How to Achieve Absolute Security in Communications
Is absolute privacy possible, or is it unrealistic to expect our communications to be secure, avoiding prying eyes and ears? Short of complete isolation and a ‘Cone of Silence’, we must assume someone is always listening, watching, and taking notes.
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and increasing interconnectedness, we — the general public — have become far too complacent about the threats posed by malicious actors intent on capturing our information for illicit purposes.
Although most people do not recognize the importance of securing their information and protecting their communications, the sense of vigilance and urgency is not lost on government organizations responsible for maintaining our country’s security. Critical agencies in every branch of government are well-versed in the importance of trusting confidentiality in communications and are intimately aware that absolute security, for all forms of communication, has reached paramount significance, particularly when it comes to classified information.
Safeguarding sensitive government communications has become a critical imperative, as the consequences of breaches or unauthorized access can be far-reaching and severe. Maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of classified information not only preserves national security but also upholds trust among nations and ensures the smooth functioning of governmental operations. In this dynamic landscape, where digital threats loom large and sophisticated adversaries persistently seek to exploit vulnerabilities, understanding the significance of privacy and implementing robust measures to secure classified communications is vital for preserving the fabric of trust and maintaining a stable and secure society.
Exemplifying this need for absolute, where secure communication is vital, the Department of Defense (DoD) faces a unique challenge. There is a growing need for a single-seat TS/SCI-accredited workstation that will provide convenient access to JWICS (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System) without needing to build a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility). Traditional SCIFs are often impractical, costly, and time-consuming to construct, especially in remote sites or high-profile offices.
What the DoD needs is an absolute… a perfect, unadulterated, always-on, solution for protecting classified information and communications from all forms of snooping, all wrapped in a cost-effective, portable, single-seat package. Imagine total isolation but without the desert heat or sand in your shoes. Imagine conducting a conversation without whispers, or corresponding online without looking over your shoulder. Imagine a clamshell that cloaks an occupant in a comfort-controlled environment.
Actually, Trusted Systems imagined that very thing. And being true to their history of firsts in the industry, Trusted Systems now introduces the Solo SCIF Workstation.
Trusted Systems has a proven legacy of securing classified networks and data from unauthorized physical access. In fact, Trusted Systems’ storied history includes the development of the first IPS (Information Processing System) security container, as approved by GSA, for the protection of classified communications equipment. It is from those humble beginnings that Trusted Systems advanced the state of securing classified network endpoints to find themselves, once again, at the forefront of the industry with the introduction of the first single-seat TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) workstation; a stand-alone cocoon of high-security protection against clandestine actors, shadow dwellers, and errant insiders.
Partnering with Intelligent Devices and Intech Defense was a key step for Trusted Systems to overcome previous obstacles and create the Solo SCIF Workstation, which addresses the limitations of traditional SCIFs by incorporating advanced technologies. It combines Intelligent Devices’ Maxine speech masking technology and Trusted Systems’ IPS Container inside Intech Defense’s Nest, a TEMPEST (Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanation Standard) hardened enclosure. This integrated configuration offers a secure, single-seat workspace that ensures the protection of audio, network equipment, and user interface.
With a knock-down design, the Solo SCIF Workstation is easily installable and relocatable. Its transportable nature allows it to be reused, extending its lifespan beyond that of fixed facilities. This self-contained solution significantly reduces costs, with an estimated price of approximately $250-300K, roughly half the cost of a traditional SCIF. Additionally, it provides GSA (General Services Administration) Class 5 protection, securing both the user interface and the network devices, surpassing the capabilities of standard SCIFs.
To gain accreditation, the Solo SCIF Workstation undergoes a thorough security vetting process. Its design incorporates defense in depth, ensuring physical security, emanation security, and environmental security. The IPS Container provides high-end compartmented protection, while the TEMPEST shielded Nest further enhances security. The integration of Maxwell/Maxine speech masking technology, developed through DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and NSA (National Security Agency) projects, ensures secure TS/SCI communications. The experience gained from deploying TEMPEST tents for mobile deployments and senior leadership travel destinations have informed the creation of the Solo SCIF Workstation.
At Trusted Systems, our philosophy revolves around simplicity, innovation, and compliance. The Solo SCIF Workstation represents our commitment to advancing the state-of-the-art in secure workstations. With its cost-effectiveness, adaptability to nontraditional work environments, and comprehensive security features, it offers an ideal solution for JWICS and other TS/SCI networks like NSANet.
In “Part 2” of this 3-part series, we will delve deeper into the specific configurations and operational procedures of the Solo SCIF Workstation, showcasing its groundbreaking capabilities.