JIE

Pentagon to expand JIE to international partners

Pentagon to expand JIE to international partners

The Pentagon’s Joint Information Environment (JIE) will expand internationally, allowing U.S. and allied data systems to integrate more systems around the globe.

Former DOD Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen said he sees the JIE effort quickly migrating to a “Mission Partner Environment” where allied countries are able to exchange data easily with U.S. networks.

“Mission Partner Environment will really be a cloud that you stand up that lets allies bring in pools of information with a common identity standard and common security standard so you can share data much more seamlessly,” Halvorsen explained.

The expected evolution is consistent with the domestic vision for JIE, which involves improving interoperability and information sharing among U.S. military services. Extending this to include international partners could bring both risks and benefits.

The objective of the Defense Information Systems Agency-led JIE is to converge communications, computing, data exchange and enterprise services onto a joint, single platform. The effort is intended to lower costs, enable secure access from multiple devices and reduce the attack surface of networks. 

An advantage of U.S. and allied coordination of networks would be a rapid increase in interconnectivity along with an ability to expedite data exchange. Much like the challenges presented by a purely U.S. JIE initiative, an internationally-oriented JIE environment would be expected to increase security challenges as well.

Common internet protocol standards can increase security by virtue of malicious actors. At the same time, a more interoperable network might increase access for intruders to a wider database or swath of targets.

Developers will need to address this double-edge sword as they advance a domestic and international JIE effort, however current plans involve creating standards which both facilitate data-network connectivity while also maintaining security protocols for networks. This could

include authenticating users and various methods of protecting access to individual networks operating as part of a larger integrated system.

About the Author

Kris Osborn is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. He can be reached at kosborn@1105media.com.

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