Virtualized browser service now boasts CAC integration

Virtualized browser service now boasts CAC integration

Authentic8, a company created by founders of email security firm Postini, has long pushed its secure and virtualized browser service for public-sector use, with law enforcement and national security agencies among its key customers.

Now the firm's browser, called Silo, can support the certificates stored on Common Access Cards, which are critical to identity management in the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. Scott Petry, Authentic8's co-founder and CEO, said CAC authentication was a frequent request from customers.  "This release is the next logical step in making Silo the secure browser of choice within the federal market," he said in an announcement of the new functionality.

With the new version of Silo, users attempting to access a secure site that requires CAC authentication will have their card queried by the browser via an encrypted protocol.  The CAC authentication can also be used to log users into their Silo profile, and it provides a way for administrators to log all virtual browser activity on a user-by-user basis.

DOD has long relied on CAC smart ID for both building security and online identity management, and the federal government's 2015 cyber sprint sharply boosted the use of two-factor authentication at other agencies.   Soon enough, however, Silo's CAC integration may need a successor solution: DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen has made clear that the cards "aren't mobile and agile enough" for the military's needs, and will be phased out over the next two years. 

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.

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