DOD begins move to software-based security

The National Security Agency took over program management of the Defense Department's software-based, medium-assurance computer security program last month from the Defense Information Systems Agency, a key task as the Pentagon rolls out software-based security systems throughout DOD.

Richard Hale, chief engineering executive for information assurance at the DISA, said that while NSA has assumed program management responsibility for a medium-assurance public-key infrastructure, DISA still would have responsibility for centrally managing the issuance of all PKI certificates for DOD.

Hale added that while the DOD PKI program still has "pilot status," he added that "everyone in the department uses it." DOD plans to broaden the role of medium-assurance PKI beyond its initial mission to protect unclassified but sensitive information, Hale said.

Hale said DOD will start using PKI "even within communities operating on protected networks," providing yet another level of protection within systems already protected with bulk encryption.

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