Northrop Grumman team will conduct Defense identification credentialing test

Northrop Grumman team will conduct Defense identification credentialing test
By Gail Repsher Emery
Staff Writer

A team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. will test a Department of Defense prototype system for cross-credentialing ? recognizing and authenticating the identity of visitors to military and defense industry facilities, officials of the Los Angeles-based firm announced today. Northrop Grumman and its team members are administering the test with the Defense Department's Defense Manpower Data Center.

The test will run from October 2003 to March 2004. The work is worth about $500,000, according to Juli Ballesteros, spokeswoman for Northrop Grumman's Information Technology business.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, in Herndon, Va., and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, in Reston, Va., will lead the team developing the Defense Cross-credentialing Identification System, an initiative to meet the Defense Department's need for a standardized system that recognizes dissimilar individual credentials.

An identity service for physical access across facilities, the DCIS prototype will accept and process credentials ? the Common Access Card and similar, standardized industry identification, including biometrics ? from all participating federated DCIS agencies and contractors. The authentication process will include a live-scan comparison of biometrics.

"The ability to have both government and major contractors able to have their credentials recognized from facility to facility is a major step forward," said Kent Schneider, president of defense enterprise solutions for Northrop Grumman IT.

Northrop Grumman will run tests at selected Defense Department facilities and company facilities in McLean and Reston, Va., Columbia, Md., Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The pilot is expected to begin in October 2003.

Early phases of the DCIS program will be sponsored by the DMDC and funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration, Directorate of Information Assurance.

Schneider said the long-range vision for DCIS is to allow not only physical access but also verification of identity for various transactions. Individuals in one organization would have their identity verified by a trusted set of software and procedures within that person's own organization. Once the identity verification is complete, the individual will be allowed to conduct transactions that contain elements that know the identity of the individual through a trusted verification system.

The pilot effort will also address policy, legal and technical issues affecting access control and credentialing, and will develop a set of operating rules by which industry can become DCIS compliant.

Northrop Grumman's team includes the Federated Electronic Government Coalition of Washington, SRA International Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Electronic Data Systems Inc. of Plano, Texas, and BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va.

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