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DoD Looks to Qualcomm for Hardware-Based Security

Part of Qualcomm has been contracted by the DoD to develop a hardware-based security system for DISA.

Qualcomm Technologies has announced that its Qualcomm Cyber Security Solutions (QCSS) division was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to establish a pilot program for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The pilot program will enable DoD users to access key DoD information technology (IT) systems using an actionless authentication system with capabilities similar to those of the hardware-anchored device attestation and continuous multiple-factor authentication capabilities on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.  The authentication platform will be integrated with DISA’s Purebred and Public Key Infrastructure systems.

For the past several years, the DoD has relied on common access cards to authenticate users and grant access to key IT systems. DISA plans to provide actionless authentication by means of next-generation security capabilities on mobile communication devices. The organization’s position is that a hardware-based security approach offers advances over traditional software-based security methods, and it will try to leverage significant investments made by Qualcomm Technologies on mobile device security using hardware-based methods.

Qualcomm Cyber Security Solutions (QCSS) division was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a hardware-based security system based on the security approach used in the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processor. (Courtesy of Qualcomm Technologies)

The DISA pilot program will allow participants to log onto their IT systems and access information using hardware-based security capabilities on Snapdragon Mobile Platform-based mobile devices. By using a combination of soft and hard biometric factors unique to each user, the pilot program should be capable of continuously verifying a user’s identity without need of a smart card or for furnishing complex passwords. The pilot approach uses the processing power, machine learning capabilities, and analytical power of each Snapdragon Mobile Platform to provide a secure connection—continuously and without notice to the user.

“Qualcomm Cyber Security Solutions is excited to work with DISA on this innovative pilot bringing actionless access to mission-critical IT systems through the use of hardware-anchored capabilities on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform, the same platform Qualcomm provides leading commercial mobile device manufacturers,” said Kim Koro, senior vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and president of QCSS. “This effort is not only a significant milestone for the Department of Defense but also for other providers of mission-critical services whose users require secure access and authentication to mission applications without distracting those users from focusing on their immediate mission.”

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