A new technology to streamline and improve secure information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its partners called the Backend Attribute Exchange, has been deployed, DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced.
The new system “will simplify user identification and verification between different organizations for the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) by eliminating redundancies while ensuring proper security,” DHS said, adding that, “Using the Backend Attribute Exchange, a person’s credentials would be kept at their workplace, and be accessible should they visit another organization. Rather than sending credentials between the locations insecurely, the Backend Attribute Exchange supplies a more efficient, more secure way for the visiting agency to verify the necessary information.”
HSIN is DHS’s own information sharing and collaboration infrastructure. HSIN supports information sharing and collaboration among federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, private sector and international partners for national security purposes.
Ten years after its designation as the platform for sharing sensitive-but-unclassified information across the homeland security enterprise, HSIN has more than 55,000 users who rely on the systems’ tools for planning, response, and daily operations.
“Ensuring the identity of network users is critical to sharing information securely,” DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers said. “By strengthening data security, this innovation will better enable collaboration between DHS and our partners in support of our homeland security mission.”
Developed by the Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU-APL) and the Connecticut based Queralt Inc. with funding from S&T, the system will be utilized as a tangible technology by HSIN.