DARPA unveils SHARE programme
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched its Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) programme, which aims to overcome the challenges of data sharing and communication in remote regions over limited networks.
The goal of the programme is to create a system where information at multiple levels of security classification can be processed on a single handheld device using a resilient secure network that links devices without needing to route traffic through secure data centres. This capability would be able to operate over existing commercial and military networks while maintaining the security of sensitive information and safety of operations.
Currently the sharing of classified or secure data between troops and coalition partners requires an end-to-end connection to secure servers via a dedicated digital ‘pipe’ approved for the specific security level of data being transmitted. If that tactical network is overloaded or if a glitch causes a break in the digital chain, the message or data is typically lost and the process must be repeated until a connection is completed, potentially hindering the mission in fast-moving tactical situations. Additionally, the current computers and infrastructure needed to manage multiple levels of US classified and coalition information are too bulky for tactical use in the field and can take months or longer to deploy.
SHARE is focused on three key areas: technologies and policy tools for distributed tactical security management on handheld devices; networking technologies based on resilient and secure architectures that work in challenging environments; and software that rapidly configures security across the network.
The end goal of the programme is to demonstrate secure exchange of information at multiple levels of classification over unsecured military and commercial networks, such as Wi-Fi and cellular, using a heterogeneous mix of devices—from tactical radios to laptops to handheld devices.
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