• Forces deployed around the world need the ability to transmit securely on their networks.
     Forces deployed around the world need the ability to transmit securely on their networks.

Digital Camouflage Protects Systems

September 24, 2018

Military and government are benefiting from a fast and effective encryption solution.

A special operations officer who needed secure network connectivity to transmit data anywhere on the globe gained the capability in less than a minute by using Cyberspace Operations Infrastructure, or CSOI.

That officer was able to send data securely across the open network because CSOI uses the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption mode. A 128-bit header uses a series of standards built out in the 1990s initially to secure drones. It also is used to cloak energy grids and older military architectures that will not attain IPv6, according to Robert Osborne, chief technology officer at IMPRES, the developer of CSOI.

Every device on the special operations CSOI network knew which other devices were whitelisted, so the usual identifying chatter was absent.

The original architecture of the Internet suffered from an inherent frailty. When devices and access points have identifiable IP addresses, the addresses can be uncovered and attacked, even when identity protection, encryption and firewalls are in place. However, if device and network identities disappear from the network completely, the ability to identify the target and attack is eliminated.

CSOI is a fabric-based architecture that removes media access control addresses from a network while integrating with different levels of security, topology and protocols. It overlays existing addresses without changing a network’s physical architecture and it permits rerouting and reprioritization of traffic on the network. Voice, video and data can move across any open traffic area automatically, and this overlay doesn’t change anything on a network, Osborne explains.

It establishes a host identity protocol, which permits filling in security gaps.

This software infrastructure was also used in the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderstorm cyber warfare engagement for a week. During that time, the devices using this solution were not discovered, according to Osborne.

CSOI permits secure connectivity among different types of networks, which allows for multiple cloud applications. It also would provide secure encrypted connection and data movement among Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Rackspace, for example.

A hybrid cloud in particular can benefit from this approach. Placing this capability at the edge of the cloud environment enables it to extend into the cloud itself. Much of the CSOI software allows treating the network within whatever cloud a user chooses so that it resembles the exact physical network originally outside the cloud.

Read more about CSOI now in the SIGNAL Resource Library.

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