Security technology is serving with U.S. troops in Iraq

Vendors at this year's FOSE trade show are trumpeting a variety of security technologies being deployed by the military at home and as part of the Iraq war.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has been deploying traffic monitoring tools from Securify Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., for the past two months to help enforce security policies for networks deployed in operation Iraqi Freedom, the company announced this week. At home, encryption products from F-Secure Inc. of San Jose, Calif., protect content on servers, desktops and handheld devices and to secure remote access to these devices.

'I do not know exactly what they are doing' with all of the products, said Bo Sorensen, F-Secure vice president of sales and marketing. 'I would like to think' that the technology is being deployed in Iraq.

The Army's logistics specialists have deployed the Combat Service Support Automated Information System Interface, which includes a wireless last mile in Iraq providing front line units with immediate access to supply commands. That wireless link is secured by Fortress Technologies Inc. of Tampa, Fla.

'They don't tell us where' all of the mobile wireless networks are, said John Dow, Fortress's senior business director. 'But they are using it in Kuwait today.'

DISA is using Securify's SecurVantage product suit to monitor network traffic. The suite consists of the Studio product, for security policy development; Monitor, to monitor and evaluate the system; and Enterprise, to analyze data for real time information and to generate reports.

SecurVantage does not enforce policy itself, but lets administrators evaluate the security posture of the network, identify and prioritize risks. The core of the system is Monitor, a rack-mounted appliance attached to a switch inside the network. The heavy duty model can handle up to 1Gbps of traffic, and a Limited Edition model recently added to the line handles 100 Mbps.

In addition to bandwidth, 'you're also limited by physical location,' said marketing director John Reno. DISA has deployed Monitor in eight locations, using both the original and Limited Edition models.

The government is a major market for F-Secure, and its largest single customer for its SSH and FileCrypto encryption products, Sorensen said.

At home they help secure government Websites. Although an estimated 20,000 anti-war Website defacements have been detected since the beginning of hostilities, 'U.S. government Websites weren't hacked in the numbers we had anticipated,' Sorensen said. He attributed that at least in part to the government's serious approach to secure data on and access to its servers.

F-Secure has been shifting its focus to the mobile enterprise, concentrating on encryption for handheld devices such as PDAs and cell phones. Sorensen the DOD has been ahead of the curve in adopting technology for such devices.

Launched about a year ago, the Army's CAISI supports about 85,000 users through 11,000 wireless access points and bridges from Cisco Systems, protected by more than 6,000 AirFortress Wireless Security Gateways from Fortress Technologies.

CAISI consists of small traditional wired LANs in forward units, with point-to-point 802.11 wireless links to other units or to a central command location. These networks automate combat service support. AirFortress is a FIPS 140-1 certified encryption device using the Triple Data Encryption Standard or the Advanced Encryption Standard to secure data sent over the wireless links at the Layer 2 level.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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