesses.
- Portable Imager for Stand-off Detection of Person-Borne Bulk Military and Homemade Explosives – The ability to safely detect concealed explosives on a person is a critical need for protecting the public. In response to the DHS SBIR Safe Standoff Detection of Bulk Explosives on a Person (H-SB012.1-003) solicitation topic, Polestar Technologies, Inc. of Needham Heights, Massachusetts, developed a portable system for stand-off detection of concealed explosives to detect and identify different types of explosives.
- Lost Person Locator for First Responders – Actions taken by First Responders in the initial stages of searching can impact the probability of exposure and time-related risks for the “lost person.” In response to the DHS SBIR Lost Person Locator for First Responders (H-SB013.2-003) solicitation topic, dbS Productions of Charlottesville, Virginia, developed an innovative and life-saving software application that enables first responders to easily see a heat map showing the area of probability for the missing person.
In 2016, the DHS SBIR Program compiled a series of success stories into one brochure highlighting companies that have made lasting impacts in the fields of particulate analysis, situational awareness, emergency management, and other important technological innovations. Learn more about our past success stories!