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FCW : October 2015
Cybersecurity 16 October 2015 FCW.COM With that mantra in mind, DDI Deputy Director Sean Roche and DDI Director Andrew Hallman have laid the groundwork to carry out the directorate’s core mission of accelerating the next generation of digital solutions, as Roche put it. The directorate has been operating for months, but on Oct. 1, it formally came out of the shadows. The directorate’s goal is to provide CIA analysts with a “wide range of cyber options in the initial trade space” to help them solve problems earlier in the intelligence cycle, Roche told FCW. That means, among other things, locating and understanding the “digital dust” left behind by actors in the cyber domain. It is an open question whether the new directorate will serve as a platform for offensive operations. There are three key components to DDI: an open-source center; a center for handling cyberthreats and operations; and the agency’s IT enterprise, led by CIA CIO Doug Wolfe, whom Roche described as the Elon Musk of the agency. The directorate is focused on the promise of data, with the goal of providing mission centers worldwide with greater insights from analytics. Roche said he is already seeing a payoff for the mission centers. The directorate’s foundation is the agency’s Information Operations Center, which analyzes foreign threats to U.S. computer systems. IOC has been the traditional enclave for IT experts at the CIA, but the agency now seeks to infuse that expertise into pretty much everything it does. Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, who was CIA director from 2006 to 2009, told FCW that getting the digital directorate up and running was a matter of waiting until IOC’s digital capabilities had sufficiently matured. “Once you get it to a certain level of maturity, then you can more productively disperse it and embed it into other activities,” he said. Now that capability is out the door, and DDI has already dispatched some of its officers to embed in mission centers overseas, Roche said. Aggressively retiring legacy systems Brennan likes to talk about moving the CIA into a new digital era, but just how IT-savvy is the agency? According to current and former officials, the CIA is grappling with legacy IT systems and will find it challenging to get innova- tive technology into the hands of officers. “For security, cultural and occasionally budgetary rea- sons, it’s safe to say CIA was never at or even near the cut- ting edge in information technology,” former CIA official Stephen Slick told FCW. And although the CIA has a storied history in science and technology, “this institutional prow- ess...rarely translated to the individual officer’s worksta- ‘Not a coder-in-chief’ THE INFORMATION OPERATIONS CENTER IS NOT “AN ALTERNATIVE NSA. IT’S USING A NEW CAPACITY TO DO WHAT CIA HAS ALWAYS DONE, WHICH IS CLASSIC ESPIONAGE.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden FLICKR.COM/GAGESKIDMORE/1105MEDIA 1015fcw_014-017.indd 16 10/13/15 9:40 AM
September 30, 2015
November and December 2015