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FCW : October 2015
October 2015 FCW.COM 17 tion, and that will be a challenge for the new directorate,” said Slick, who is now director of the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas at Austin. The task of getting the latest technology to agents will potentially be compounded by a loss of trust between the intelligence community and the private sector after Edward Snowden’s revelations about government surveillance. “CIA, [National Security Agency] and other agencies will continue to labor into a headwind on digital technology until a new, more cooperative, more rational relationship develops between the government” and the private sector, Slick said. The more tangible task of modernizing the CIA’s IT infra- structure could also prove difficult. Roche said the CIA currently has a number of legacy pro- cesses and systems that have not kept pace with innovation. “You have to very aggressively retire legacy systems” and cannot do it gradually, he said, adding that the directorate is assessing how best to use in-house contractors. “I’d rather have [some of those contractors] sitting side-by-side with us writing code” than maintaining legacy systems, Roche said. When Hayden was CIA director, he asked a handful of private-sector executives to review the agency’s IT pos- ture. The outside advisers, which included former Hewlett- Packard CEO and current Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina, concluded after several months of study that the agency’s IT is pretty good, but “you’re paying probably twice as much as you actually should be paying for it,” Hayden said. Roche, for his part, will be watching to see if the new directorate reduces the time it takes the agency to deploy new applications. A challenge is understanding the “trade- craft” involved in hosting software across an enterprise, he said, adding that CIA personnel working in counterintel- ligence, for instance, stand to benefit if the directorate can get that project right. Given Wolfe’s prominence in the new directorate, it is no surprise that, according to Roche, DDI is intended to be a key facilitator of the Intelligence Community IT Enterprise, an ambitious, cloud-driven quest for a single IT architec- ture for the community. He described the broad trend of organizations adopting more cloud computing as inevitable. Working with Fort Meade With news of Brennan’s plans for enhancing the agency’s cyber capabilities came questions about how the revamped CIA would interact with NSA, whose more robust cyber capabilities have been matched with greater funding. The CIA requested $685.4 million for computer network opera- tions in fiscal 2013, compared with the $1 billion requested by NSA, according to a classified budget Snowden shared with the Washington Post. The CIA has tended to use its cyber access to act, while NSA has focused on observation, Hayden said. That has at times created a tension during operations that has had to be defused through a formal process that Hayden said he oversaw when he was NSA director. Nonetheless, the CIA’s Information Operations Center is uniquely tailored to the agency’s needs, he said, add- ing that IOC is not “an alternative NSA. It’s using a new capacity to do what CIA has always done, which is clas- sic espionage.” Susan Gordon, former IOC director and former senior adviser on cybersecurity to Brennan, said the NSA/CIA rela- tionship in cyberspace is not so much “bigger brother and little brother” because they are driven by different missions. The CIA’s mission is broader than that of NSA or the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where Gordon is now deputy director. The CIA’s drive to modernize was therefore always going to cut a wider path and potentially raise questions about overlapping missions. The CIA also sometimes supplements NSA’s cyber work with its own human spying, according to journalist Shane Harris. For example, the CIA’s Technology Management Office has helped an elite NSA hacking unit known as Tai- lored Access Operations break into computer networks to conduct cyber espionage, Harris reported in his book “@War.” When asked if the new directorate’s mandate includes offensive cyber operations, Roche declined to comment, and Hayden would only say, “That would seem logical.” Bringing digital personalities to Langley Part of the rationale behind the new directorate is getting agency employees to immerse themselves in the online world rather than compartmentalize their interaction with it. Before the directorate, “CIA guys were kind of checking their digital personalities at the gate, and they had to be kind of different people inside the fence line than they were outside the fence line,” Hayden said. By contrast, DDI is meant to “allow the digital culture to permeate everything CIA does.” The new directorate’s mission includes overseeing the career development of the agency’s cyber professionals to nurture “the next generation of digital-savvy leaders” at the CIA, Roche said. Transforming the agency workforce for the Digital Age will be a tall but rewarding order, Slick said. “CIA’s most significant, and lasting, challenge will inevitably prove to be cultural as a workforce pursuing multiple missions adapts to a fundamentally changed global information environment,” he said. “When CIA’s culture fully embraces the Digital Age, the agency is likely to identify and exploit at least as many new opportunities as it will encounter risks.” n FLICKR.COM/GAGESKIDMORE/1105MEDIA 1015fcw_014-017.indd 17 10/13/15 9:40 AM
September 30, 2015
November and December 2015