Georgia Tech Applied Research Will Support DHS Information Safeguarding Effort

January 22, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded a $704,000 research-and-development (R&D) contract to Atlanta-based Georgia Tech Applied Research Center (GTARC) to support trustmark framework efforts to aid the public safety community’s information sharing and safeguarding capabilities, DHS reported. The GTARC R&D project will specifically address the lack of mature software tools to support the trustmark framework’s primary use-cases, such as emergency communications interoperability. GTARC will upgrade the trustmark framework’s Federated Identity, Credential and Access Management (Federal ICAM) capability, in order to help advance public safety information sharing and safeguarding capabilities communications across agency boundaries.

"There are tens of thousands of emergency response entities in the public safety community. This project aims to significantly enhance the ability of multiple agencies responding to an emergency to share information securely and communicate effectively," said Vincent Sritapan, S&T Program Manager. "This R&D project, part of the S&T Mobile Security R&D Program’s new emergency communications project area, supports the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which ensures federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources and training to support operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications."

GTARC previously designed, built and piloted the existing IS&S trustmark framework that provides standards, artifacts, software tools and methodologies for managing IS&S and Federated ICAM for the public safety community. GTARC will integrate the updates develop through this project to the current framework, DHS indicated.

"Trusted communications between multiple public safety agencies that respond to an emergency scene is essential to ensure a coordinated response that maximizes their abilities to quickly and efficiently contain the situation and minimize loss of life and property damage," said Robert Dew, Senior Technologist Advisor for CISA. "This project will help enhance IS&S trustmark framework and at the same time make the public safety agencies stronger and better able to communicate and coordinate with each other while managing emergencies."

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