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US Navy developing service-centric ICAM capability

US Marines assigned to Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command at Fort Meade, Maryland. (US Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command)

Information technology (IT) and network security specialists with the US Navy (USN) are in the midst of developing and testing a new identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) system, as part of a service-wide effort to increasingly adopt zero-trust applications and capabilities into USN and US Marine Corps (USMC) combat networks.

The establishment of a viable and secure digital identity management capability for the USN and the USMC “is the cornerstone of any zero-trust activity” the sea service may undertake, in order to secure its networks, said Hank Costa, an enterprise services planner at the USMC's Information, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (IC4) directorate under the Deputy Commandant for Information (DCI).

“We're leaning forward right now with the navy and developing our identity, credential, access management capability under what's called a naval identity service,” said Costa.

“A common [digital] identity … is essential to building the policy and the [programmatic] support for a data-centric environment,” he said during an August briefing on the navy's efforts to adopt zero-trust architectures into its information and communication networks.

An ICAM system capability essentially governs the creation of secure digital identities based on required access across classification levels and ensures secure access to data sources via those digital identities.

Development of a Pentagon-wide ICAM capability is seen as a critical enabler for large-scale interservice operations, co-ordinated through and executed within the Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2).

Further, an eventual ICAM capability is also seen as a key requirement for the Pentagon's Mission Partner Environment (MPE) programme.

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