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DOD’s digital ID and access management tools could be live in a year

DOD’s digital ID and access management tools could be live in a year

The Department of Defense says that its digital ID, credentialing and access management project, first trialed in 2018, will serve all corners of the department by next summer.

That is rapid development for a federal IT project of any description, but then, ICAM, as it is known, is essential to creating a zero-trust architecture. The Pentagon was trialing ICAM as recently as last October.

It took a while, but in the last few years, Defense leaders finally realized that physical and digital breaches are an existential threat to their core mission to be prepared to rebuff any attack on the United States and its interests.

In terms of bedrock national defense assumptions, there is the mutually-assured-destruction model of nuclear weapon defense and, coming soon to field indoctrination seminars, mutual authentication, which underpins zero-trust digital identity architectures.

FedScoop is reporting that the DOD’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) expects in the next year to create a global directory used to identify all department personnel. Biometric sign-in will be one recognizable zero-trust tool.

The agency continues to experiment with other recognition tools, according to FedScoop, that run more to the behavioral/surveillance roles. Gait recognition systems reportedly are among those tools.

Moving toward zero trust is not entirely a top-down enterprise. The Air Force last year was working with the Defense Information Systems Agency on a mix of physical security, biometric authentication and signal jamming capabilities for phones and tablets used by personnel.

It is interesting to note that the digital ID architecture apparently will be centralized. That would make development, support and distribution more efficient than doing so regionally, in segments or by department.

There are, however, security concerns to be balanced, too. Centralized architectures can pull down a lot of capability in the event of failure or attack.

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