Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Monday said it is expanding its work with a cyber security firm to evaluate technologies to better protect the information supply chain around operational aircraft systems.

Lockheed Martin said the new contract with Guardtime Federal builds on work begun in 2015 around improving the security of embedded cyber physical systems.iStock Cyber Lock

“We continue to integrate new cyber security approaches across our portfolio of aeronautics programs,” Ron Bessire, vice president of Engineering and Technology at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics segment, said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Guardtime Federal continues to yield fresh new approaches to solve the lingering challenges that more traditional technical solutions have not solved.”

Guardtime Federal is helping Lockheed Martin address hardware, software and information supply chains across the lifecycle of programs.

David Hamilton, president of Guardtime Federal, told Defense Daily via an email response to questions that the company’s solutions help assure the security of data transmission by signing data before it is transmitted and verifying it afterward.

“At a top level, this addresses mitigation of the counterfeits in the physical supply chain, mitigation of unauthorized access to critical elements of software development, and mitigates potential third-party distortion of mission information from a multitude of sources to actual system use in any role from mission planning to on-aircraft or other aerospace system,” Hamilton said. “We can assure state files have not been distorted from their authorized point of creation, Further, we can prove the provenance of a file or program, meaning how it has been modified and who modified it from original creation to operational use. By locking down who can make a change you minimize the attack surface and by being able to prove who was involved you further deter bad actors.”

In a statement included in the press release with Lockheed Martin, Hamilton said, “Our goal is to provide every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine the confidence that they can rely on the information they see and the equipment they operate without fear that it has been manipulated by an outside force.”

Guardtime Federal supports the Defense Department, intelligence community, federal government, and federal contractors. The company has offices in Northern Virginia, California, the Netherlands, Estonia, Britain and Singapore.