networked data

Connected Warrior

AFWERX invests in 5G-enabled IoT security

The growth of internet-of-things technologies combined with the rollout of 5G has the Air Force’s innovation arm looking for new ways to secure its networks. 

AFWERX has awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract to Phosphorus Cybersecurity. Under the contract, the company will help the Air Force build a scalable security infrastructure to ensure the 5G-enabled IoT devices it plans for its installations do not increase the network attack surface.

The company’s technology automates IoT inventory, patching and credential management, enabling organizations to more easily scale applications.

Currently, most automated security policy compliance solutions -- taking inventory, rotating passwords and updating firmware -- are designed for desktops and traditional network services. It’s now time to bring that approach to IoT and 5G-enabled devices, company officials said.

“What’s needed now is a solution for the other third of the network consisting of IoT to prevent the next ‘Verkada’ [surveillance camera hack] while enabling the warfighter to adopt next-generation technology,” Phosphorus Founder and CEO Chris Rouland said.

“Adapting Phosphorus’s solution to 5G in support of this effort is critical to promoting the zero-trust environment necessary to secure our defense networks,” he added.

Last year, Phosphorus won another Phase I SBIR from AFWERX to work on IoT security. The new award adds in 5G devices.

This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to Defense Systems.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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