TIS Labs

This article is about the computer security company Trusted Information Systems, Inc.. For other uses, see Trusted Information Systems (disambiguation).
Trusted Information Systems, Inc.
Public (Former Nasdaq symbol:TISX)
Industry Computer software
Computer security
Fate Acquired by McAfee, later by SPARTA, Inc., which was acquired by Cobham, plc
Successor(s) McAfee
Founded 1983
Founder(s) Stephen T. Walker
Headquarters Glenwood, Maryland, United States
Area served Worldwide
Products Firewall Software

Trusted Information Systems (TIS) was a computer security research and development company during the 1980s and 1990s, performing computer and communications (information) security research for organizations such as NSA, DARPA, ARL, AFRL, SPAWAR, and others.

TIS was founded in 1983 by Washington D.C. suburbs, a small office building was constructed on land next to Walker's new home on Rt 97.

TIS projects included Trusted Xenix, the first commercially available B2 operating system; Trusted Mach, a research project that influenced DTOS and eventually SELinux; Domain and Type Enforcement (TE) which likewise influenced SELinux; the fwtk Firewall Toolkit (the first open source firewall software), which evolved into the Gauntlet Firewall, one of the first commercial firewall products; and a broad range of Internet Standards, including S/MIME, SNMP, DNS, DNSSEC, and many others.

The first whitehouse.gov e-mail server was located at their headquarters.

TIS's operating system work directly affected BSD/OS, which the Gauntlet Firewall was based on, as well as Linux, FreeBSD, Darwin, and others.

The company went public in 1996[1] and soon afterwards attempted to acquire PGP Inc.; it was instead acquired in 1998 by Network Associates (NAI), which later became McAfee, who had already bought PGP in 1997. The security research organization became NAI Labs and the Gauntlet engineering and development organization was folded into Network Associates' engineering and development.

NAI Labs went through a couple of branding changes which complemented Network Associates' branding efforts. In 2001 the name was changed to Network Associates Laboratories to better match the corporate identity. Then, in 2002-2003, there was a major branding initiative by Network Associates culminating in selection of the flag brand, McAfee. As a result, the security research organization became McAfee Research.

In 2003, SPARTA, Inc., an employee-owned company, acquired the Network Security branch of McAfee Research.

In 2005, SPARTA acquired the remaining branches of McAfee Research, which were organized into the Security Research Division (SRD) of the Information Systems Security Operation (ISSO).

In 2008, Cobham, plc, a British aerospace company, acquired SPARTA. There have been no organizational changes to SRD or ISSO that affect the security research.

On a separate path, TIS's primary commercial product, the Gauntlet Firewall, was acquired in 1999 from McAfee by Secure Computing Corporation (SCC), that used to be one of TIS's major competitors, because at the time McAfee wasn't interested in being a firewall vendor. The code base was integrated with Secure Computing's firewall product and branded Sidewinder Firewall, which then returned to McAfee when Secure Computing was acquired by them in 2008, and re-branded McAfee Enterprise Firewall. The end of this product line came in 2013, following McAfee's acquisition of another major firewall vendor, Finland-based Stonesoft. McAfee announced in October 2013 the intention to migrate their existing installed base of firewalls to Stonesoft's own Stonegate.

External links

  • LinkedIn Alumni Group
  • Firewall Toolkit Archive
  • Stephen Walker Congressional Testimony


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