Rollout Across 70+ NATO Sites
Airbus announced on 28 August it has won the Enterprise NATO Public Key Infrastructure (E-NPKI) programme from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).
The contract, the purpose of which is to improve secure communications between NATO and other organisations, requires Airbus to design, deliver and implement a new framework of services for the management of public key certificates. The system will provide accredited certificate services on NATO networks up to secret level. Full service support including a test facility and training will take place across more than 70 NATO sites: a dedicated E-NPKI Service Desk operating on a 24/7 basis will be established, ensuring system availability, incident and configuration management as well as certificate and digital identity card management.
The capability delivered through this three-year firm fixed-price contract will be incorporated into NCIA’s service catalogue and will enable NATO nations to procure the NATO approved service.
The purpose of a public key infrastructure (PKI) is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information between people and entities, using asymmetric cryptography. It enables security services, such as confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation and authentication, by applying rigid processes of registration and the issuance of digital certificates that bind public keys with the respective identities of entities such as people, services, devices and organisations. An effective PKI is a combination of hardware and software products, along with policies and procedures able to manage the life cycle of digital certificates including creation, storage, distribution, and revocation.
Together with the NATO Communications Infrastructure Project (which Airbus won several months ago) and the IT Modernisation Project, E-NPKI forms part of the wider IT modernisation programme named Polaris, which aims to transform NATO’s static IT infrastructure into a homogeneous enterprise.