Network architecture improvements designed to plug leaks

The new network architecture for the intelligence community will include a change intended to plug leaks: pushing security downward from the network level to the data level, intelligence officials say.

“We are fundamentally changing the way we do data security,” Al Tarasiuk, CIO for the Director of National Intelligence, said Oct. 9 at the GEOINT 2012 Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Tarasiuk and Rob Carey, deputy CIO for the Defense Department, said the emphasis is on controlling access to information, linking each user’s clearance level to the data available to him or her.

Tarasiuk said intelligence officials are emphasizing understanding who’s accessing what information and how they’re using it in the wake of the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified documents – including sensitive State Department diplomatic cables -- to the WikiLeaks whistleblower website. A low-level Army intelligence analyst was charged in that case.

But implementing the kind of security that could help prevent such breaches takes time, he said. “I’m not quite there yet. That’s a huge vision thing that somebody else will have to worry about in the future.”

Earlier, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told symposium attendees that the intelligence community is implementing a series of changes designed to plug leaks, including more monitoring of traffic, more aggressive investigations, new standards for polygraphs and an overhaul of the process for issuing security clearances.

“I feel very strongly that we in the intelligence community should set the example for everyone else in the government,” he said.

About the Author

Charles Hoskinson is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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