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7 Apr 2011

Google for the military

 An intriguing piece in Defense Systems indicates that the US Army is deploying a cloud based military intelligence system in Afghanistan:
As the first tactical cloud operating in Afghanistan, the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) pools intelligence collected from the beginning of the war in Iraq up until today, aggregated from various databases for wider, faster and easier access and decision-making.  Army Col. Charles Wells, DCGS-A program manager, said the system is a paradigm shift.  “This is for better analysis and increased communications,” Wells said, noting that DCGS-A will leverage cloud computing to analyze all data, all the time.  “We’re trying to be a Google for intelligence,” said Army Maj. Philip Root, assistant program manager for the DCGS-A cloud. “One advantage of the cloud is that we can have advanced analytical tools, put it in the DCGS-A infrastructure and incorporate it very rapidly,” Root said.
We can but hope they have completely sewn-up the information security aspects of this.  With so much highly sensitive information presumably available through the system, the consequences of security failures (certainly unauthorized access, plus unauthorized changes, and in due course unavailability) are mind-boggling.  They do have access to some of the most competent information security pros on the planet, of course, and I guess the tactical [business] benefits outweigh any residual risks.

Gary (Gary@isect.com)

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