Raise the Bar (RTB) is a set of cybersecurity standards published by the National Cross Domain Strategy & Management Office (NCDSMO) in the National Security Agency (NSA). First published in 2018, the RTB standards are a set of security guidelines and requirements for cross domain solutions (CDS) deployed by the U.S. government to protect National Security Systems (NSS). On January 19, 2022, the White House issued National Security Memorandum/NSM-8, which included a requirement for all agencies operating a CDS connected to a NSS to report on progress toward meeting Raise the Bar as well as any funding obstacles that prevent RTB compliance.
The RTB standards go well beyond the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF) controls that many government agencies implement. RTB standards ensure that CDS systems are at low risk of failing, even under persistent attack. RTB is designed to combat evolving threats by continually improving CDS effectiveness. CDS systems are a critical part of a multi-domain operational environment where warfighters need data at their fingertips to make real-time decisions.
Tactical CDS Application
One example application of RTB is the small form-factor, tactical CDS from Collins Aerospace that is being deployed on the U.S. Navy’s Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS II) program and is targeted for the U.S Air Force’s P6 Combat Training Systems (P6CTS). CDS systems are a critical part of a multi-domain operational environment where warfighters need data at their fingertips to make real-time decisions.
Collins is using the INTEGRITY-178 tuMP security-hardened RTOS on TCTSII and P6CTS to allow for greater access control, data isolation between applications, resource sanitation, and fault isolation on a multicore processor. Running securely on a multicore processor enables the Collins CDS to radically increase speeds and support high-assurance information flow policy enforcement from the command centers to the people and platforms at the tactical edge. Collins said INTEGRITY-178 tuMP made the Raise the Bar CDS certification approval possible by “uniquely meeting the functionality requirements of the Navy’s TCTS II CDS and security assurance requirements of RTB.”
(Image courtesy Collins Aerospace)
Only RTB certified RTOS
INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is the first and only RTOS to be part of a successful certification to Raise the Bar standards and is listed as the operating system of record in the TCTS II entry in the NCDSMO Baseline. The ability of the RTOS to meet this evolving set of standards is directly rooted in the INTEGRITY-178 pedigree of achieving the NSA-defined Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) for “High Robustness” and Common Criteria EAL6+ and is listed as the operating system of record in the TCTS II entry in the NCDSMO Baseline. Those security capabilities enable INTEGRITY-178 tuMP to host multi-level security (MLS) applications, such as a CDS system.
- Article in The Modern Battlespace: “Raise the Bar: Demanding Cybersecurity Excellence for Cross Domain Solutions in the Battlespace”
- Press release: INTEGRITY-178 tuMP Is the First RTOS Used to Meet NSA Raise the Bar Requirements for Cross Domain Solutions
- White paper: Creating a Trusted Embedded Platform for MLS Applications