NATO awards contract to Airbus to enhance the Alliance’s information security

By Matteo Tomasina 7/24/2018
NCI Agency has signed a three-year firm fixed price contract for 13 million EUR with Airbus UK for the delivery of the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure Project.

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has signed a three-year firm fixed price contract for 13 million EUR  with Airbus UK for the delivery of the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure Project (E-NPKI). The contract also includes five 12-month option periods for operation and maintenance support totalling 7.2 million EUR. The contract was signed on 1 June 2018, with scheduled activities commencing in July 2018. The E-NPKI service will be incorporated in the NCI Agency service catalogue.

The E-NPKI Project will design, implement and deliver a framework of services for the management of public key certificates for NATO, including Digital Signature, Encryption, Identification and Authentication services. The purpose is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information between people and entities, using techniques of asymmetric cryptography. E-NPKI will enable security services, such as confidentiality, integrity, non- repudiation, and authentication, by applying rigid processes of registration and issuance of digital certificates that bind public keys with respective identities.

The E-NPKI project will deliver benefits to the NATO enterprise, augmenting the legacy secure communications among NATO organizations as well as between NATO and other organizations and countries. It will be able to offer certificate services accredited for use in all NATO environments, delivering services to up to 70,000 users and devices. Initial deployment will be to 52 sites in 20 countries covering elements from the civilian, military, NATO Command and NATO Force Structure. This initial deployment can be subsequently expanded to 23 Optional sites in 13 countries. The contract includes setting up a dedicated E-NPKI Service Desk that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will ensure system availability, incident and configuration management as well as certificate and digital identity card management.

The Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure Project, together with the IT Modernization Project, the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project and the Service Oriented Architecture Identity Management Project, is part of the wider IT Modernization Programme - recently expanded in scope and renamed Polaris Programme.

Polaris is one of NCI Agency's flagship initiatives to lead NATO's digital transformation. It will deliver a wide range of benefits to IT administrators and users, enabling centralized management and control, increasing the availability of services, strengthening NATO-wide resiliency, enhancing information security, and increasing the mobility and agility of the workforce.

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