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8/20/2010
03:07 PM
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Air Force To Tackle Supply Chain Security

The Air Force looks to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities and attacks with a Center of Excellence and new technology.

The Air Force is looking for more information on technologies that could help it manage its IT supply chain risks in order to decrease vulnerabilities and prevent attackers from inserting malicious code and hardware into products before they make it into USAF hands.

Military agencies have long been among the few government organizations that have paid attention to possible threats to the IT supply chain, going so far in some cases as to require some microchips to be manufactured in specially-designated secure facilities.

However, with supply chain risks becoming part of the White House-driven Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, the Department of Defense may have to step up its game, as it has seen, for example, language inserted into a defense authorization bill that would set supply chain standards and prevent companies that don't meet those standards from doing business with the government.

In a series of meetings in Texas this week, the Air Force's Cryptologic Systems Division met with industry and researchers to learn about hardware and software tools and industry-funded research initiatives as well as services that could help detect and manage supply chain vulnerabilities.

In an announcement of the meeting, the Air Force said that it will eventually "acquire capabilities" to detect supply chain threats and vulnerabilities, but that any acquisition would come later.

In addition, the announcement noted that the Air Force is developing a Supply Chain Risk Management Center of Excellence to address supply chain threats.

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