DISA mulls redirecting internet browsing to external cloud

The Defense Information Systems Agencies wants to give Defense Department employees a more-secure way to connect to the internet.

In a request for information for a "cloud-based internet isolation solution," DISA said it is looking to defend against attacks that exploit DOD networks and compromise end clients by redirecting internet browsing from the end user’s desktop into a remote, cloud-based server that's outside the Department of Defense Information Network. The service would be expected to support approximately 60 percent of the total user base, or 3.1 million employees.

Cloud-based browsers execute web code on a remote host rather than allowing it to execute on local devices, said Scott Petry, CEO and co-founder of Authentic8, a cloud-based browser developer. The solution can also improve network efficiency through centralized access policies, data loss prevention controls, audit and oversight of usage, full anonymity and more, he said.

Additional capabilities requested by DISA include:

  • Securely storing and transmitting data in a way that ensures its confidentiality, integrity, availability and source authenticity.
  • Content-control software at the host that allows for document uploading, downloading, storage and cloud access as well as the ability to blacklist/whitelist URLs.
  • Logging all web requests and tying those requests to specific users from their authentication through session end.
  • Allowing setting of thresholds for internet usage on a per-client basis.
  • Providing latency of no more than 100ms and supporting support10 gigabit/sec throughput 99 percent of the time.

"The DISA RFI is significant to the entire security market, not just the DOD, as it marks the moment where an arguably niche and disruptive security solution becomes mainstream," Petry said. "DOD has taken measures to limit support to mission-related network traffic, but the volume of non-mission-related traffic has increased dramatically, and the public internet has become a reality they must embrace," he said. 

Read the full RFI here.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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