DTIC and IATAC- Resources for the War on Cyber Terrorism

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jon Stout

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The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) serves the DoD community as the largest central resource for DoD and government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information available today.

Originally developed in World War II as a resource on enemy technology, the DTIC has morphed into a valuable, if underutilized tool, for understanding the technology bases for enemy attacks.

Publicly Accessible Information

Authorized visitors can search DTIC's publicly accessible collections and read or download scientific and technical information, using DTIC Online service. DTIC also makes available sensitive and classified information to eligible users who register for DTIC services.

The DTIC consists of a large relational data base coupled with convenient and powerful Information Analysis Centers (IAC's) that mange issue related searches and updates/maintenance to the database.

An Information Assurance/Cyber security Information Analysis Center (IATAC) is one of the more recent efforts and offers valuable information and tools for researchers.

Scientific and Technical Information Network - The Heart of DTIC

The Scientific and Technical Information Network (STINET) is a database that contains data and information for various defense-related research reports. The database raw material contains reports on a topics ranging from science and engineering to Information Assurance/Cyber Security from a large number of sources.

Users can research the latest cyber security technology, laws and standards, new products and a wealth of relevant, timely information.

There are various levels of access to STINET:

  • The public database is available to the general public regarding unclassified documents with an unlimited distribution.
  • A private database has a private URL that allows for searches to be made for unclassified material with limited distribution.
  • The classified database contains Confidential and Secret documents, in addition to the unclassified material.
  • Finally, there is a hard copy DVD that contains material only for unclassified, confidential, and secret documents.

All levels of STINET access contain material from the 1900s to present but potential users are security screened as part of the user qualification process.

Information Analysis Centers - The Front End for Researchers of Scientific and Technical Information (STI)

DTIC Information Analysis Centers, or IACs, are organizations that are charted by the DoD and operated by DTIC with the mission of helping researchers and other interested parties.

IACs provide free answers to simple questions and projects, while also allowing their services to be utilized for extended projects and Technical Area Tasks (TATs).

The Information Assurance Technology Analysis Center (IATAC), an IAC that focuses on Cyber Security issues, provides the Department of Defense (DoD) and related agencies with existing, historic and emerging scientific and technical information (STI) to support Cyber Security/information assurance (IA) and defensive information operations.

This information includes technologies, tools, and associated techniques for detection of, protection against, reaction to, and recovery from information warfare and cyber attacks that target information, information-based processes, information systems (IS), and information technology (IT) in the DOD and related agencies.

The STI products and services resulting from IATAC efforts are intended to increase the productivity of Cyber Security researchers, as well as other concerned Cyber Security participants.

This is accomplished through timely dissemination of authoritative, accurate, and high quality reports and answers to subject matter inquiries through the IATAC.

Under-utilization - A Marketing Issue

As valuable as the database and services are to the Cyber Security community, the DTIC is relatively unknown. As a result, the IATAC is a valuable if underutilized resource.

Although any party interested in the scientific or technical developments that underlie Cyber attacks or defenses can significantly benefit from the information developed, qualified and analyzed by DTIC and IATAC, awareness of the value of this asset is limited.

As an organization DTIC can benefit from better promotion and modern marketing to the DOD and related agencies. But the task, given the size of the community is daunting and will take significant effort in the coming years.

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