digital surveillance

Faster clearances with AI

To help speed the processing of security clearances, the Defense Information Systems Agency is building an artificial intelligence-based service to check and verify applications against multiple data sources.

The agency is actively looking for algorithms and data sources to improve the National Background Investigation Service and DISA's own product, which currently runs only simple algorithms,  Terry Carpenter, DISA's NBIB program executive officer, said Jan. 24. DISA plans a pilot by June.

Now, "if the system sees an anomaly, it flags it and sends it up for a human review," he said. "We can add artificial intelligence and machine learning to say not only is this an anomaly but here's a risk assessment of the anomaly, the data used to come up with that and the mitigation recommended."

DISA also has been working to aggregate the data sources for background investigations. "We're bringing them into one security enterprise architecture data broker function that is going to supply data to the whole system," Carpenter said.

Additionally, the agency is working on a DevSecOps model for NBIS that is expected to launch this summer.

The main challenge in getting the DevSecOps to work, Carpenter said, has been the way the NBIS program was structured with pieces built by different partners, with their own tools and processes across multiple clouds and in the data center.

"We're still releasing in a rapid fashion," Carpenter said. "I would say we're close to a DevOps model, but we're not fully there because we have so many clouds now and different tool sets."

This article was first posted on FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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