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DISA looks to intelligence community for cloud tips

Aug. 22, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By | AMBER CORRIIN   |   Comments
The National Security Agency has given DISA some recent cloud insight.
The National Security Agency has given DISA some recent cloud insight. (File)

As the Defense Information Systems Agency negotiates its path toward cloud services and broader IT upgrades, officials there may be taking some tips from their Fort Meade, Maryland, neighbors.

DISA is in the midst of implementing cloud pilot programs that are helping agency officials determine the best strategies and approaches; the agency also is helping to lead the Defense Department’s transition to the Joint Information Environment, a centralized IT-focused effort focused on savings, efficiencies and information-sharing. The DISA and DoD activities are taking place as the intelligence community moves forward with its own centralized IT effort in information-sharing known as the IC Information Technology Environment, or ICITE.

ICITE, JIE and DoD strides in cloud are not necessarily joint measures between the Pentagon and the IC, but they are happening in parallel and officials on both sides are consulting each other along the way, according to defense officials.

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“We’re in the very early stages right now, and as we’re looking at cloud we’re trying not to throw out any potential opportunities,” Dave Bennett, DISA CIO, said Aug. 20 at DISA’s Forecast to Industry at Fort Meade. “We are in a lot of discussions right now between DISA and the IC to figure out how we can team together to leverage each other’s capabilities and efforts that are under way to support in both directions. We’ve had a couple meetings over the last couple of months specifically targeting how we can do that.”

DISA already has taken advantage of IC cloud developments in some ways, such as the use of National Security Agency capabilities in DISA’s cybersecurity situational awareness analytic cloud, or CSAAC. CSAAC today takes advantage of NSA’s big-data analytics cloud known as Acropolis to analyze large quantities of DoD network data and detect cyber threats. Partnership between the Fort Meade neighbors could expand, particularly as far as cloud is concerned.

“In relation to cloud, we’re certainly looking to leverage the experience they’ve gained to help us shape how we want to go forward, especially to extent we want to leverage some of their capabilities,” Bennett said.

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