Trusted Computing for National Defense

Trusted Computing for National Defense

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by Jamie Whitney

Computer experts are deepening their defenses against cyber attack and information security breaches.

NASHUA, N.H. - We live in an era where the front lines of national defense extend far beyond geographical borders. A technological battleground exists in the invisible realms of cyberspace. Perhaps nothing -- save our warfighters -- is more vital to military success than keeping classified information out of rivals' hands.

This information can be as varied as actionable intelligence like military movements, or it could be the secrets of game-changing technology that adversaries hope to reverse engineer.

In a world where data is the lifeblood of national security, the integrity of every bit and byte is a matter of utmost importance. To ensure such sensitive information does not fall into the hands of any nefarious actors, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) insists on a trusted computing approach where systems are built on a foundation made with certainty in the supply chain, the hardware, the manufacturer, the software, the storage, and the end user.

After all, there are myriad ways nefarious actors can attempt to get into a system -- from social engineering passwords or phishing attacks all the way to manufacturing counterfeit hardware or components to compromise a network or device.

"Attacks are more sophisticated," says Dominic Perez, chief technology officer for the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions division in Ashburn, Va. "[Adversaries] are collecting data from multiple resources to try and exploit that human element in terms of cyber security and I don't know that for practical purposes that we can design that out. There's probably always going to be someone with a key or a password or a multifactor authentication that can get someone into a system. And people generally are trying to be helpful and they think they're doing the right thing, but if they don't have all the knowledge in the context that is required to operate in today's environment, then the mistakes are going to be made."

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