C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

ViaSat to provide MDD software to protect devices at tactical edge

03 September 2017

ViaSat has been awarded a production contract for its Mobile Dynamic Defense (MDD) cyber-security software to protect and secure Tactical Local Area Network (TACLAN) Field Computing Device – Wearable (FCD-W) platforms.ViaSat has been awarded a production contract for its MDD cyber-security software that continually checks and protects mobile devices. (ViaSat)ViaSat has been awarded a production contract for its MDD cyber-security software that continually checks and protects mobile devices. (ViaSat)

MDD will protect platforms from intrusion, even if disconnected from a network.

Although ViaSat was unable to divulge who will receive the software, TACLAN is a US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) effort.

Today, wearable platforms are the battlefield version of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and present significant security challenges due to their size, weight and power (SWaP) constraints, the native hardware platform and operating system (OS) security, and the lack of persistent broadband connectivity. Furthermore, wearables are not like servers or laptops that can run several security applications, as this would drain battery life, Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, ViaSat, told Jane’s .

ViaSat’s MDD software offers a new security capability that protects the platform from unauthorised use and/or intrusion by locking down the configurations and peripherals on a mission-by-mission basis. Managers simply utilise the MDD Provisioner software package in conjunction with the client software, Peterman said.

What makes ViaSat’s capability different is that it can effectively protect a device even if it is operating independent of remote servers. Other MDDs are dependent on a reliable and sustained connection between the device and server for information, making them detectable and vulnerable, Peterman noted.

“Communication channels such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or cellular open the risk of compromise and position/location information. Additionally, users may not have persistent broadband connectivity to a secure application server,” he explained. “For many military applications this is a very important differentiation.”

ViaSat’s MDD software was architected and designed with a completely different perspective, Peterman added.

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