Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Physical Security

Relating to the selective release of information and access to facilities

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There are a vast number of diverse computing devices used to run the critical infrastructure our national security depends on – from transportation systems to electric grids to industrial equipment. Much like commercial or personal computing devices, these systems utilize embedded software to execute and manage their operations. To fix certain security vulnerabilities, commercial and personal devices must undergo frequent updates, and are replaced every few years – or on occasion, more frequently when an update fails. Mission-critical systems are built to last for decades, and rarely have the same short upgrade cycles.
Modern computing systems are incapable of creating sufficient security protections such that they can be trusted with the most sensitive data while simultaneously being exposed to untrusted data streams. In certain places, the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial industry have adopted a series of air-gaps – or breaks between computing systems – to prevent the leakage and compromise of sensitive information.