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DARPA Program Aims to Secure COTS Components for Military Platforms

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has introduced a program that seeks to address security risks from commodity off-the-shelf devices and increase the security of network-connected systems.

DARPA said Tuesday it aims to create a system that can automatically deploy, generate and secure configurations of military components and subsystems through the agency’s Configuration Security initiative.

“Through ConSec we hope to gain a better understanding of the available functionality across COTS devices and what’s needed for the task at hand and then use system configurations to create the functionality that’s actually required while minimizing the excess that can be used as an attack surface,” said Jacob Torrey, program manager at DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.

The program’s first technical area will focus on the reduction of human involvement in understanding which capacities can help systems deliver functionalities across various operating environments.

The second technical area will involve the discovery of component configurations that can help composed systems accomplish mission objectives under varying and relevant operational contexts.

DARPA published a broad agency announcement on the ConSec program on FedBizOpps and said the agency will accept research proposals through Feb. 8.

Torrey noted he expects the program to be completed in three phases over the next three years.

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