Defense department developing multifactor authentication system

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) program is developing technology for the creation of safe and secure cyber-physical systems, according to a report by American Security Today.

Leveraging a formal methods-based approach, the program enables semi-automated code synthesis from executable specifications and has already passed on some of its technology to both the defense and commercial communities.

DARPA is currently developing a multifactor authentication system intended to replace the current common access card (CAC) which uses two-factor authentication.

The new system will use biometrics and behavioral analysis to verify the identity of the person using the network.

Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn said this probably would feature “patterns of life,” in which the actions of an individual are compared to their established habits.

In April, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it is planning multiple pilots for multi-factor authentication solutions over the next six-to-12 months.

At the time, Alfred Rivera, Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) director of the development and business center said the agency has already met with several vendors who have been able to prove there are several solutions that are ready for testing.

DISA said it is open to any of the private sector’s newest ideas and innovative technologies as long as it will help the agency stay ahead of its cyber adversaries.

Lt. Lynn says that any cost-effective cyber tools “would really be of interest” to both DISA and joint force headquarters, Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN).

“The cyber battlefield is growing, it’s unending and it’s 24/7, and we have to keep a constant eye on it, and any tools that industry can bring, we’re interested in,” said Gen. Lynn, who leads both organizations. “If there is some technology that would allow us to provide more bandwidth, more capability, we’re interested in that as well.”

Researchers and hackers have both proven that these kinds of networked embedded systems are highly susceptible to remote attack, which can result in data loss or even physical, economic and strategic damage.

DISA leaders will discuss the challenges the agency faces and how industry can help solve these issues at AFCEA International’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, to be held June 13-15 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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