Trusted Collaboration

Collaborating on a shared work product is challenging when individuals or organizations are using different security domains and have access to specific information. We provide solutions that allow you to balance the need-to-know with the need-to-share.


Collaboration in secure environments is increasingly complex. How do you effectively search data or share work product when different users have different access permissions to a wide spectrum of data, both secure and not, spread across multiple systems?

Our trusted collaboration solutions focus on secure person-to-person collaboration, especially across security domains. Such domains may include classification domains, separate networks or virtual private networks.

With any collaboration, there is an aspect of a "shared work product" such as a document, wiki page, or mission plan. Collaboration in completely unrestricted environments, such as working on Wikipedia on the open Internet, is relatively easy since all users are authorized to read and update articles. Furthermore, the integrity of the information is good enough for most uses.

Collaboration in secure environments is significantly more complex, however. A number of problems arise:

  1. There will always be a set of users who could benefit from a piece of information, but they do not have permission to access it. A related problem is that, even if they have a strong need-to-know, they cannot identify the information they require in order to request it. This problem is related to the requirement for confidentiality.
  2. Some information must have a high degree of integrity since it might influence decisions and actions. Those making such decisions must have confidence in the identity of users and their authority to provide such information.
  3. Related to both confidentiality and integrity, there will always be a set of users who could effectively contribute to the shared work product, but who are not authorized to do so. For instance, they have information or expertise that would be relevant, but they are restricted from reading or writing that shared work product because their level of access prohibits it.

Solutions in this area are typically about compromise: opening very restricted channels of communication, disclosing limited amounts of information to facilitate discovery, and using informal, out-of-band communication methods for getting to the expertise of unauthorized users.

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Training - Get tools for programmers, developers, and analysts to increase efficiency and security.

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