The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) has selected Perspecta Labs as the prime contractor to support its Configuration Security (ConSec) programme.

Perspecta Labs is the research subsidiary of information technology (IT) service management company Perspecta.

With a base value of $5.4m, the contract will be carried out in three phases over a performance period of three and a half years.

The ConSec programme has been designed by DARPA to advance the development of new technologies that can automatically generate, deploy and enforce configurations of components and subsystems.

The component and subsystem configurations are built to be used on military platforms, critical infrastructure and network-connected systems for the Internet of Things.

New configurations are expected to deliver the required functionality and performance while reducing vulnerabilities and minimising the attack surface.

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“The OCCAM system will be used to generate secure configurations, as well as human-readable supporting evidence to facilitate the transition of the platform to the upgraded configuration.”

Perspecta Labs president Dr Petros Mouchtaris said: “Perspecta Labs will draw on its rich portfolio of research and development in machine learning and cybersecurity to deliver this work.

“We are excited to bring our innovative techniques to identify, correct and prevent configuration errors in complex networks and distributed systems to our DARPA partner in support of their mission to improve security to critical military and commercial platforms.”

As the prime contractor to the programme, the company will be responsible for designing, developing, demonstrating, testing and supplying the optimised context-specific configuration for attack surface minimisation (OCCAM) system.

The OCCAM system will be used to automatically generate correct and secure configurations, as well as human-readable supporting evidence to facilitate the transition of the platform to the new upgraded configuration.

Recently, Perspecta has received an additional eight-month extension with a ceiling value of $485m for the Next Generation Enterprise Network contract, which would provide the US Navy and the US Marine Corps with uninterrupted IT and network security services until May 2020.