Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience North America

Nate Evans

Dr Nathaniel Evans
Cyber Operations, Analysis and Research Lead
Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Nathaniel Evans currently serves as the lead for the Cyber Operations, Analysis and Research group at Argonne National Laboratory. Nate received his Doctorate in Computer Engineering with a specialty in Cybersecurity from Iowa State University.

Prior to joining Argonne, Nate managed cybersecurity and cyber defense activities at several private-sector companies. He is considered a key asset by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in several cybersecurity capabilities including the development of a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment for field use, analysis of cybersecurity consequence and threat studies, and leading the pilot cyber-physical regional assessment.

Nate has also developed a patent pending operational instance of moving target defense (MTD) and has worked in a variety of other cybersecurity research areas including transportation, satellite communications, social engineering, and offensive cybersecurity.

He has taught computer networking and cybersecurity issues to students in Senegal, Africa, through the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Next Einstein Initiative, a collaboration with the University of Chicago, Argonne and other institutions. He also led the development of Argonne’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, drawing college students from across the Nation, in the defense of realistic attacks on simulated critical infrastructure.

Presentation: Multiple OS Rotational Environment Moving Target Defense as a Proactive Defense against Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

Cyber-attacks continue to pose a major threat to existing critical infrastructure. Although suggestions for defensive strategies abound, Moving Target Defense (MTD) has only recently gained attention as a possible solution for mitigating cyber-attacks. Our Multiple Operating System Rotational Environment MTD (MORE MTD) solution utilizes existing technology to provide a feasible dynamic defense solution that can be deployed easily in a real networking environment. The main goal of MORE MTD is to reduce the number of zero-day exploits on critical infrastructure. While there is no way to eliminate zero day vulnerabilities, our test results show that platform diversity and rotation offer improved security which drastically reduces the ability to exploit those vulnerabilities. The likelihood of a successful attack against a known vulnerability decreases proportionally with the time between rotations and any downtime to the secured application in the event of a successful attack is limited to that same time window.