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Polaris Alpha Names Former U.S. Strategic Command Director Steve Callicutt to its Advisory Board

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2018 -- Polaris Alpha today named to its Board of Advisors Kenneth (Steve) Callicutt, former U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Director of Capability and Resource Integration.  Mr. Callicutt recently retired after more than 39 years of service as an Air Force officer and member of the Senior Executive Service.

Mr. Callicutt brings to Polaris Alpha a broad range of experience in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, mission planning and management, and weapons system development.  During his tenure at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt was responsible for conducting force management and analysis to include integrating, and advocating future concepts, weapons system development, support for emerging technologies, and command and control architecture. USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

Prior to his time at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years. Previously he was Senior Technical Director, Air Force Command and Control, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, Langley AFB, Va.

"Steve has deep expertise in so many of the areas we serve, from ISR and mission planning to command and control and electromagnetic spectrum operations," said Jay Jesse, President, Polaris Alpha. "We look forward to drawing on his expertise and we are confident he will provide invaluable guidance across all of our business units."

"Over the past year, I have watched Polaris Alpha become a tremendously influential player in the military and government sectors, and I am thrilled to be joining such a dynamic team," said Mr. Callicutt.  "It is very gratifying to be part of an agile, forward-thinking organization that is helping to change the way business is done in Washington.  I can't wait to get started."

Mr. Callicutt is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering.  He also attended numerous military schools, including the National War College.

During his time in the Air Force, Mr. Callicutt received many honors and awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the 2006 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award.

The Polaris Alpha Advisory Board provides the company's executive leadership with strategic guidance and advice as it serves its customers in the military and Intelligence Community.

About Polaris Alpha
Polaris Alpha ("Polaris") provides advanced technical capabilities, specialized domain expertise, and mission critical solutions to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community customers. Polaris has approximately 1,300 employees with major offices in Annapolis Junction, MD; Columbia, MD, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Colorado Springs, CO; Denver, CO and Fredericksburg, VA; as well as customer sites both domestically and internationally. For further details on its customers and capabilities, please visit its website at www.polarisalpha.com or at LinkedIn.

SOURCE Polaris Alpha

Related Links

http://www.polarisalpha.com

SECUR Now Offering Europe's Leading Storage And Transport Containers For Shippers Of Radioactive Wastes And Materials

PITTSBURGH, SECUR (www.securllc.com), provider of transportation logistics, packaging and technical services for radioactive, hazardous and non-hazardous waste and byproducts, said today that it has signed an exclusive North American distribution agreement for Slovenia-based CONTAINER d.o.o.'s (www.container.si/en/) ATOM line of intermodal container products for radioactive materials.

The ATOM containers give nuclear and radioactive industry shippers enhanced flexibility and significant cost benefits for packaging and transportation programs. The Type A containers are available in 10', 20' and 40' lengths with optional, removable hard lids for full access to the top and end of the container for loading. Containers are certified for rail, barge and truck transport as well as for international marine shipping. The containers can be modified with removable headers, shielding and racking systems.

"CONTAINER d.o.o. has been a leading European manufacturer of containers for more than 40 years and we are delighted to bring its successful ATOM line to our clients in the U.S., Canada and Mexico," said John Evanko, SECUR president. "The ATOM container helps us expand the choices we offer clients in the nuclear services solutions arena."

The company said the ATOM containers are available now for sale and lease. Please direct inquiries to Ken Grumski at 412- 506-8250 Ext. 102 or [email protected].

Media contact: Danielle Scherer, 412-506-8250 Ext. 104, [email protected]

ABOUT SECUR

SECUR provides clients in industry and government with asset-based logistics, packaging and technical services that enable them safely and cost efficiently to handle a range of radioactive, hazardous, industrial and other complex wastes generated from environmental remediation, decommissioning and waste management activities. 

SOURCE SECUR LLC

Related Links

http://www.securllc.com

Matrox Unveils Monarch LCS Radar Centralized Monitoring Application at ISE 2018

Powerful, easy-to-use web application allows IT administrators to centrally monitor multiple, campus-wide-deployed Monarch LCS lecture capture appliances from one intuitive dashboard

MONTREAL, Quebec — 6 February 2018 — Matrox® Video today announced Matrox Monarch LCS Radar, a centralized monitoring application that provides a streamlined overview of multiple Monarch LCS lecture capture appliances. The easy-to-use web application allows IT administrators to monitor the status, health, and activity of all encoders from a single dashboard. Overseeing the critical functions of every single encoder simplifies the maintenance and upkeep of the Monarch LCS devices, ensuring smooth day-to-day operations, whether for installations of one or more departments or deployments spread across multiple campuses.

The new Monarch LCS Radar application will be making its debut at Integrated Systems Europe 2018, at Matrox stand #11-D120.

Accessible via any web-browser-enabled device on the same network environment, Monarch LCS Radar features a color-coded dashboard for simple, at-a-glance monitoring. Administrators can easily identify anomalies, while also allowing the user to access the current status of video and audio inputs, schedules, events, and production modes for individual Monarch LCS appliances. An integrated pane provides a confidence preview of audio and video inputs before or during encoding. Administrators can also automate email notifications should a problem occur. In larger installations where many appliances are deployed across the network—such as dentistry, business, and medicine departments—administrators can categorize units into distinct groups for streamlined management of one or more groupings. To access a particular Monarch LCS unit, administrators can always launch the Monarch Command Center web user interface (UI) to adjust settings, initiate ad-hoc recordings, and much more.

“We’ve been working closely with a number of universities to address all the most important features and requirements when it comes to monitoring multi-unit, campus-wide installations,” said Wayne Andrews, product manager, Matrox Video. “Administrators are now equipped with a single, comprehensive platform to monitor and maintain all units for smooth, simple, streamlined operations across the entire network.”

The Matrox Monarch LCS Radar centralized monitoring application will be available to registered customers as a free download from the Matrox site. Visit stand #11-D120 at ISE 2018 to see the application in action alongside the Monarch LCS lecture capture appliance.

About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of 4K, HD, and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a-box systems, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, live event producers, videographers, and A/V professionals worldwide. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

Media Contacts:
Matrox Media Relations
Tel: +1 (514) 822-6000
Email: [email protected]

Polaris Alpha Names Former U.S. Strategic Command Director Steve Callicutt to its Advisory Board

WASHINGTON, DC, February 7, 2018 — Polaris Alpha today named to its Board of Advisors Kenneth (Steve) Callicutt, former U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Director of Capability and Resource Integration.  Mr. Callicutt recently retired after more than 39 years of service as an Air Force officer and member of the Senior Executive Service.

Mr. Callicutt brings to Polaris Alpha a broad range of experience in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, mission planning and management, and weapons system development.  During his tenure at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt was responsible for conducting force management and analysis to include integrating, and advocating future concepts, weapons system development, support for emerging technologies, and command and control architecture. USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

Prior to his time at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years. Previously he was Senior Technical Director, Air Force Command and Control, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, Langley AFB, Va.

"Steve has deep expertise in so many of the areas we serve, from ISR and mission planning to command and control and electromagnetic spectrum operations," said Jay Jesse, President, Polaris Alpha. "We look forward to drawing on his expertise and we are confident he will provide invaluable guidance across all of our business units."

"Over the past year, I have watched Polaris Alpha become a tremendously influential player in the military and government sectors, and I am thrilled to be joining such a dynamic team," said Mr. Callicutt.  "It is very gratifying to be part of an agile, forward-thinking organization that is helping to change the way business is done in Washington.  I can't wait to get started."

Mr. Callicutt is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering.  He also attended numerous military schools, including the National War College.

During his time in the Air Force, Mr. Callicutt received many honors and awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the 2006 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award.

The Polaris Alpha Advisory Board provides the company's executive leadership with strategic guidance and advice as it serves its customers in the military and Intelligence Community.

About Polaris Alpha
Polaris Alpha ("Polaris") provides advanced technical capabilities, specialized domain expertise, and mission critical solutions to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community customers. Polaris has approximately 1,300 employees with major offices in Annapolis Junction, MD; Columbia, MD, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Colorado Springs, CO; Denver, CO and Fredericksburg, VA; as well as customer sites both domestically and internationally. For further details on its customers and capabilities, please visit its website at www.polarisalpha.com or at LinkedIn.


Contact:
Neal Stein
Technology PR Solutions
321-473-7407
[email protected]

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Named As TSA Innovation Site Airport

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has been designated an official Innovation Task Force (ITF) site by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA's Innovation Task Force seeks to drive improvements in overall transportation security effectiveness and efficiency, while ensuring a positive experience for customers. To meet that goal, the ITF works with airports, airlines and other transportation partners to champion innovative and cutting-edge technologies and procedures to protect the nation's transportation systems.

"DFW Airport has a long-standing, constructive relationship with the TSA and our team looks forward to hosting demonstrations of new technology that will explore how to make airports more secure while improving the customer experience," said Chad Makovsky, DFW's executive vice president of Operations. "We recently completed the installation of ten automated screening lanes, which will increase the throughput at four checkpoints, and we've welcomed the TSA into our Airport Operations Center where we collaborate on new ideas and respond quickly to our customers' needs."

"TSA has actively been demonstrating new technologies in airports across the country, and we are pleased that DFW Airport has been named an official Innovation Task Force site," said Steve Karoly, Assistant Administrator for the TSA Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis. "With this partnership, we can find new ways to work together to improve all aspects of aviation security."

This year, the task force will bring more deployment and experimentation of new technologies into public settings. As an ITF site, DFW is eligible for pilot programs to test and refine groundbreaking technologies and processes.

TSA selects innovation sites based on several criteria to ensure TSA resources are utilized efficiently, and in compliance with the requirements of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. Criteria include the ability of partner airports to support the initiative and nimbly respond to various needs.

In addition to Automated Screening Lanes, some of the additional technologies under demonstration with the ITF include Computed Tomography (CT) scans, Biometric Authentication and improved passenger communication techniques. For more information about TSA's Innovation Task Force, visit www.TSA.gov.

About Dallas Fort Worth International Airport:
Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport holds the distinction of the best large airport in North America for customer service from Airports Council International. DFW Airport warmly welcomes more than 66 million customers along their journey every year, elevating DFW to a status as one of the most frequently visited superhub airports in the world. DFW Airport customers can choose among 173 domestic and 57 international nonstop destinations worldwide. DFW is elevating the customer experience with modernized facilities and updated amenities, as well as through a $2 billion Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program. Centered between its owner cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW Airport also serves as a major economic generator for the North Texas region, producing over $37 billion in economic impact each year by connecting people through business and leisure travel. For more information, visit the DFW website.

Follow Dallas Fort Worth International Airport On:
Twitter.com   | YouTube.com   | Facebook.com

SOURCE DFW International Airport

CONTACT: Corporate Communications DFW Airport, 972-973-5555

GTT enables movement toward the “Smart City” with its award-winning Opticom™ Analytics for public transit agencies

St. Paul, Minnesota, February 7, 2018 - Transit agencies now have access to a powerful new tool that can help to speed up travel times and improve ridership with the release of Opticom Analytics for Public Transit from Global Traffic Technologies (GTT). The web-based platform can help agencies assess performance, reveal problem areas and make corrections to provide faster, more efficient transit operations.

 

Turning valuable data into actionable insights is a key step for communities working to become connected, smart cities, said Global Traffic Technologies’ (GTT) president Jason Lund.

“Becoming a smart city is an incremental process,” Lund said. “Opticom Analytics is a logical first step -- it provides tangible, immediate improvements that improve mobility in your community.”

 

GTT – the trusted market leader in priority control solutions -- first released Opticom Analytics for public safety agencies in June 2017. EMS World Magazine named the tool an Innovation Award winner late last year. The analytics capabilities were expanded this year to enable transit agencies to easily view critical information about their vehicles as they pass through an intersection, as well as powerful schedule-based analytics available as part of GTT's Opticom Connected Vehicle Platform (CVP). Transit managers can monitor key metrics such as on-time performance, Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilization, current route/trip information, and dwell time and travel time by vehicle or route.

 

Not only can GTT's system provide historical and real-time data related to how well operations are performing, with industry-leading Opticom TSP, buses can request an extended or truncated traffic light cycle, reducing travel time and maximizing operational and on-time performance.

 

A complete solution

GTT’s product manager Chad Mack said the new platform is an end-to-end management solution that gives users the data they need to make more informed decisions about their transit operations.

 

"Transit managers can monitor their transit operations using real-time and historical data to assess operational performance,” Mack said. “This data has been available for years, but Opticom Analytics’ value comes from the ability to collect and analyze the data in a meaningful way.”

 

Knowing where a transit system’s problem areas are can help agencies make changes that improve their on-time performance and ridership.

 

“Once they pinpoint the problem areas, agencies can make adjustments to enable faster travel times and reduce the chance of a delay,” Mack said. "Those adjustments can range from adjusting the posted schedule to fine-tuning the system concerning when Opticom TSP is allowed to request priority to help get a bus through the intersection faster."

 

The analytics software relies on data collected from Opticom’s GPS-enabled hardware and the Opticom CVP. Data logs from the vehicle equipment are securely uploaded to the analytics platform via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

 

GTT’s system provides data that goes beyond what is typically collected from a vehicle’s onboard computer. GPS data from the Opticom system is logged at 1-second intervals for accurate and detailed vehicle and intersection information.

 

“There are a lot of valuable insights that can be found by collecting data every second versus only logging every 15 or 30 seconds,” Mack explained.

 

The information is compiled into a web-based application that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Users can sort and view performance metrics based on date, speed, travel time, vehicle type, priority control usage and more.

 

The platform gives users the data needed to assess, reveal and correct typical problems:

  • Assess performance:The interface provides an easy means to evaluate vehicle, route and intersection performance, including on-time performance, current vehicle location, signal priority usage and travel time.
  • Reveal problem areas:Mapping functions reveal problems, including slowdowns and delays caused by heavy traffic or a lack of priority control. Route and vehicle metrics show on-time performance and other key metrics.
  • Make corrections:Agencies can fix problem areas by adjusting the priority control system, adding components or performing maintenance.

 

More details about the Opticom Analytics platform can be found at gtt.com/opticom-analytics-public-transit/ or by contacting a GTT regional manager.

 

Code Dx Enterprise Secures Gold for Government Security News Homeland Security Awards

NORTHPORT, N.Y. February 6, 2018Code Dx, Inc., provider of an award-winning application security solution that automates and accelerates the discovery, prioritization, and management of software vulnerabilities, today announced that it is the Gold winner for the GSN (Government Security News) Homeland Security Awards 2017, in the Best Application Security Solution category. Code Dx was previously the recipient, in 2014, in the Best Compliance/Vulnerability Assessment Solutions category.
 
“Code Dx is filling a hole in the cyber security industry with our application vulnerability correlation and management solutions. We are helping organizations, many of which are government agencies, achieve greater vulnerability coverage and a better assessment of overall software security risk, in less time, and with fewer resources,” said Anita D’Amico, Ph.D., CEO of Code Dx. “We are honored that GSN has recognized the innovation offered by Code Dx Enterprise, and the value it brings to its users.”
 
The GSN Homeland Security Awards recognize outstanding research, development, and innovation that took place in Homeland Security throughout the year. Judges of the awards base their selections on a combination of client organization, technological innovation or improvement, filling a recognized IT security need, and flexibility of a solution to meet current and future organizational needs.
 
About Code Dx
Code Dx, Inc. is a provider of an award-winning application security solution that automates and accelerates the discovery, prioritization, and management of software vulnerabilities. The Code Dx Enterprise solution integrates the results of multiple static, dynamic, and interactive Application Security Testing (AST) tools, third-party component analyzers, threat modeling tools, and manual reviews into a consolidated set of results for quick and easy triage, prioritization, and remediation. The core technology was partially funded by Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T) to help secure the nation’s software supply chain. For more information, please visit www.codedx.com or contact Code Dx at (631) 759-3993 or at [email protected].
 

DFLabs Doubles Revenues, Raises Additional Financing and Expands Footprint in US and EMEA in 2017

BOSTON and MILAN -- DFLabs, the pioneer in Security Automation and Orchestration, today announced it has increased its total funding to $9M from existing investor Evolution Equity Partners and that it doubled revenues in 2017. The company also expanded operations in the US and Europe to capitalize on accelerating demand among Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies, law enforcement and intelligence agencies that want to contain and limit cyber breaches using its IncMan security automation and orchestration platform.  

According to Gartner, Inc.: "The challenges from an increasingly hostile threat landscape, combined with a lack of people, expertise and budget are driving organizations toward security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) technologies." The report further states, "By year-end 2020, 15% of organizations with a security team larger than five people will leverage SOAR tools for orchestration and automation reasons, up from less than 1% today."

"2017 was our best year to date on all fronts, revenue bookings, customer acquisition and fund raising," said Dario Forte, CEO of DFLabs. "Recent high profile data breaches have forced organizations to recognize that prevention is no longer sufficient, they also need automated capabilities to quickly respond to and neutralize security incidents. This additional financing from Evolution Equity Partners will enable us to invest in the resources we need to keep up with market demand for IncMan around the world." 

DFLabs pioneered intelligence-driven security monitoring, automation and orchestration that uses machine learning and rapid response runbook capabilities. DFLabs IncMan is the only platform capable of full incident lifecycle automation that includes built-in, automated threat intelligence gathering, risk assessment, triage and notification, context enrichment, hunting and investigating, and threat containment. 

2017 Highlights
DFLabs achieved the following results and milestones for the year ended Dec. 31:

- Increased revenue bookings by 100%
- More than doubled its pipeline
- Signed multiple new enterprise clients, including Fortune 500, Government and Global 2000 organizations
- Grew sales, marketing and engineering teams by 100%
- Expanded operations in the US/Boston and UK/London
- Average customers reduced their incident resolution times by up to 90%
- Typical customers increased incident handling by 300%

About DFLabs
DFLabs is a recognized global leader in security automation and orchestration technology. The company's management team has helped shape the cyber security industry, which includes co-editing several industry standards such as ISO 27043 and ISO 30121. Its flagship product, IncMan, has been adopted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations worldwide. DFLabs has operations in Europe, North America, and EMEA. For more information, visit  www.dflabs.com  or connect with us on Twitter @DFLabs.

Rheinmetall and Sikorsky Sign a Strategic Teaming Agreement to Offer CH-53K for Germany's New Heavy Lift Helicopter Competition

BONN, Germany, Feb. 6, 2018 -- Rheinmetall and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Company signed a strategic teaming agreement for competing in the German Air Force "Schwerer Transporthubschrauber" (STH) Program.

Rheinmetall brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Sikorsky STH team. With Sikorsky's breadth and depth of heavy lift experience and Rheinmetall's leadership as the lead teammate for STH sustainment, the German Air Force will experience the high levels of aircraft availability and reliability that Sikorsky customers have come to expect. 

 

With Rheinmetall as the strategic partner for Sikorsky, we are convinced that together we provide the best possible state-of-the-art aircraft for the German Air Force as successor for the legacy CH-53G fleet," said Armin Papperger Rheinmetall CEO. "Furthermore, we stand strongly together in offering a cost-effective, reliable solution oriented to the needs of today's operations, and able to evolve with the Armed Forces as its needs change over time."

"Sikorsky has a 45-year history supporting the German Armed Forces fleet of CH-53G aircraft, and we are humbled by the opportunity to continue to serve the German Armed Forces for another 45 years with Sikorsky's CH-53K," said Dan Schultz, president of Sikorsky. "As a former CH-53 pilot, I can attest that this aircraft is truly the most capable heavy lift helicopter we have ever built. Sikorsky's CH-53K, combined with Rheinmetall as our key German partner, is a winning solution for STH."

Sikorsky and Rheinmetall will look to introduce more German teammates in the weeks to come. The team will leverage and build upon the deep knowledge and  expertise of the German defense industry.

The CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky's 50 years of manufacturing and operational success of its CH-53A, CH-53D/G, and CH-53E. Built to thrive on the 21st-century battlefield, including shipboard operations, the CH-53K aircraft is an all-new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.

The U.S. Marine Corps will field the CH-53K as a fully-operational aircraft in 2019.  By the time Germany receives its first aircraft, the CH-53K will have been in service with the U.S. Marine Corps for five years.  The CH-53K provides the German Armed Forces with a proven heavy lift helicopter that can be entered into service seamlessly without need for upgrades for the next several decades.

The CH-53K helicopter is the best choice for completing missions like humanitarian aid, troop transport, casualty evacuation, support of special operations forces, and combat search and rescue. No matter the mission, the aircraft provides the highest degree of safety for its crew and occupants in all conditions.

With the legacy fleet of the CH-53G, Sikorsky has a long lasting strong relationship with the Bundeswehr, which Sikorsky looks forward to strengthening with the CH-53K. The CH-53K will enable the German Armed Forces to conduct real heavy lift operations. Intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable, the CH-53K is the future of German Heavy Lift.

For additional information about CH-53K, visit: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/ch-53k-helicopter.html

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. 

About Rheinmetall
The Rheinmetall Group is a high-tech enterprise specializing in mobility and security solutions. Consisting of three divisions – Vehicle Systems, Electronic Solutions and Weapon and Ammunition – the Group's Defense arm is one of the world's foremost defense technology organizations. Its wide array of products ranges from vehicle, force protection and weapon systems to infantry equipment and air defense technology, and from engagement sequence networking to sensors and electro-optics as well as advanced simulation and training solutions. With some 23000 employees worldwide, the Düsseldorf based Group generated sales of €5.6 billion in 2016.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

Related Links

http://www.lockheedmartin.com

The Fax of the Matter

In the 1980s no workplace was without a fax machine. In today’s digital world the need to fax documents is largely redundant. Or is it? Not if you need to send a classified file.

 

It is patently obvious that some documents have to be kept under very strict protection from exposure because they contain military or state secrets that cannot be revealed without immediately negative repercussions.

 

What is less well known is that huge numbers of documents in regular use by government agencies are classified in the same way but are rather less critical to the safety and security of the nation at large. While less sensitive they are nonetheless considered secret and must be treated with the same attention to security as all other classified documents. There are lots of them.

This conundrum creates two challenges for government agencies in their efforts to operate as efficiently as possible while maintain at all times the required level of confidentiality for those documents falling into the classified category.

The first of these is how to transmit something between two different but related government departments without exposing it to capture by WikiLeaks, foreign governments, spies or general malcontents.

In today’s world of Encrypted Email, Virtual Private Networks, Biometric Authentication and Impenetrable Firewalls it ought to be straightforward to engineer a system for transferring documents and files between different agencies without the risk of them being comprised, stolen or manipulated. In many respects that is the case.

 

The long history of espionage however and recent exposures of all manner of interference with what should have remained confidential belies this. We have foreign governments disseminating emails internal to political parties, diplomatic reports from overseas embassies published on the Internet, and large multinational companies admitting sheepishly that their entire customer database has been compromised.

Communications facilities are undoubtedly ubiquitous and almost frightening in their speed and capacity but they are also gaining a reputation for their susceptibility to intrusion. Even the best encryption algorithms can be compromised if there is enough data to work with. In the right circumstances, valuable information can be gleaned from a data stream without actually decrypting it.

 

All of this tends to make those responsible for the integrity of classified data look to basic principles found trustworthy over many generations. The simplest of these is to ask the question: “At how many stages is this data outside my direct control?”

It is axiomatic that any file transfer involving the Internet includes dozens of interchange points and bridges that are well outside the control of the participants of the transfer. A single packet of data may pass through many diverse routers and access points on its way from sender to receiver. The famous Metropolitan Area Exchanges that are the backbone of the Internet in the US are unlikely to be platforms for snoopers but some of the outliers may be more vulnerable. How can the exposed legs of a transfer be reduced or eliminated?

Historically, and before the advent of the Internet, this was less of a concern because all communication was via the telephone network. A connection made between two telephones is point-to-point. That is, any data travels directly from one end to the other end after the link is created and this is then closed after the call. It is a dedicated one-off connection.

 

This is much harder to intercept than traffic through an Internet router that is a permanent part of the network in use. To enhance this resistance to interception some government agencies commissioned their own private phone networks entirely isolated from the public one.

 

Since the bulk of the requirement was to exchange classified documents it became the practice to use fax as the mechanism to accomplish this. To further ensure confidentiality these fax machines relied on modems that were encrypted to a very high degree and supplied under exclusive control of the NSA.

 

Non-standard fax machines were needed but the combination of dedicated connections, Secure Telephone Equipment and those specialized fax machines meant that exceptional security could be obtained and even the most sensitive documents could be transferred with considerable peace of mind.

It is the second challenge that is today becoming something of a nightmare for those tasked with organizing and managing communications in modern government agencies. The number of classified documents continues to increase and, perhaps more importantly, their nature is changing.

Historically the government office was paper based so sending a printed document was an acceptable method of communication and the volume of such transmissions could be handled by a secretariat and a dedicated secure fax machine usually housed in a basement room.

In today’s world, the desired transfer my involve a spreadsheet, GIF images, maps, PDFs, database files and all manner of material that is wholly unsuitable to being converted into a fax and transmitted as a printed document. The need is to be able to transfer any file so that it is received as an exact copy of that transmitted by the sender. We need to do files rather than just printed documents.

In addition there is a powerful need to eliminate the physical requirement for human intervention. It is no longer acceptable for staff members to attend to a device and feed sheets of paper into it or stand over a receiving machine to collect a sensitive inbound document.

The use of point-to-point dedicated links employing the best encryption in the form of Secure Telephone Equipment remains the foremost mechanism for transferring sensitive data.

This reliable and robust facility needs to be modernized to eliminate the fax machine and open up the ability to transfer classified files of any sort, automatically and with minimum operator intervention.

 

About the Author:
James E. Abbey is CEO of Preston Abbey, specialists in the secure exchange of classified files.   

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