DHS Conducts Nationwide ID Authentication Test For Emergency Preparedness
McLean VA (SPX) Oct 22, 2010
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently coordinated a nationwide demonstration showing the ability to deploy a common, interoperable credentialing system that enables electronic identity authentication for government and industry personnel.
The demonstration, dubbed "Autumn Blend," showed the use of standardized personal identity credentials operating across multiple domains, such as a government's or company's credential authentication infrastructure, for access management decisions, situational awareness, cyber-secure capabilities and post-event reconstruction.
Participants included federal, state, local, and private sector emergency response and recovery officials who are assigned to the front lines for rescue or recovery missions.
"Northrop Grumman has an established commitment with the Department of Homeland Security and we recognize the importance and national significance of this demonstration," said Alan Leckenby, vice president of International and Identity Management for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector.
"We have worked with great diligence and in partnership with all levels of government to become the only company able to validate credentials for both physical and logical access, which provides an extra layer of security around information sharing during crisis situations."
One of the scenarios of the Autumn Blend demonstration simulated a collaborative incident at Northrop Grumman's Shipbuilding facility in Newport News, Va.
As first responders from the city, Commonwealth and federal government convened on the site, their individual personal identity credentials were presented and read electronically at various authentication points for physical and logical access to the demonstration.
These credentials included the U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Card, First Responder Authentication Credential, Personal Identity Verification and Personal Identity Verification-Interoperable credentials.
Autumn Blend participants were electronically validated for physical access using mobile and fixed devices that verified identities through personal identification credentials, personal identification number, and biometrics; and logical access through personal identification credentials that allowed participants use of computers for secure e-mail collaboration.
As participants' identities were cleared and individuals permitted access to the demonstration venue, Virginia's Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response (VIPER) geospatial application tracked and displayed their actions in near real-time at fusion centers and emergency operations centers throughout the United States.
"Northrop Grumman's corporate-wide personal identity verification credential, called OneBadge, was the use case for this demonstration scenario. It effectively incorporated the requirements of all levels of government to electronically validate identity, designate roles, authorizations and privileges (called attributes), and securely transmit information back to the government identity management system," Leckenby added.
"Autumn Blend was considered a success and will have important implications for a broad range of future emergency response situations."
Northrop Grumman's OneBadge smart card technology was internally developed, implemented and deployed across the company to enhance protection from unauthorized access to company facilities, networks and data. It was recently recognized with the Information Security Executive Southeast Project of the Year Award by Tech Exec Networks.
Autumn Blend participants included the Department of Homeland Security; FEMA; Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colo.; the Pentagon Force Protection Agency; the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council for Trauma; as well as numerous state and local representatives from across the country. Other personnel included Northrop Grumman's Newport News Shipbuilding sector, the city of Newport News Fire Department, the Virginia Governor's Office of Commonwealth Preparedness, and technology partners ActivIdentity, Fremont, Calif.; CertiPath, Herndon, Va.; and Monitor Dynamics, San Antonio, Texas.
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