US Navy trials multi-factor mobile app for personnel records

The U.S. Navy is conducting a beta test of an app enabling personnel to access their personnel records through a mobile device without using their common access card (CAC) for authentication, Military.com reports.

The trial will initially only grant read-only access to personnel files, but if it is successful, sailors will eventually be able conduct all personnel transactions with the MyRecord App, rather than physically going to the Personnel Support Detachment office.

Military.com reports that Chief of Navy Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said in a message to Navy troops that access to My Navy Portal is expected to be provided with the same security as personal banking services. In addition to the Navy’s MyRecords App for Android and iPhone, users must install the free Okta Verify app to use its multi-factor authentication.

“Sailors very much enjoy getting their hands in some of the most cutting-edge and lethal technology that we employ. It’s this personal technology where we lag behind and are just starting to catch up,” Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Smith also said that the trial is a test of two-factor authentication, which the Defense Department may consider instituting more widely.

The CAC is expected to remain the principle authenticator for U.S. military personnel, but augmented with biometrics for some use cases.

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