The National Security Agency has moved most of the mission data it collects, analyzes and stores into a classified cloud computing environment known as the Intelligence Community GovCloud.
The IC GovCloud is a single integrated “big data fusion environment” that allows analysts to rapidly “connect the dots” across all NSA’s data sources, according to Chief Information Officer Greg Smithberger.
The impetus for the multi-year move is getting the NSA’s data, including signals intelligence and other foreign surveillance and intelligence information it ingests from multiple repositories around the globe into a single data lake analysts from the NSA and other IC agencies can run queries against.
“The NSA has been systematically moving almost all its mission into this big data fusion environment,” Smithberger told Nextgov in an interview. “Right now, almost all NSA’s mission is being done in [IC GovCloud], and the productivity gains and the speed at which our analysts are able to put together insights and work higher-level problems has been really amazing.”
Smithberger said the IC GovCloud environment accelerates the analytic work humans can do by employing machine learning and algorithms. Data ingested by NSA has been meta-tagged with bits of information, including where it came from and who is authorized to see it, which ensures analysts only immerse themselves in intelligence they’re cleared to see.