Mark Lewis, director of research and engineering for modernization at the Department of Defense (DoD), said DoD is shifting from the "trusted foundry" model toward a “zero trust” approach when it comes to procuring microelectronics due to risks of insider threats, DoD News reported Tuesday.
"You depend on data, you depend on validation and verification, you depend on standards that will make sure that what you have has no surprises, doesn't have back doors that are going to injure you or damage you, and doesn't act in a malicious way," Lewis said of the zero trust approach. "We're actually extremely comfortable now — we believe that the technologies already exist for us to be able to do that."
He said he believes the adoption of zero trust will help the department gain access to modern technology platforms and keep pace with strategic competitors. "Our goal is to allow the Department of Defense to purchase on the commercial curves, from state-of-the-art," he added.
In addition to microelectronics, Lewis also discussed the Pentagon's other 10 tech priorities, including 5G, cyber, autonomy, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and hypersonics.