Empower the Coalition with Information

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Technical Enablers: Looking Under the Hood

In our last MPE-focused article, we discussed zero trust architecture as the foundation and the role of model-based systems engineering in enabling continual changes and updates. Now, we are diving further into how artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning support a successful MPE solution.

“Providing a secure, adaptive, and agile Mission Partner Environment is critical to meet the Combatant Commander’s interoperability requirements across the full range of military and humanitarian operations in this increasingly complex geopolitical climate…In a global dynamic operational environment, MPE is the critical enabler to immediate and decisive information sharing and command and control that strengthens and maintains U.S. alliances.”

Once coalition partners are communicating in a data-centric environment, AI and analytics play a large role in maintaining system security and organized data. Automation and AI accelerate system performance and ensure flexibility for evolving missions.

Adaptive Data Tagging for Flexibility

“AI-enabled software and algorithms can future-proof data tagging capabilities,” says Eric Syphard, a Booz Allen leader in AI engineering. Take data tagging for an example.

Currently, we rely on manual tagging and cumbersome, slow, and inaccurate cross domain solutions. Adaptive data tagging enables participants to find and share privileged information as easily as they would in an AI chatbot search, with confidence that they will receive a response tailored to their context. For this to happen, data needs to be appropriately tagged according to an ontology, a set of agreed-on standards grouping concepts and categories.

The ideal solution adjusts in real time so that when the ontology must be changed to address a new need or priority, the software can reprocess the data and retag it using machine learning to indicate appropriate classification and releasability level.

Accurate and rapid data tagging is key to MPE success. U.S. security authorities and mission partners need to have confidence that the technology will prevent data spills before it can be implemented.

Smart Scanning for Extra Security

Since security is the highest priority for mission partner collaboration, we must build in multiple safeguards to protect data across varied dimensions. One vulnerability that’s easy to overlook is old data with sensitive information filed as unclassified—for example, a scanned document with a person’s social security number handwritten in the margin. 

“Data is incredibly dynamic, and mission context is everything: Coalition partners need the ability to make mission-critical, real-time decisions about any given piece of data at the object level, and easily tie the appropriate levels of classification and access to the data. Supported by AI and ML capabilities, we have an opportunity to vastly improve and streamline collaboration.”

Booz Allen technologists have coded optical character recognition machine learning models that keep classified image types out of transmission and automatically flag data that could lead to a potential breach of the network. The compute is advanced, providing a high confidence level to save operators the headaches of multiple false flags.

Looking Toward the Future: AI for Secure Collaboration

AI performs many other functions in addition to those mentioned above. For example, continuous analytics and AI-enabled solutions can monitor user actions within a mission partner collaboration environment to flag for behaviors indicative of insider threats. This further hardens coalition environments against malicious attack and inadvertent data leaks.

Once the initial instantiations of secure collaborative environments for allies and partners are proven in the field, they can be rapidly modified for AI through modular, open-source technologies and processes like AIOps. Our innovations are designed to scale so DOD can realize the vision of MPE as a data ecosystem allowing coalition partners to share information and insights, take coordinated action—and gain decision advantage.

Learn more about innovation for the Mission Partner Environment Accelerate MPE capabilities

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