06 Mar 2018

From the ground up: Getac’s Jackson White talks rugged technology at DPRTE

DPRTE’s Technology and Innovation Zone will play host to a number of distinguished speakers, among them Jackson White – Sales Director for the UK, Ireland and the Nordics at rugged technology specialist Getac.

Sponsor: Getac

Ahead of his address on combat communications and operational data security, Jackson talks to Defence Online about his plans for the event and Getac’s broadening remit.

What do you view as being the big topics up for debate this DPRTE?

At DPRTE, we’re expecting to see a lot of discussion around security and cyber following a year of very public and damaging cyber attacks, such as Wannacry. For defence, protection of systems, devices and soldiers is clearly paramount, especially as more and more data is being collected or transmitted from multiple locations. Military requires security that stays with data at all times and can only be accessed by authorised users. Technology has a huge role to play in defining security strategies, so much of the discussion at DPRTE will focus on that, including encryption, data shredding, secure storage, and authorised file reconstitution ensures that only authorised users can access the secured data.

We’re also seeing growing investment in C4iSR technologies to support modern and asymmetrical warfare and digitisation strategies in the defence sector around the globe. We’re hoping there will be a lot of discussion about how technologies are enabling new practices, from artificial intelligence to drones and unmanned aerial systems (UAS), robots and robotic carrying systems. Mobility devices such as notebooks and tablets are also significantly improving soldier capabilities, and this is an area we’re particularly interested exploring with the community at DPRTE.

What does Getac have in the pipeline this year? What can visitors expect to see?

At the Getac stand (82), we’ll be showcasing our latest rugged mobile devices, including the revamped X500 notebook and server products that launched in February 2018. The products have been specifically designed to support battlefield digitisation strategies and evolving modern warfare practices. The addition of the new X500 series strengthens Getac’s proposition providing the building blocks for turnkey solutions for defence and security customers.

Getac’s ecosystem of products for defence is growing and serves multiple requirements from the MX50 rugged tablet for the dismounted soldier, the B300 which includes night vision goggle capabilities and comprehensive software integrations.

Why is security such an integral part of the Getac offering?

Many defence teams depend upon rugged mobile devices to convey mission critical, covert communications and data collection in hostile military operating environments. One of the most interesting discussions we have with defence teams is about how they use rugged devices to create efficiencies and what concerns they have about using new technologies. Security comes up time and again, so we have developed Getac Secure, a security and software ecosystem of the most robust solutions that protect hardware, software and data at rest, in use and transit to NSA standards. Getac’s security offerings have been designed exclusively with the warfighter in mind to securely handle multiple security levels of data and below.

Can you give an example?

One of Getac’s partners, Trivalent, recently referenced a case scenario that illustrates how data can be easily seized unless it is properly protected: In June, 2005, coalition Forces launched Operation Red Wings in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. Part of the mission of this highly sensitive operation was to disrupt hostile local anti-coalition activity. A four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was dispatched to gain intelligence on key personnel to assist with upcoming operations. The team relied on a mobile ruggedised device to collect and store critical data and to communicate back to their command. Shortly after insertion, the team engaged in a ferocious firefight, which ultimately took the lives of three brave SEALs. Unfortunately, the insurgents were able to capture the SEALs’ weapons and equipment. Seized equipment included operational items such as weapons, night vision goggles and their ruggedised laptop.

The laptop contained classified and sensitive information that the enemy could leverage for hostile actions. The insurgents proceeded to remove the hard drive. Next they were able to successfully access the data from critical files that were on the laptop which contained the data. Without authorised access, they could then easily view, use and distribute the classified and sensitive government data that was on the seized laptop.

The solution is to ensure that data protection must always stay with the data at all times and can only be accessed by authorised users. Trivalent’s unique process of encryption, data shredding, secure storage, and authorised file reconstitution ensures that only authorised users can access the secured data. The added instrumentation of data security on the device makes a lost or stolen device worthless to the enemy.

Is there anything in the events programme that you’re particularly excited for?

The Knowledge Transfer Zone’s Technology and Innovation section will be of particular interest this year. Innovation was placed firmly at the centre of the 2015 Strategic Defence Security Review (SDSR), so I’m looking forward to finding out about the newest innovations and opportunities and how they can impact global security.

Finally, where on the show floor can attendees find Getac?

Getac will be at stand 82 on the show floor. Delegates will be able to see and play with all the Getac devices and talk to the team about how secure rugged mobility solutions can support them.

To hear more from Jackson and learn more about the benefits of rugged technology, book your place at DPRTE 2018 now: http://www.dprte.co.uk/book-now/

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