“The aim is to develop a highly sophisticated authentication system that can passively identify a user without relying on any single modality.”
The US military is making progress in its effort to develop a ‘patterns of life’ authentication system to replace the Common Access Cards traditionally used by personnel.
According to a new FCW report, the Defense Department has moved onto the testing stage – described by a Defense Information Systems Agency scientist as an “alpha testing” phase – for an authentication system designed to assess multiple factors including gait, face, and voice recognition, as well as location data. The system takes the form of a chipset that can be embedded into smartphones, wearables, laptops, and other devices; and it’s currently being tested in 50 mobile devices.
DISA first revealed it was exploring a multi-factor ‘patterns of life’ authentication system in the summer of 2017. Then, at the start of 2018, Qualcomm announced that its Qualcomm Cyber Security Solutions division had been contracted to help with the project. The aim is to develop a highly sophisticated authentication system that can passively identify a user without relying on any single modality.
And it isn’t just going to be for military use: In his comments to FCW’s Lauren Williams, DISA’s systems innovation scientist, Stephen Wallace, explained that the plan in working with Qualcomm is to develop a commercially viable authentication system, which the Department of Defense can then order as needed. “We wanted something that was commercially viable so that we don’t get driven down the route of high-cost, low-deployment devices,” he said.