2021 Intelligence & National Security Summit

October 19, 2021
By Sandra Jontz
TRSS colleagues formed Team PhishRSS to enter this year’s AFCEA EPIC App Challenge, creating an app that adds an element of security to social media privacy settings to win the $5,000 first place prize. Pictured from left: Hannah Lensing, Zach Seid, Zachary Drake, Chris Smith and William Garcia.

We already know there’s an app for that—whether it is to pay the bills, stream a favorite show, connect with friends, order dinner or monitor your heart rate and exercise. And now there’s an app to help strengthen social media privacy settings.

Answering the AFCEA International Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) annual app challenge, this year a team of Thomson Reuters Special Services (TRSS) data scientists won the $5,000 first place prize with its development of an approach to assess and address counterintelligence phishing risks related to users’ LinkedIn profiles.

September 15, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA (c), commander, U.S. Cyber Command, speaks on a panel at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The cyber activities of Russia to try and impact the U.S. presidential elections of 2016 and 2020 are well known, spoken about by U.S. military cyber and other leaders. Going forward toward the mid-term election of 2022, the roster of countries attempting to harm U.S. processes is growing, reports Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commander, U.S. Cyber Command. And the command is already preparing to protect the 2022 elections.

September 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Dave Gauthier, director, Commercial Space and Business Operations, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, participates in a panel at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in seeking to harness innovation and aid its workforce in the development of intelligence, is allowing its analysts for the first time to use commercial solutions as primary sources, reported Dave Gauthier, director, Commercial Space and Business Operations, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Gauthier spoke during an afternoon panel at AFCEA International and INSA’s 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, on September 14.

September 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Chris Inglis, national cyber director, discusses cybersecurity challenges with Suzanne Kelly, CEO and publisher, The Cipher Brief, at the 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Eight weeks on the job, the national cyber director, Chris Inglis, is examining the confines of how to approach the cyber adversaries and nation states conducting malicious attacks on the U.S. government, critical infrastructure and private sector. The former deputy director of the National Security Agency and a member of that agency for 28 years, Inglis sees how the Russian government is not taking any action against perpetrators.

September 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Panelists discuss strategic intelligence at the 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The terrorism threat to the United States from international sources as well as domestic actors is evolving, officials say. On the international side, with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the fall of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover of that country last month, intelligence leaders fully expect Al-Qaeda to gain strength and capabilities in Afghanistan to be able to threaten the United States in the next one-to-two years.

“The current assessment, conservatively, is one-to-two years for Al Qaeda to build some capability to threaten the United States,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, USA, director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

September 14, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ellen Lord (l), former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, discusses the vulnerability of the supply chain with Christine Michienzi, chief technology officer for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The intelligence supply chain needs prompt attention, but any solutions do not necessarily require moving all production back to the United States. The country can rely on some critical sources overseas, but it cannot expect just any vital component to be available any time it is needed.

September 13, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Military intelligence leaders from all the services discuss their services' needs at the 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

For military intelligence, the status quo is unacceptable in this new era. The prescription is change, and that must come across the board for the military to be able to prevail against growing adversarial threats.

That point was presented by a panel of high-ranking military intelligence officers and officials on the first day of the Intelligence and National Security Summit, hosted by AFCEA and INSA and being held at the Gaylord Convention Center near Washington, D.C., September 13-14. The live panel at the live event wasted little time in telling the audience what needs to transpire for their intelligence needs to be met.

September 13, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks by video to the live audience at the opening luncheon of the 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The U.S. intelligence community sees five priorities as it adjusts to a new era in global security, according to its top official. Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, explained to a luncheon audience that these priorities are all vitally important as the community retools to face new threats in a changing world.

Haines was addressing the opening session of the Intelligence and National Security Summit hosted by AFCEA International and INSA and being held at the Gaylord Convention Center near Washington, D.C., September 13-14. Haines spoke via videoconference to the luncheon keynote, which featured social distancing among the dining tables.