Cyber is the prime concern of the intelligence community, Sean Kanuck, national intelligence officer for cyber issues, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said today at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Not only is cyber an immense problem in itself, but it also pervades all other national security concerns, including biometrics.
The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) announced three new pilot programs this morning worth approximately $3 million. An additional almost $7 million is allocated for continued efforts in subsequent years.
Confyrm was awarded the largest contract, valued at around $1.2 million. It will pilot a shared signals solution to mitigate the impact of account takeovers and fake accounts through early fraud detection and notification with special emphasis on consumer privacy.
The password won’t die, but it’s killing us.
That was the message this morning from Jeremy Grant, senior executive adviser, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Estimates put the blame for 76 percent of network intrusions on weak passwords. Beyond security, they also affect commerce, as the majority of customers will leave websites rather than create accounts. Passwords are not beloved and are not doing us any favors, Grant explained.
“I’ve always assumed they enjoyed telling my story from their point of view.”
Frank Abagnale, the famous teenage confidence man turned law-enforcement adviser and expert on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents, spoke those words today to a crowd at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, explaining that he never met most of the people who have created entertainment products about his life. Nor has he earned any money, because of his agreement with the U.S. government. The benefit has been an unsought notoriety that now allows him to tell his story of redemption and to explain that no technology can take the place of people with good character.
The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system went live last week, replacing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and improving accuracy. According to experts, the new system offers 99.6 percent correct identification versus 92 percent with the former. The NGI enables automation of 93 percent of searches. Other upgrades include connections with the National Palm Print System, an iris-modality repository and capabilities for more mobile detections.
The new generation of college graduates “don’t know or seem to care that their data is being [distributed] and sold to others, because they’re getting free stuff.” Duane Blackburn, currently with MITRE and formerly the assistant director for homeland security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, made this point at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa today to explain generational differences regarding information sharing and privacy.
Biometric identification moved past fingerprints long ago, and the range of modalities is helping the keepers of law and order make a big difference in several ways. Last year, authorities apprehended a former European finance minister who had stolen thousands of Euros by using voice recognition software to identify the perpetrator through a phone message. Another tool combines facial recognition with a breathalyzer so that in addition to capturing blood alcohol content, the device can send a photo of the person to a repository website.
General Technical Systems, Virginia Beach, Virginia, is being awarded an $11,825,274 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of a prototype Gatekeeper On The Move-Biometrics (GOTM-B) in support of reconnaissance and surveillance payloads, sensors, delivery systems and platforms. The GOTM-B system is an innovative, non-contact, on-the-move, multimodal biometric (3D finger, face, and iris) identity operations and force protection capability. This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement and one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N68335-14-C-0183).
American Systems Corporation, Chantilly, Virginia (N65236-14-D-4986); Booz Allen Hamilton Incorporated, McLean, Virginia (N65236-14-D-4987); Honeywell Technology Solutions Incoorporated, Columbia, Maryland (N65236-14-D-4988); Ideal Innovations Incorporated, Arlington, Virginia (N65236-14-D-4989); Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia (N65236-14-D-4990); and Scientific Research Corporation, Atlanta (N
Northrop Grumman Information Technology, McLean, Va., was awarded a $15,904,914 modification (P000433) to contract W91QUZ-06-D-0005 for contractor support to program management office biometric enabling capabilities for the continuation of development, maintenance and sustainment of the Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.
Navmar Applied Sciences Corp., Warminster, Pa., is being awarded a $12,500,411 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for development of a Biometric Identity Approval Sentinel that produces technology that rapidly processes individuals for threat detection and biometric matching. This project will provide a fully integrated, highly accurate, configurable, and deployable solution that combines current and new technologies to dramatically increase the safety, speed, and efficiency of access control. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-14-C-0023).
Cyberspace has security problems, and the U.S. government is trying to do something about it. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) is promoting a plan and taking actions to move citizens beyond usernames and passwords to more powerful methods of authentication. In recent years, massive data theft has occurred in the cyber realm. Even strong passwords are vulnerable to hackers.
“We are in an era where biometric data is proliferating,” Dr. Joseph Atick, chairman, Identity Council International, said today at the Biometric Consortium Conference. That expansion is taking place in the civilian world in addition to increases in the military and public safety sectors. “Biometrics in daily life has arrived,” Atick explained.
Biometrics has advanced significantly over the past decade, altering the lives of people across the globe, especially in developing countries. But the field faces many concerns as it looks toward the future.
NATO is investing time, talent and treasure into advancing biometrics, Col. Bernard Wulfse, Dutch Army, commander, Joint Task Force Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED), explained at the Biometric Consortium Conference. The alliance has named biometrics a critical capability shortfall to address. Key to achieving goals for biometrics is bringing all the partner nations together—not only the few currently supporting the efforts. Methods that proved useful against IEDs have applications in the biometrics realm, and lessons can be applied from the former to the latter.
CACI-CMS Information Systems Inc., Chantilly, Va., was awarded a $9,705,666 modification, to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to provide program management and engineering services in support of Department of Defense biometric programs. The total cumulative face value of this contract is now $43,357,840. The Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Information Systems, McLean, Va., was awarded a $9,784,125 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to exercise the option for systems sustainment in support of the biometrics database. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.
Security concerns have largely driven advances in biometric technologies, but that likely will not be the case in the coming years. Commercial needs will overtake government security needs in determining the direction of biometrics, according to Troy Potter, vice president, Identity and Biometrics Solutions, Unisys Federal Systems, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Wednesday.
“We’re looking at this change from a security focus to a convenience, automation and cost-savings focus. That’s driving the market today. Commercial organizations will drive the market for the next 10 years,” Potter stated.
Integral Consulting Services Inc. recently announced that it has been awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity single award contract worth up to $49.7 million from the U.S. Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) for all-source intelligence analysis and support services. Integral will provide biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) and all-source identity intelligence (I2) analytical support to NGIC, Defense Department customers from the tactical to national levels, and interagency partners. Integral also intends to perform watch list management functions, coordinate reach-back BEI support for deployed forces, and perform related supporting tasks as required.