Linking Cyber, Physical Threat Data

Implementing Federal Information Sharing Strategy
Linking Cyber, Physical Threat Data
Sharing information about physical and cyber threats needn't be segregated under the U.S. federal government's National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, says Kshemendra Paul, who manages the implementation of the strategy.

"Our stakeholders all of the time tell us 'We want an integrated view of the threat,'" says Paul, program manager for Information Sharing Environment, or ISE, in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "Something that goes on in the physical world may give you clues on what's going on in the cyber-world and vice versa. ... There is a nexus there, so that is why people want to look at it in an integrated way."

President Obama in December issued the strategy that he says aims to strike the proper balance between sharing information with those who need it to keep the country safe, and safeguarding it from those who would do it harm [see Obama Unveils National Info Sharing Strategy].

In the interview, Paul also addresses:

  • Challenges the government and stakeholders face in implementing the strategy;
  • Managing risk in an information sharing environment;
  • Determining the success of the strategy.

Outgrowth of 9/11 Commission

The genesis of ISE came from recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, which noted the lack of information sharing among federal agencies, law enforcement and other organizations before, during and immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 21, 2001.

"We're about interconnecting business processes, policy and systems to support counterterrorism, homeland security, weapons of mass destruction and information sharing across five communities: law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security, defense and foreign affairs," Paul says. "We do it through a focus of information integration, best practices, information sharing and safeguarding."

ISE is housed in of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Paul reports to its director, James Clapper. He also reports to the Office of the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, John Brennan. Paul co-chairs the Information Sharing and Access Policy Committee, which oversees governance of the information sharing environment.

Before being tapped program manager in 2010, Paul served as the federal chief architect in the Office of Management and Budget, where he led federal enterprise architecture activities and chaired committees responsible for leading initiatives such as inter-operability across networks and databases used by front-line law enforcement, homeland security, military, intelligence and foreign affairs personnel nationwide. Paul holds master and bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Maryland.

Individuals and organizations interested in learning more about the ISE can go to the its website or contact page.

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