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Cutting a better path to data-sharing

Jan. 14, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAL PECK   |   Comments
20th Force Support Squadron 3pt Shoot out
The Air Force is exploring a variety of technologies, including biometrics, to improve the secure sharing of information across the service. (SrA Kenny Holston)
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Securely sharing information across different domains is the goal of a new Air Force project.

The four-year, $24 million Innovative Cross-Domain Cyber Reactive Information Sharing program, from the Cross Domain Innovation & Science group at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, focuses on improving information sharing in five areas:

■ A multi-domain cyber User -efined Operational Picture that will enhance enterprise monitoring

■ High-risk data mitigation to scrutinize data for threats before passing it on to other domains.

■ Fine-grained grammar to adapt workflows for changing requirements.

■ Content- and label-based routing that will extend node and network trust to the information passed on to other domains.

■ Improving multi-level security for mobile and desktop users.

According to a recent solicitation, ICCyRIS includes an ambitious agenda of technological topics. For example, authentication will be a major goal in FY 2015. AFRL wants secure off-the-shelf mobile device Common Access Card authentication via near-field communication, a technology that allows the electronic reading of credentials over a small distance.

"Unfortunately, physical external readers for CACs are unwieldy extensions to mobile devices," said AFRL. However, because hackers have been able to exploit off-the-shelf NFC systems, the technology’s proponents face skepticism and a need to mitigate risk.

The Air Force also wants to use micro- and nano-secure digital (SD) cards to authenticate commercial mobile devices.

In FY 2016, the service will seek to create a Mobile Android Multi-Biometric Acquisition capability that will integrate biometric sensors, such as accelerometers, GPS, cameras, fingerprint readers and microphones, into tablets and smartphones. Data collected by these sensors would then be securely transmitted for analysis. Android will be the preferred operating system, though AFRL is willing to examine others. Another goal that year will be to find a method to generate, secure and safely destroy three or more secure data containers (SDC) within Android operating systems running on off-the-shelf devices, so that secure and commercial applications are separated.

For FY 2017, the Air Force wants on-demand Cross Domain Solution filtering to allow the solutions “to adapt to changing workload requirements and threat environments," according to the said AFRL. In FY 2018, one goal will be optical character recognition (OCR) to convert imagery to text.

Other targets in ICCyRIS include software that automatically analyzes video streams to determine whether they can be released to other domains, and methods to balance load factors between various domains.

Related: Read the solicitation.

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