A U.S. Marine Corps official said the agency is at a “tipping point” with identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) solutions during the TechNet Indo-Pacific event in Hawaii on Nov. 10.

Bob Sholtis, Deputy AC/S G39 & G6, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, explained how ICAM is a cybersecurity enabler for sharing data and accomplishing the mission – not a hurdle.

“We’re mostly, in a lot of cases, restricted to IDAM – identity access management. That’s challenging from how we share data on the field,” Sholtis said.

“We think of security last,” he continued, “instead of looking at security being the driver and being how we utilize security to share data with our partners and allies. So, we have a long way to go, but I think we are approaching the tipping point and we’ll be getting there [with ICAM].”

John Sahlin, director of cyber solutions at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), said at the same event, “ICAM is an enabler to share that data. Because I don’t think enough people think about cybersecurity as more than just a lock. It is a key to enabling the mission if we use it right.”

Sahlin explained the difference between IDAM and ICAM is critical because it’s no longer just about identity. ICAM makes decisions on access to resources based on the location of the request, the type of network they are utilizing, and how they are behaving, he explained.

Charles White, chief technology officer at Fornetix, explained why ICAM is critical to the Marine Corps.

ICAM “becomes really driven by the mission, and it’s ultimately to make the services, technology, people, process, etcetera more credible,” White said, adding, “then doing it in a way that allows you to be interoperable, while at the same time still [using] cybersecurity as a mission enabler versus a hurdle.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.