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US Defense Department to move away from firewalls

by Brian Sims

The US Defense Department is building a single security architecture that will eliminate firewalls in the future, according to Lt Gen Hawkins Jr, USAF, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) director. The future architecture, which is still in development, will be designed to protect data rather than networks. Hawkins stated, ‘In the past, we’ve all been about protecting our networks: firewall here, firewall there, firewall within a service, firewall within an organisation. We’ve got to remove those and go to protecting the data. You can move that data in a way that it doesn’t matter if you’re on a classified or unclassified network, depending on someone’s credentials and their need to know. ‘We want to be able to normalise our networks to where you can have the collaboration and information moving over our networks and you don’t have to have the different firewalls, the separate networks, to get those things done.’ It is claimed that significant savings in instrumentation can be realised using the approach to allow, for example, a move from ‘hard phones’ to ‘soft phones’. This simplifies the task of delivering data to personnel in the field. The single security architecture will improve command and control capabilities, including cyber command and control.

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