Secure communications across radio and cell networks

With mobile security technology added to Lockheed's Universal Communications Platform, secure communications networks can be extended to commercial smartphones.

To help eliminate the communications problems that plague first responders, Lockheed Martin has teamed with Blue Cedar to enable secure communications across multiple devices.

Also intended for military or remote users, Lockheed’s Universal Communications Platform (UCP) hub bridges communications across land mobile radios, voice-over-IP, smartphones and other networks, allowing interoperability between multiple types of secure radio and cellular communications. The UCP Communicator app can be downloaded to commercial smartphones, expanding secure communications to users without access to radio equipment.

The app includes Blue Cedar’s layer of encryption and other security controls so that the security goes wherever the app does. Together, UCP Communicator and Blue Cedar enable communication of sensitive information.

“What we do is take an existing app -- let’s say an iOS or an Android app that’s run on any of the devices that support it -- and we inject security code into that app,” said Blue Cedar Chief Product Officer Chris Ford. “The fact that the security follows the app around, embedded inside the app, means you can deploy a secured app to any device.”

There are several key benefits to that, Ford said. One is that security stays just below the surface of the app and so is largely transparent to the user. Acknowledging that users tended to opt for insecure workarounds when they find apps encumbered by logins and security requirements, the Blue Cedar team removed logins and authentication from the process.

Administrators set the authentication methods for UCP end users, but a new user can simply enter a one-time username and password to enroll. Blue Cedar issues an X.509 certificate inside the app to verify that a public key belongs to the user or device contained in the certificate. Going forward, users can use one-touch biometrics to access the app.

“If speed of the essence when responding to a disaster, certainly you don’t want to fumble with passwords and all of that, so an enrolled app can access the application just by using the thumbprint reader on the device itself,” Ford said.

“Human error is still a big threat, and what we see is that when users don’t like security, when it’s hard to use, they don’t use it, and they’ll find alternatives,” he continued. “One of our goals is to make security transparent enough that users will happily access an app and not abandon it, not find a less secure alternative.”

What’s more, Blue Cedar is saving Lockheed time because the contractor doesn’t have to write any code. “They don’t have to spend weeks or months of development writing security into their app. They can build in Blue Cedar after their app is completed,” Ford said. “It really helps them to get apps much more quickly and distribute those apps via a public app store like Google Play or the Apple App Store.”

Before partnering with Blue Cedar, Lockheed faced some problems with the UCP Communicator app, he said. One was a need to encrypt data. Blue Cedar solved that by providing Federal Information Processing Standard-compliant encryption for any data stored on the device or transmitted across the public network.

Distribution was another problem. The company wanted the app to be easily accessible and downloadable from public app stores.

“A lot of times apps are not permitted to be uploaded to an app store when they have technology like Blue Cedar’s, but we did a lot of work in ensuring that our technology is compliant with the automated scans that take place when you publish apps," Ford said. "You could take UCP, secure it and distribute it out to all those first responders from a public app store,” he explained. “We gave them a code-free, simple way to apply our security to their app that encrypts voice traffic as it’s traversing the public network.”

Although he said it would be tough to quantify the return on investment for an agency, Ford said cost savings would likely result from using the technology. That’s because customers don’t have to buy hardware and distribute it to users to keep communications secure. Plus, it saves organizations time in the development process, enabling workers to be more effective and efficient sooner, and it speeds patching.

“Traditionally, apps are developed in silos,” Ford said. “If there’s ever a vulnerability detected, then they have to go to each app, patch that vulnerability, rebuild it and redeploy it." Blue Cedar is like "security middleware, where you can patch and test one time with a Blue Cedar code and deploy it with all your apps," he said. "That not only saves you time when you’re reacting to a vulnerability, it also saves you cost in terms of penetration testing.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.