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DARPA Makes "Collective Immunity" the Goal for DoD Mission-focused Cloud Infrastructure

Ben Farrell
September 27, 2011

The folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are charged with making sure the DoD's mission-focused cloud infrastructure is safe and secure. They announced a program called Mission-oriented Resilient Clouds (MRC) in May, and are tapping into commercial and academic expertise to accomplish their goal. Defense Systems recently reported on DARPA's program, and how it is driving the federal government to a more secure cloud computing environment.

DARPA is talking about the most advanced cybersecurity effort the Internet has likely ever seen. Further, the broader effect this will ultimately have on cloud computing, asMRC's results trickle out to the private sector, could be enormous.

The MRC program encourages a new line of thinking from its private company participants: to create security approaches that take advantage of a distributed network's ability to rapidly amplify and propagate attacks and "use the network as a vulnerability damper and a source of resiliency." One of DARPA's key program goals is what it calls "collective immunity," meaning that several hosts working together in unison would give DoD cloud networks continuous and automatic backup and cross-checking capabilities.

MRC program results are expected to be in place by the end 2015. A safer cloud for the Department of Defense will only lead to a safer and more efficient cloud for all federal agencies and private industry. This is a program to keep an eye on.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications