ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- When something comes around once every ten years, you take notice. Well, 13 years to be exact. The Army Materiel Command's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate their designation as an approved Certified Cross Domain Solutions test Laboratory.
CERDEC's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate Cyber Security and Information Assurance Division's CDS test lab is the first lab to be certified since the original labs were designated by NSA 13 years ago. Prior to the certification, there were only three operational labs designated to test CDS for the entire DOD.
"We are thrilled to be able to use our capabilities in support of the Soldier and expand on our relationship with NSA," said John Willison, S&TCD director. "This ribbon cutting is recognition of the hard work from our CDS team, and we appreciate the opportunity to use our skills in support of NSA."
A Cross Domain Solution is a controlled interface that provides the ability to access or transfer information between two or more different security classification domains. A CDS can block or filter data similar to a firewall.
Phil Payne, an S&TCD computer engineer and CDS lab team lead, spoke of CERDEC's excitement during the opening remarks saying, "CERDEC is pleased to be the first lab in over 10 years to be certified by Unified Cross Domain Services Management Office to perform lab-based security assessments of cross domain solutions."
On June 24, the UCDSMO signed a memorandum concurring with NSA's recommendation that CSIA met all requirements to perform CDS Lab-Based Security Assessments. The LBSA focuses on assuring the robustness of designed, architected and configured CDS security capabilities, as well as correct implementation and compliance with National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53 controls, as outlined in the CDS Overlay.
Certification of the CERDEC CDS laboratory is valid for three years from May 16, 2016, to May 15, 2019.
Dr. Maurice M. McKinney, UCDSMO director, requested the ribbon cutting to acknowledge CERDEC's recent approval as a CDS Testing Lab. Attendees from Army, Navy, NSA and UCDSMO were also invited to participate in the certification and first CDS LBSA at CERDEC S&TCD CSIA.
McKinney emphasized CERDEC's new function supporting the UCDSMO. "This monumental achievement allows DOD to increase the capacity to test cross domain solutions," said McKinney. "As soon as this lab opened, we had customers knocking at the door, and we look forward to growing this relationship with CERDEC."
Donald Heckman, deputy chief, NSA Information Assurance Capabilities, emphasized the importance of CERDEC's new lab and how critical it is for U.S security, saying "CDS labs have a critical role, and we look forward to a long relationship."
CERDEC S&TCD is leveraging its S&T investment, subject matter experts and facilities to enable the Army's cyber community with knowledge of what's making the network more expeditionary and addressing both radio frequency and cyber threats -- and how events like CERDEC's Cyber Blitz work toward innovative outcomes for the Soldier.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.