DOD, intell community to collaborate on network access control

Officials at the Defense Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are readying an agreement that would bring in line emerging network access control procedures of the military and the intelligence community.

Michael Krieger, director of information management in the Office of the DOD Chief Information Officer, said a memorandum to that effect likely will be issued within weeks.

The memo would formalize collaboration between DOD and ODNI on an authentication mechanism named attribute-based access control, Krieger said in an interview. The agreement could improve information sharing between the two communities because it will establish an automated credentialing mechanism governing access to different services on the classified and unclassified networks, he said.

Information sharing among the military services has been a long standing problem for DOD.

“Right now...if I’m in an Army [Distributed Common Ground System] enclave, and I realize there’s a DCGS-Air Force enclave that has an image I want, I literally have to call the Air Force and get a user ID and password on the Air Force system to get it,” Krieger said.

Under a common attribute-based access control standard, intelligence and military officials could access Web services on the unclassified and classified networks, with security privileges automatically passed between the systems.

The military and the intelligence community are in the process of implementing attributes-based access control independent of each other. “The [intelligence community] was going to put it on theirs, and DOD was going to put it on theirs, but they would have been a little different because we weren’t collaborating,” Krieger said.

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