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FCW : March 30, 2016
26 March 30, 2016 FCW.COM Defense Carter announced the creation of the Defense Depart- ment’s Silicon Valley outpost, known as the Defense Inno- vation Unit Experimental, last year. It comprises about 20 civilian and military personnel and has only been open for six months. But given the urgency with which defense officials have described the technology challenges facing the United States, measuring DIUX’s progress can’t hap- pen soon enough. Carter told reporters on March 1 that the goal of the office is “familiarizing a new generation...with the national security mission and giving them a taste of it, and creating a possibility that they’ll spend some of their lives” contrib- uting to the cause. “I really mean the ‘X’ in experimental,” Carter said. “We need to keep trying, iterate, see what works. But part of it is products that we can use. Part of it is connections to technology that we would not otherwise have.” He made the comments after listening to presentations by tech firms at Galvanize, an incubator with offices in a back alley in downtown San Francisco. The four firms that made presentations to Carter were Saildrone, which deploys wind-powered boats equipped with sensors; Quid, which uses algorithms for automated data analysis; end- point security firm Bromium; and Qadium, which scans devices for vulnerabilities. A representative of “Hacking for Defense,” a new class at Stanford University for apply- ing startup principles to DOD problems, was also on hand. All five organizations are already working with DIUX. Their presentations were a chance to drive home their rel- evance to protecting the country. Carter sat attentively as Bromium executive Sherban Naum promoted his firm’s defense against unknown mal- ware. Carter was a tough audience. He wanted to know why, if Bromium was doing well, there weren’t copycat firms try- ing to steal its business. Frank Kendall, his top acquisition official, and Eric Rosenbach, Carter’s cyber-minded chief of staff, chimed in with probing questions. In an interview earlier in the day with FCW, John Davis, who was acting deputy assistant secretary of Defense for cyber policy until May 2015, echoed Carter’s emphasis on the personnel side of DIUX. “With the drawdown of the military, there are a lot of veterans getting out,” said Davis, now federal chief secu- rity officer at Palo Alto Networks. “We’d like to tap into that pipeline.” Palo Alto Networks is exploring the idea of training pro- grams for veterans to ease their transition into the technol- ogy sector, he added. More advice sought During a busy two days in the Bay Area, Carter sought to defuse tensions between the technology sector and law enforcement over a federal court order to compel Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters. In a March 1 speech to the Commonwealth Club of Cali- fornia, Carter said future data security policy “shouldn’t be driven by any one particular case,” referring to the Apple case. He also said encryption is a “necessary part of data secu- rity, and strong encryption is a good thing,” adding that DOD is the largest user of encryption in the world. On March 2, Carter announced the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, another effort to institutionalize the Pen- tagon’s outreach to Silicon Valley. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., will chair the board, which will help DOD identify technology solutions to organizational challenges the department might face in the future. The board will advise the department on issues such as “rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis in business decision-making, the use of mobile and cloud applications, and organizational information shar- ing,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. Like DIUX, the board is part of a broader effort by Carter to shore up what defense officials have described as the DIUX sits on the edge of Moffett Federal Airfield and is down the road from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. 0330fcw_025-027.indd 26 3/8/16 9:43 AM
March 15, 2016
April 15, 2016