RedPhone Security awarded $1.5m contract by US Navy

by Mike Bollinger


RedPhone Security, a St. Paul-based information security research and development startup, has been awarded a $1.5MM Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract by the US Navy.

RedPhone Security researches and develops computer systems for highly secure networking environments, typically used in military installations. The company was founded by Minnesota-native Mark Brown in 2005 with the goal of solving the problem of trust for Internet-based transactions. “Our goal,”  said Mark, “is transforming mere information into an authorized action at a remote location.” According to Mark, the challenge lies in accomplishing this goal in a way that is secure against highly motivated and well-funded attackers.

The 1.5MM awarded contract will be used to develop secure technology for a project called Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). The JTRS provides a wireless network to US and allied forces. RedPhone will develop both a semiconductor implementation (i.e. the hardware) and the device drivers and administrative user interface (i.e. the software) to securely and efficiently change radio channels within a multi-level secure operating context.

This is not the first contract RedPhone Security has received from SBIR. In 2006 the company was awarded $100,000 in its first Small Business Innovation Research award from the US Navy Space and Warfare (SPAWAR) Command. Since then, they received a Phase II award and an option award (multi-year extensions of that contract) to create cross-domain and multi-level secure products. This new $1.5MM Phase II SBIR contract extends and applies their previous Phase II SBIR research.

RedPhone plans to demonstrate a PC-compatible prototype developed with these funds in the fourth quarter of 2011 and to launch a JTRS AMF-compatible device and remote administration solution the following year.