Pentagon Officials to Industry: Bring Us Tech That is Easy to Integrate

A cavalry scout uses an Android Tactical Assault Kit to plot waypoints during field testing of the enhanced night vision goggles-binoculars at Fort Polk, Louisiana, June 16.

A cavalry scout uses an Android Tactical Assault Kit to plot waypoints during field testing of the enhanced night vision goggles-binoculars at Fort Polk, Louisiana, June 16. Ashley M. Morris/Army

Information systems that are easy to integrate and build in cybersecurity practices at the foundation top officials' wishlist.

The defense industry needs to focus on developing technology that is easy to integrate and meets cybersecurity norms from the get-go, according to military officials speaking at the 2020 Army Signal Conference

At the conference, hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, officials urged industry partners to create products that build in standard security principles at the outset of development and allow for a wide range of use cases. 

“Don't give me a bespoke, unique solution for one small problem, so that I can add it to the 42 other devices that I'm hooking up,” Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, deputy director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command, said. “That’s not helpful.” 

Stanton spoke Tuesday—the first day of the conference—on a panel regarding the importance of getting meaningful data to the front lines in real time. Figuring out how to create an information advantage faster than opponents is “warfighting 101,” Stanton argued, but it’s an area that needs improvement. 

“How do I integrate these components? How do I design them such that they are intended to be integrated?” Stanton said. “These are some of the challenges that we need our industry partners to help us with.” 

Speaking on the same panel, Maj. Adam Brinkman, deputy to the chief technology officer for the Army Special Operations Command, agreed with Stanton’s assessment. Brinkman emphasized the need for industry to make systems that integrate in order for their products to stay viable. 

“The problem that we’ve actually, honestly had is making sure the technology we receive can be successfully integrated,” Brinkman said. 

The Android Tactical Assault Kit, according to Brinkman, is a good example for industry developers to follow when it comes to creating solutions that fit the Army’s integration vision. Also known as the Android Team Awareness Kit, ATAK is an off-the-shelf software tool with 40,000 users across the Defense Department. Brinkman highlighted ATAK’s availability to a community of developers and its open-source code as contributors to its success. 

“What you have is essentially a meeting place where people can develop and create tools for you to quickly integrate into your environment,” Brinkman said. 

Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, head of the Defense Information Systems Agency, said in Wednesday session that innovation in the information technology frontier is not just about creating new technology but about making sure the full potential of that technology is realized. 

“We have all kinds of technology that we don’t use, that we use 5%, 10% of the capability that’s in it,” said Norton, responding to a moderator question. “We have to figure out how to actually use the capability that’s embedded in the technology.”

A key to making information systems that are easy to integrate is building security protocols into tools from the very start of development, Norton said. As customers, DISA and the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization are looking for IT providers that are able to meet standards such as the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model Certification, or CMMC, rather than pre-existing tools that add on security measures as an afterthought.  

“The cost of adding on cybersecurity is tremendous,” Norton said. “And it just won’t work very well if you bolt it on at the end.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.