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US Army to Integrate Biometrics to Increase Cybersecurity; Donald Coulter Quoted

2 mins read

The U.S. Army’s tactical network modernization team has announced plans to integrate wearables into augmented reality combat goggles to increase cybersecurity, C4ISRNET reported on Monday. 

The U.S. Army tactical network modernization team will focus on advancing wearable technology for user authentication. Under current capabilities, users are authenticated through passwords, common access cards or tokens to verify themselves.

Donald Coulter, senior science and technology adviser to the Network Cross-Functional Team, said that  the current capabilities will not suffice in an operational environment. “These can be broken, damaged [or] lost in an operational environment,” Coulter said. “Trying to put in a password with tactical gloves when it’s a tiny keyboard is not an optimal solution.”

With wearable authentication, soldiers' identities are verified by leveraging biometric data including heart rates, gait, unique skin signatures and physical locations, which will increase systems’ security and intuitiveness. 

The U.S. Army has projected that it will leverage biometics and artificial intelligence in the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) to help with navigation, targeting and advanced night and thermal vision. The IVAS effort is led by the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team.

The U.S. Army reported that the technology will advance service, “especially when you talk about the infusion of more artificial intelligence and machine-learning capacity — to really study, to capture more data and tag it, and really understand the unique characteristics of each person,” Coulter said. “It really gives us more confidence and ability to perform that effectively.”

In addition, wearable technology has the potential to protect communications for manned-unmanned teaming, cyber situational awareness, the squad area network and IVAS radio.

“Over the next year we’ll continue to see more and more technologies getting out of the S&T domain and getting into the [project managers] for final prototyping, experimentation, maturation and integration,” Coulter concluded.

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