The Defense Department is in the market for a secure browser to wall off its employees from the open internet, a solution that will effectively block hackers from nation states such as Russia and China from ever reaching its network.
According to a new request for information published on Tuesday, the Pentagon asked the private sector to pitch a “cloud based” product that would isolate more than 3 million Defense Department officials’ internet traffic.
Typically, if a user clicks on a link in a phishing email, that malicious code is able to spread throughout the network unimpeded, stealing secrets or shutting down key functions of the device-like opening a door to a home.
But with the cloud browser, the user will only see a video representation of their internet session taking place on a remote server, as if the traffic lived in an empty room far away. If that session gets hacked, it will be sandboxed and never reach the Pentagon.
Once acquired, this type of technology would be a “game changer,” Scott Wallace, the technical director at the Defense Information Systems Agency, said in a statement to CNN. “We are locked in a race against our adversaries, and we know attacks and threats are generally executed via desktop browser.”
Unlike Amazon’s current contracts, which provide the intelligence community and parts of the Defense Department with cloud-based storage and the ability to organize data, this product would take advantage of the cloud’s remoteness for security purposes.
The browser would “provide defense against a variety of attacks that exploit Department of Defense networks and compromise end clients,” according to the request.
The solution is desperately needed.
According to estimates from the Defense Information Systems Agency, the agency seeking the new solution, the Pentagon faces tens of millions of email-hacking attempts every single day.