The anniversary of 9/11 serves as a reminder of the importance of planning the national security future. In the years since, the country strengthened relationships among departments and agencies, as well as with coalition partners and allies. It also has implemented tactics, techniques, procedures and technologies for sharing information across government and with international partners.
The U.S. government is adopting changes to the cloud computing certification program that will better protect against potential insider threats. The improvements include additional penetration testing, more thorough testing of mobile devices, tighter controls over systems being carried from a facility and more stringent scrutiny of systems connecting from outside the network.
The business world is taking a cue from the gaming world, increasingly using a system of incentives and old-fashioned competition to spur engagement. Gamification, which started out on video game screens with top score designations and leaderboards, is now helping companies meet real-life objectives.
The United States is in the midst of preparing its largest intelligence hub outside of its own national borders. The center will accommodate operations with reach into several global areas, including those rife with anti-terrorism operations.
The U.S. intelligence community has suffered significant damage from a perfect storm of insider revelations and budget cutbacks. Simultaneously, the threat picture confronting the United States has grown to an unprecedented level just when intelligence organizations are hampered in their efforts to continue to protect the nation.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is looking toward small business to provide vital technologies as the agency confronts budget constraints. Enticement efforts include targeted outreach, reshaped acquisition patterns and improved networking among potential contractors.
Where human analysis might fail in the intelligence community, technological solutions are at the ready to fill the void. Companies are ginning up software programs that can prove to be key for intelligence analysts as they track the bad guys—be they insider threats or an outside enemy.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) primary external advisory board today announced a report calling for the agency to increase its staff of cryptography experts and to implement more explicit processes for ensuring openness and transparency to strengthen its cryptography efforts. In making its recommendations, the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) specifically addressed NIST’s interactions with the National Security Agency (NSA).
The National Security Agency has added five schools to the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program.
Two closely related science and technology programs aim to improve image location and search capabilities, saving intelligence analysts significant time and effort.
U.S. Army officials envision a future in which ground and air platforms share data and where soldiers at a remote forward-operating base easily can access information from any sensor in the area, including national satellites or reconnaissance aircraft flying overhead.
Technology innovations, new roles and expanding missions are shaping the move toward big data in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. A mix of tradecraft and technology is ensuing as the agency evolves from an organization that always has worked with voluminous imagery files to one in which big data represents a goal that promises to change many aspects of intelligence.
The Instant Eye small unmanned aerial system received approval last Thursday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be used by an energy company, which will conduct research, development and training to see if the system is practical for inspecting infrastructure such as pipelines, power lines and insulators on towers. It is the first unmanned quadrotor to receive FAA certification and may be the lightest aircraft ever certified. The approval opens the door for the system to be used for a wide range of commercial applications.
Representatives from the U.S. Army and Air Force, along with 17 NATO nations and three partner nations, will participate in a joint reconnaissance trial in Norway this month to test and evaluate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance concepts and technologies.
Q: What are the next steps for intelligence after the post-9/11 era?
A: The next steps should be a radical shift in how resources are allocated, not business as usual on tighter budgets.
The world may be more dangerous today than in any period in history. Threats are widespread and diverse. It no longer is enough to watch nation-states. In this period of asymmetric warfare, with the addition of the cyberthreat, almost anyone can become a threat to national security. In this dangerous world, the value of intelligence has risen, and the tools and means of intelligence must be richer than in the past.
The borderless world of cybersecurity now is benefitting from geospatial intelligence products. The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has joined the fight against cybermarauders by providing imagery to help cyberwarriors track down online adversaries. Experts defending the United States from cyber attack abroad have a new tool in their kit by being able to see the facility from which digital malefactors are plying their wares.
The first graduates are emerging from centers of excellence for cyber operations that teach the in-depth computer science and engineering skills necessary to conduct network operations. The program better prepares graduates to defend networks and should reduce the on-the-job training needed for new hires, saving both time and money.
Intelligence agencies could have investigated more thoroughly and shared information more effectively, but even if they had performed perfectly, they may not have been able to prevent last year's Boston Marathon bombing, according to a report delivered before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The U.S. Air Force is emerging from almost 13 years of conflict in the Middle East with a different perspective on its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Lessons learned from those battlefields are leading to new directions that will entail abandoning traditional approaches and methods.