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The Army Corps of Engineers ‘significantly’ moves away from user names and passwords

The high-tech goes hand-in-hand with the high speed ways the world changes, as a constant challenge is staying a step ahead of hackers. Thus, maintaining identi...

Dovarius Peoples is sort of a high-tech field general in his role as Chief Information Officer of the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps has a reach that is long and deep, dealing with the U.S. Army, other military services, contractors, as well as state and local governments.

The high-tech goes hand-in-hand with the high speed ways the world changes, as a constant challenge is staying a step ahead of hackers. Thus, maintaining identity, integrity and good customer service is the name of the game.

“We are very large when you think about it,” Peoples said on Federal Monthly Insights – Modernizing Citizen Experiences with Cloud Identity. “We have our mission as a construction agent for DoD. Then there’s civil, as we manage all the levees, lots of dams and critical waterways in the United States.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some 37,000 civilians and soldiers tasked to deliver engineering services to people in over 130 countries.

“When you think about our disaster relief mission, we are the executive agent that actually moves those things,” Peoples said on Federal Drive with Tom Temin. “So we have a huge externally facing mission. Customer experience, end-user experience, collaboration — internally as well as external — not just to the DoD, but also the federal community. And, of course, state and local. That is a huge and encompassing mission for the Corps.”

The Corps has lots of mission-critical applications that Peoples said help move the mission forward.

“Users are accessing apps through a PC and for our external users going through a web client. External users are those that are in our state and local areas that are true end users,” Peoples said.

From an IT perspective, Peoples said he looks at the Corps’ thousands of employees as end users. “For them to perform their jobs, we provide applications that can be leveraged on a mobile platform, meaning a mobile device like an iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and those types of things through a secure browser or even through a secure app, or secure mobile app,” Peoples said.

Peoples said the Crops has “made leaps and strides” securing those platforms. “But ultimately the key goal is to be able to access mission critical data,” Peoples said.

The Corps is currently going through its ICAM modernization: Identity, Credential and Access Management Strategy. They are identifying various applications and integrating them into the larger, ongoing DoD effort.

“From a usage perspective, we have technology that we’re modernizing right,” Peoples said. “We do have an ICAM solution and that solution manages all of our identities, as well as access into our network.’

Peoples said the Army Corps of Engineers has come to a point where it needs to modernize, as well as to stay in compliance with a lot of the DoD directives.

“So we are moving forward in that manner now, which will give us more access, better access or optimal access to a lot of our mission critical data, in a more secure manner.”

The Corps, meantime, is leveraging two-factor authentication and moving away “pretty significantly,” from usernames and passwords.



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