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    Date submitted
  • 16-Mar-2018



Polywall, or Polymorphic Firewall, is a cyber security app that eliminates malicious web traffic. By denying the IP addresses of known malicious entities’ inbound or outbound connections, Polywall seeks to massively reduce the impact botnets, ransomware, and viruses have on businesses and users. Polywall denies all inbound and outbound traffic to countries that users do not reside in, extinguishing mass-attacks from countries such as Russia, China, and Romania. Near-future implementations of Polywall will use machine learning and big data algorithms to identify malicious traffic per individual user, utilizing behavioral analysis techniques to identify patterns and remove traffic outliers. Polywall hosts a local VPN server on the user's device, routing all traffic to itself to cut off malicious access before it has a chance to even perform reconnaissance. Polywall is a turn-key solution to an endlessly changing horizon of new and constant security threats. With the tap of a button, Polywall denies hackers and malicious actors access to the device. Polywall boasts a simple user interface, with bleeding-edge technology to fend off a new wave of cyber security dangers.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

At its core, Polywall is a simple, one-tap app that reduces as many internet threats as possible while maintaining a clean, minimalist profile that appeals to all users, no matter their knowledge in IT or information/cyber security. Polywall is customer-facing, with a target audience of young, tech-savvy adults, those of which download similar software such as Adblockers. As Polywall grows, we will look to adapt our products to other businesses that can utilize a AI-powered cyber security solution to protect their corporate network and business assets. The AI and machine learning tools Polywall will implement were invented in the 80s, but have only recently picked up speed as the technology and processing power required of these tools have only recently come to fruition. With new technological and computational demands, these tools have remained in the hands of gigantic tech corporations with the financial capabilities to pursue these endeavors. Polywall will utilize open-source and local processing power to reduce these costs to a fraction of what competitors are paying, if not no cost at all. In doing so, we dramatically broaden the range for our target audience, as we can pursue any customer base we choose. Due to competitors focusing on the B2B market, Polywall will primarily be customer-facing, providing easy to use applications for the every-day user.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Polywall solves the always changing cyber security threat that plagues modern technology. According to Vint Cerf, the “father” of the internet and co-developer of the TCP/IP protocol, of the 600 million computers that are connected to the internet, up to 150 million are part of botnets. Botnets are networks of computers infected with malicious software that are controlled as a group without the user’s knowledge. With the FBI’s report of 18 botnet infections per second, this digital terror is growing at break-neck speeds. To prevent this, Polywall monitors feeds of known malicious IP addresses, and uses a local VPN, or virtual private network, to cut off any inbound or outbound connections. While traditional antivirus solutions just scan files to find similar code as known malicious software, Polywall will implement a new method of malware detection known as data mining analysis. By implementing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms and models, Polywall will be able to match these rising cyber security threats, by fighting fire with fire. As malicious actors start to make the move to offensive AI tools to perform their hacking operations, cyber security companies must also provide similar defensive AI tools to combat threats.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The current tools Polywall implements will stop traffic to and from countries outside of the user’s origin, as well as to known malicious entities. In the near future, Polywall will be using machine learning and other AI tools to combat the rising, ever-changing cyber security threats. As hackers start to introduce tools from their own AI cyber arsenal, antivirus companies will need to make the switch to a polymorphic solution that can match the capabilities of adversaries. An ever-changing answer to an ever-changing problem, Polywall will be one of the first consumer-facing AI cyber security companies. While most AI-capable CyberSec companies in the market right now are focusing their product lines towards companies and businesses, Polywall will place its sights on delivering an easy to use application for the every-day computer user.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Taran Knowles, cofounder of Polywall, is a graduating FAU student with a degree in Management Information Systems and a concentration in Information Security. With experience in information security and AI, Taran has learned how the industries work, and provides key insight into the development process of Polywall. As an Eagle Scout and Petty Officer First Class with the Naval Sea Cadets, Taran has had a decade experience in leadership and public speaking roles, formally taught through numerous seminars and training camps. With this experience, coupled with an IT and AI background, Taran can communicate ideas, applications, and developments, and lead Polywall to new heights. Taran is knowledgeable in Python, Java, C, SQL, and automation apps/languages such as Selenium and SikuliX. He has also taken classes at FAU that will contribute to the success of Polywall, such as Information System Security, Management Information Assurance Security, and Computer Forensics. As a student at FAU, Taran was involved with MPCR, or Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics, and was team lead of Animus, an AI research project that reduced injuries and corrected workout technique. Shawn Martin, cofounder of Polywall, is graduating FAU with a degree in Computer Science. At FAU, Shawn earned the rank of President of FAU’s Artificial Intelligence research lab, MPCR, or Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics. With MPCR, Shawn has published a research paper detailing his building of a fully autonomous, self-driving rover platform. As team leader of the rover platform, Shawn gained valuable experience in utilizing machine learning models and AI techniques that will be implemented in Polywall’s second phase. Shawn has worked at both start-ups and big companies, experiencing both sides of the tech company coin. This provides perspective into the growing tech industry, and will be imperative to Polywall’s long-term success. Shawn has a diverse programming skillset, including Python, Java, C/C++, C#, Powershell, Node.js, as well as experience with productivity apps and collaboration tools such as Git, JIRA, Confluence, and Perforce. With backgrounds in information security, computer science, and artificial intelligence, Polywall is the corner stone of which years of research and experience went to build. Polywall will succeed because traditional antiviruses use outdated techniques to prevent against intrusions, with some antiviruses themselves exhibiting similarities to the same malware they were sold on protecting against. Polywall will succeed because it fills a market need for a simple antimalware solution that uses advanced artificial intelligence techniques to provide a higher degree of accuracy, tailored to individual users. By removing the one-size-fits-all approach that most antiviruses usually implement, Polywall will be able to stop more threats while taking up less system resources due to lightweight, local tools. Polywall, or Polymorphic Algorithm, will apply cutting edge AI techniques historically reserved for research institutions and tech giants, and provide them to the everyday user. While other cyber security companies solely target B2B markets, Polywall will penetrate consumer markets, delivering a simple, advanced, lightweight, and accurate anti-malware solution to everybody.