Viewing Cyber Data in 3-D

LinQuest Corporation modifies its 3D ICE product to meet cyber needs.


LinQuest Corporation officials are now offering a new game-based technology that allows cyber analysts to view data in an immersive 3-D environment, which the company says allows quicker understanding of the data, saving users both time and money.

The 3-D Cyber Immersive Collaboration Environment (ICE) allows analysts to create a 3-D virtual world in which users are represented as avatars able to interact with big data analytics and/or real-time systems. The virtual world includes video feeds, data feeds, web interfaces, data visualizations and analytical tools. Once the crisis is over, the virtual world and its super metadata can be archived into the cloud.

Within that virtual world, a spider diagram illustrates the entire network and all of its nodes. The analyst, as an avatar, can browse through this 3-D world. If one of those nodes is attacked, it begins flashing red. The avatar can then navigate to the node, click on it and begin exploring the specifics, such as IP address, the node’s geographic location and the type of traffic flowing through.

“We are just beginning to market it,” reveals Rich Williams, vice president and general manager, LinQuest Corporation.

The cyber solution is based on the original 3D ICE, a data visualization tool developed for intelligence analysts at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). That original product was delivered to NGA in October and is used on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, Williams says.

Williams describes three primary features for 3-D Cyber ICE. The first, of course, is a different type of visualization. Normally, an analyst in a cyber center or network operations center views the data on pie charts, bar graphs, etc., on a flat screen. “This is the next step in visualization. We use a set of software called Unity 3D, so, rather than just having a flat screen with just flat graphics, now you’re an avatar... and that world allows you to visualize and represent specific sets of data or toolsets,” Williams says.

Secondly, the world includes multiple levels, which users can only access with the proper credentials. And users can “build a recipe” of processes. “In today’s world, if you’re an analyst, you’ve got a bunch of different cyber tools, and you’ve got