AI in the Cards for DOD of the Future

Stephanie Meloni

By Stephanie Meloni, consultant

Across the Department of Defense artificial intelligence and machine learning are gaining real traction. And plans are in the works to establish a center dedicated to delivering AI solutions across the DOD, as well as a proposal for an AI and machine learning council as part of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act.  DOD agencies are very interested in using AI to combat and overmatch potential adversaries — and there’s no shortage of use cases across the DOD. Going forward, technology companies will want to be aware of differences between customer environments before engaging with a potential customer.

Recently, early adapters gathered at an AFCEA DC luncheon to discuss recent developments and challenges in AI and machine learning. Here are some highlights.

DISA, an example of a non-tactical customer, is looking at how to use machine learning for cyber situational awareness. DISA uses commercial machine learning technologies and contractors for Acropolis and their Big Data Platform to combat cyber threats and attacks. AI can help them shift their cyber strategy from reactive to proactive.

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New IoT Opportunities to be Found at DoD Facilities

Mark Wisinger_100x135Internet of Things

By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Facilities management continues to be the strongest use case for IoT solution sales, especially at the Department of Defense, which maintains thousands of facilities both within and outside the continental U.S. Each individual building contains a wide variety of sensors and devices that need to be actively monitored.

A single building may have systems for fire alarm reporting, closed-circuit TV, HVAC, lighting control, smart grid and physical access control and may include water management and power management devices. The massive amounts of data collected by these systems could help drive better decision making to help the DOD operate more efficiently, protect its assets and personnel, and save money.

Access to HVAC, utility and security system data can provide enormous benefits, but there is inevitable risk too. The DOD is trying to get beyond just worrying about data security compliance and instead wants to focus on managing an acceptable amount of risk.

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DOD has a new CIO—Here’s what he needs to know

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The Department of Defense recently announced its new chief information officer, Dana Deasy, who already has a tall order to fill.

When Deasy formally takes over in May he will have three main priorities as it relates to cyber: cloud and cloud security, overseeing U.S. Cyber Command’s (CYBERCOM) promotion to a Unified Combatant Command and upgrading the DOD cyber workforce.

The private sector cyber community could have a key role to play here. But first, here’s what you need to know about what faces Deasy:

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Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and beyond

artificial intelligence, government, securityBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Artificial intelligence has been making headway in the IT sector with a focus on cybersecurity. Spending on AI and machine learning, which helps make AI possible, will grow from $12 billion in 2017 to $57.6 billion by 2021, according to IDC.

And it’s starting to get the attention of federal, state and local government IT personnel who see it as a way to increase and optimize automation for enhanced judgment and cost reduction.

The largest opportunity for AI is cybersecurity. Government agencies spend significant resources and people hours adapting to cyber threats while hacker technology becomes even more persistent and evolving. This is the wild west with cybersecurity and the trick is to stay one step ahead of malware, spyware and viruses that aim to corrupt and compromise sensitive processes and data.

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3 ways government is investing in big data

Stephanie Melonibig data, governmentBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

Big data is shaping up to be one of the bigger areas of IT growth within government. The federal market is expected to grow to $9 billion in 2018 and continue growing at an annual rate of 10 percent for the next several years.

Several factors are driving the growth, including the government’s increased attention to its data. The amount it collects and analyzes will only increase with more devices, sensors and upgrades of legacy enterprise systems. Internet of Things (IoT) will be a key driver for agencies that want to revolutionize their data and analytics practices.

The government will also be looking at data management and analytics solutions to improve operations, finance, human resources and healthcare challenges. Data analytics is vital to all government agencies, as analytics can help respond to cyber challenges and save money—two hot buttons for all government customers.

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Blockchain is all the rage and now government is interested

Tom O'KeefeblockchainBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

Everyone’s piling on blockchain as the hip buzzword of the year. Companies that have inserted blockchain in their name have seen their stock prices rise, and simply mentioning that blockchain is part of your technology can be a surefire way to secure investment from venture capital firms.

And now, the federal government is getting in on blockchain, with a recent NIST draft publication highlighting where and when blockchain could be valuable. And federal agencies are paying attention.

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Everything you need to know about Army’s cyber strategy

Stephanie Melonicybersecurity, DOD, ArmyBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

With more than $8 billion requested in cyber-specific funding across the Department of Defense for FY19, cyber is top of mind for DOD leadership. It’s no secret the Army has struggled with protecting and strengthening its networks, and there are numerous modernization programs in the works that fall outside of higher-profile items like WIN-T for the tactical network.

One overarching program that will be vital to the Army’s cyber operations will Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO). This is a relatively new office that was stood up in early 2017 at the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS).

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