C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

ConSec targets COTS security

11 January 2018

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new programme aimed at addressing the security challenges associated with using commercial devices.

The Configuration Security (ConSec) programme is designed to tackle “the challenges created by the proliferation of COTS [commodity off-the-shelf] devices and help harden the security surface of network-connected composed systems”, according to DARPA. It aims to develop a system that will automatically generate, deploy, and manage more secure configurations of components and subsystems that will be used in military platforms, according to DARPA.

“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 minimising the excess that can be used as an attack surface,” said Jacob Torrey, programme manager in the agency’s Information Innovation Office, known as I2O.

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