On Tuesday, VIA, a Massachusetts startup that has developed blockchain-based artificial intelligence (AI) security solutions for the energy industry, announced that its core software application, JARVIS, has been awarded Platform One cybersecurity accreditation by the U.S. Department of Defense.
According to the company, multiple users in two separate groups at one of the largest U.S. expeditionary bases under U.S. Central Command have been using JARVIS for nearly a year, in use cases from building maintenance and HVAC, utilities, plumbing, to more advanced satellite imagery applications such as mission readiness on base roads and runways. To date, JARVIS has supported over $200 million in base operation decisions.
Because VIA’s software is blockchain based, sensitive data can be analyzed securely on premise, or on Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services or through an open-source Kubernetes platform cluster. Thanks in large part to its new Platform One accreditation, VIA software can now be used to work with and analyze data up to the Top Secret U.S. security classification level.
“Since the evolution of cybersecurity threats is accelerating, we believe that making a substantial investment to achieve and maintain Platform One accreditation is the best way to ensure VIA upholds the highest level of cybersecurity protection for our DOD and commercial customers,” said Joe Babiec, VIA’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives. “The accreditation gives DOD customers confidence that JARVIS can scale to improve mission readiness at bases and airfields globally.”
News of the DoD accreditation comes two months after VIA’s announcement of a $10 million Series A investment, which more than doubled its valuation, led by energy VC fund Westly Group, deep-tech venture capital fund Prefix Capital, and an unnamed top-five Silicon Valley-based enterprise software company. The company said the capital round would be used to fuel its next phase of growth, particularly in the U.S. and in Western Europe, where it currently has offices in Denmark and Switzerland.
“We founded VIA because of the urgent need for AI in the energy space. The grid simply cannot adopt 100 percent clean technologies without AI. Data access and privacy were always major hurdles – until VIA,” VIA CEO Colin Gounden said when the round was formally announced in May. “This investment will help us meet the exponentially growing customer demand for our platform in the power sector.”
The company’s current roster of commercial customers includes utilities ConEd, Enel and Hawaiian Electric, and the company has an ongoing evaluation with EPRI, a consortium of more than 400 utilities.
Meanwhile, VIA’s commercial customers will also benefit from the new cybersecurity upgrade, as smart city and infrastructure managers for roads, airports, and commercial buildings are increasingly the target of cybersecurity attacks.
“In mission critical environments where every second counts, we have to ensure that software and updates can deploy fast — in hours, not years — while maintaining the highest level of cybersecurity,” said Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer of the U.S. Air Force and co-lead of the DOD’s Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative.
“We’re excited to welcome VIA onto Platform One, especially as AI and data privacy technologies remain among the DOD’s highest priority technologies,” he added.