Use of COTS Technology in C2 Information Systems: Balancing the Benefits and Risks

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Use of COTS Technology in C2 Information Systems: Balancing the Benefits and Risks

9.95

Author(s): Iain Macleod
No pages: 6
Year: 1998
Article ID: 1-1-6
Keywords: command systems, cots, information security
Format: Electronic (PDF)
 

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Abstract: The overlap in requirements of military information systems and commercial information systems is steadily growing. Wider use of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) information technology in military systems offers the prospect of reduced development and support costs, improved interoperability, reduced technological risk, accelerated deployment, and incremental system evolution. On the other hand, COTS products are effectively "black boxes" and are usually not of military grade, raising significant security and reliability concerns if they are used in critical Command and Control (C2) information systems. Management difficulties can also arise as a consequence of frequent product revisions, immaturity of released products and vendor "lock in". In the search for affordable leading-edge capability, military forces are seeking to take advantage of commercial technology wherever possible. This paper examines potential benefits and risks associated with use of COTS technology in C2 information systems and outlines a number of risk mitigation strategies.