U.S. Air Force, DISA use biometric tech to achieve secure mobility

U.S. Air Force, DISA use biometric tech to achieve secure mobility

The U.S. Air Force has partnered with DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency) to test phone and tablet cases that leverage a mix of physical security, biometric authentication and signal jamming to ensure personnel can extend mobility by using mobile phones during classified conversations in secure facilities, writes FedScoop.

According to the Air Force’s Chief Technology Officer, Frank Konieczny, the two institutions are currently rolling out tests with phones that contain low-level security information, but future plans include tests with high-level security to attain “secure mobility.”

Without naming any of the companies the department is collaborating with, Konieczny explained the cases aim to boost commercial device security by only providing authorized users with data access. Steve Wallace, head of DISA’s emerging technology directorate, also explained during the AFCEA C4I symposium hosted by George Mason University that current prototypes block cameras and microphones to ensure “there is nothing but white noise heard in any kind of recording.”

Once the coronavirus crisis is solved and staff return to work, DISA and the Pentagon will conduct further tests.

DISA is actively focused on biometric assurance. The cases leverage in-built technology to collect multiple biometric modalities for “continuous authentication” which include voice, walking speed and how the user holds the phone. A watch could also be used for two-factor authentication, as demonstrated during the virtual event. Biometric assurance leverages artificial intelligence to process the data and confirm user identity.

Among several projects involving biometrics, DISA has also developed a prototype smartphone with numerous native biometric capabilities to support its “Assured Identity” concept for the U.S. military.

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