DISA identity management service to reach entire DOD by next year

A new access management tool will reach all corners of the DOD by next year, a DISA official said.
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The Defense Information Systems Agency‘s new identity, credentialing and access management (ICAM) tool will be available to the entire department “within the next year,” an official said Thursday.

The enterprisewide “global directory,” as it’s called, will give the Department of Defense a centralized directory for identifying users by fiscal 2022, according to DISA. Such an ICAM solution is a central element for the DOD’s top priority adoption of a zero-trust architecture.

The capability will also allow DOD to use new multi-factor identification tools like biometric sign-in and other new approaches.

“We are definitely going beyond two-factor authentication,” Lt. Col. Pete Godbey, a user engagement officer at DISA’s Cloud Computing Program Office, said during Okta’s Age of Identity Summit produced by CyberScoop. He added, “that’s really what our centralized authentication platform can do.”


DISA has been experimenting with a range of access management tools, like using artificial intelligence-based biometric data that measure everything from a user’s stride to the way they tap their phone to validate their identity.

Godbey said the global directory already has more than 100,000 users and is on the “glide path” to being fully rolled out across the department by the end of fiscal 2022.

“As we start finding where these new technical capabilities can be implemented, instead of trying to implement across dozens or more of the systems out there, really what we can do is implement it on a smaller scale and then provide a massive DOD-wide impact in near-immediate term,” Godbey said, adding that a centralized ICAM tool implementing new ways to check identities is easier than having to update a range of ICAM applications.

While DISA didn’t confirm a specific date for completion, other leaders in the DOD have highlighted the technology’s importance.

“That will be the exemplar that we adopt across the board, throughout the department,” Dave Mckeown, DOD’s chief information security officer, told Congress about the tool.

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