Cyber experts prepare NextGen info rules

US cyber-security experts are formulating exactly what information needs to be safeguarded as the nation goes about developing a satellite-based NextGen air traffic management system.

Experts convened at NextGen agency, the Joint Planning and Development Office last month for the first meeting of the NextGen Federated Identity Credentialing and Access Management (NFICAM) Study Team.

The NFICAM effort will help ensure that NextGen partners can securely and quickly exchange information in the National Airspace System (NAS).

“For NextGen to effectively operate in the future, its stakeholders – government and private partners alike – must implement Federated Identity Credentialing, which allows users to successfully and securely exchange data and information among each other,” it stated.

The data and information must be discoverable, accessible, secure, and timely. To do this, the Study Team will develop a NextGen Identification Authentication policy, define what qualifies as sensitive information, and create a data Level of Assurance (LOA) table. All users who access or provide data in the NextGen system would be asked to authenticate their identities at the proper level. The LOA will define what level of identification is required by specific data categories and service sensitivities.

The Study Team came about as a result of a three-day Federated Identity Credentialing Conference and Workshop held by the JPDO last July. The team’s members include subject matter experts from the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, and Transportation, as well as Boeing, BAE Systems, and IBM. The Study Team plans to produce a report on its findings next year.

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