NSA Reorg = Vendor Opportunities

mark-wisinger_65x85By Mark Wisinger, Analyst042116-NSA sign

On February 8, the National Security Agency (NSA) announced its reorganization effort, known as NSA21. Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, NSA’s director, wants to bridge the notable gap between two previously distinct organizations within NSA: Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD). Let’s break down each group and what the change means for industry.

The SIGINT directorate served as the “offensive” organization, focused on intelligence collection through offensive capabilities. Much of NSA’s publicity originates from SIGINT.

The IAD has been focused on purely defensive capabilities and more open in communicating with industry historically. IAD typically uses more COTS software than SIGINT; IAD director Curtis Dukes looks to commercial IT to help bridge gaps and allow his personnel to focus on operational duties. The organization is also much smaller than SIGINT with 3,000 employees versus about 24,000 at SIGINT. IAD’s employees tend to work more closely with industry and are frequently poached by the private sector for their defensive skillsets.

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