ship in water
ship in water

Cyber, Defense 3 MIN Read

From Data to Dominance: Bringing Enterprise Zero Trust to the Edge

February 1st, 2023


Learn more about GDIT’s work supporting the warfighter, including our ICAM, Edge and Zero Trust capabilities.

Toward the end of 2022, GDIT participated in exercises to demonstrate our edge Identity Credentialing and Access Management (ICAM) solution in a Denied, Disrupted, Intermittent, and Limited bandwidth (DDIL) environment. More specifically, GDIT demonstrated interoperability and synchronization with the enterprise environment using a robust 5G connection, then simulated battlefield DDIL conditions by disconnecting from the 5G network. By empowering data sharing decisions in a DDIL environment, completely independent of the enterprise capability, GDIT showcased the ability to deploy our zero trust capabilities at the edge, while still conforming to DoD standards.

The event’s theme was “From Data to Dominance Through Partnerships.” Working with our partners, including participation by units representing US Army Pacific (USARPAC), USINDOPACOM and NOAA, GDIT’s participation in the Technology Incubation Demonstration Experimentation Support (TIDES) exercise represents the in-field demonstration of a tactical edge zero trust solution that federates identities with mission partner environments and across the enterprise.

Bringing Enterprise Capabilities to the Edge

The GDIT Edge ICAM solution provides warfighters with the ability to share data securely with mission partners in the battlefield. Our solution aggregates identities from disparate data environments and stores identity data using a standardized schema. This allows mission commanders to have a common identity repository to decide when and with whom to share mission critical data, even when the partners come from outside our own environment. GDIT also incorporated quantum-resistant encryption with our partner, Fornetix, to secure voice and video conferencing communications to enable tactical collaboration. By enabling secure data sharing and access control of resources in the field, our Edge ICAM solution supports the warfighters’ need to access mission-relevant data and make data-driven decisions in the field to drive victory.

This exercise also showed how we can bring new users and developers into an intelligence community environment by generating these aforementioned controls both in the field and on the fly. We can manage and federate solutions with new mission partners in an ad hoc environment and allow users to dynamically share data to affect a mission from the tactical edge, without connectivity to the enterprise.

Origins and Strategic Value of TIDES

The University of Hawaii’s Applied Research Lab is a U.S. Navy-sponsored university-affiliated research environment that serves as a center of excellence for critical Navy and national defense needs. There, teams conduct research, develop solutions, and test and evaluate them to address both existing and emerging national defense challenges.

In 2020, this center of excellence established TIDES, which is a platform where innovative technologies can be incubated, tested, and assessed in operationally relevant environments. That same year, they began inviting companies and mission partners to take part in exercises to demonstrate their capabilities in the TIDES environment. TIDES provides a realistic, uncontrolled setting for program sponsors, technologists, and users to work together to accelerate critically necessary advancements in warfighter support.

Aligned and Accelerating JADC2

The demonstration of our edge ICAM solution is directly aligned with the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative, which prioritizes connecting data, sensors, and other communications devices across all the services. It facilitates secure information-sharing at the speed of the mission, in mission-critical environments.

“We are accelerating and, with exercises like these, leveraging our investments in GDIT technology capabilities to deliver and then redefine the art of the possible,” GDIT Chief Technology Officer Ben Gianni said. “Proven demonstrations underscore that we are delivering advanced technology and enterprise-class capabilities to the warfighter that affect today’s mission success."