AT&T [T] recently joined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) EINSTEIN 3 Accelerated (E3A) federal civilian government cybersecurity program, the company said Wednesday.
Christopher Smith, vice president for technology at AT&T Government Solutions, said DHS awarded AT&T a contract to provide Intrusion Prevention Security Services (IPSS), another name for the E3A program protection, for federal civilian agencies in a blog post.
“Like our Enhanced Cybersecurity Services, the IPSS platform detects potential email threats and blocks attempts to divert users’ computers to unsafe websites. We expect to have our initial IPSS countermeasures ready this year to help protect government data and .gov websites against cyber-attack,” Smith said.
The EINSTEIN program is meant to guard the perimeter of an agency network, akin to a gateway and perimeter scanners. It watches who enters a network whereas DHS’ sister program, the Continuous Diagnostic and Monitoring (CDM) program, monitors within networks for vulnerabilities and suspicious behavior, after a bad actor may have breached the perimeter.
E3A, the latest version of the EINSTEIN system, adds to the first and second phases. EINSTEIN 1 serves and records basic information about entry and exit to a network, akin to a camera. EINSTEIN 2 detects known prohibited adversaries and alert personnel. E3A resides with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that serve the federal government and uses classified information to both identify and block known malicious traffic.
AT&T compared its E3A contribution to its Enhanced Cybersecurity Services product available to commercial customers. This product contains an email filtering feature that scans inbound emails and attachments and compares the data against known threats. It also protects against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and includes a Domain Name “sinkholing” feature that blocks attempts to divert users’ computers to unsafe websites.
AT&T highlighted its previous accreditation in the DHS Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program. ECS allows voluntary information sharing involving sensitive and classified information to assist U.S.-based public and private entities from unauthorized access, exploitation, and data exfiltration. AT&T’s participation in ECS is currently used to strengthen its Enhanced Cybersecurity Services product, the company said.
“Today, information is currency, power, and advantage. The combination of government threat information and commercial threat indicators boosts our ability to help the federal government and businesses in their ongoing fight against cyber threats,” Smith added.
AT&T joins major internet service providers Verizon [VZ] and CenturyLink [CTL] in the E3A program.