The Case for Cybersecurity and Geospatial

A growing mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is in cyber threat detection and analysis according to director Letitia Long. NGA's task is to know where those cyber threats are emanating especially over time. "We put the bricks and mortar with the bits and bytes," said Long.
Long also said that the NGA is transitioning from simply a provider of data products to "a more dynamic GEOINT" agency that solves critical geospatial problems with evolving services to its customers. Long made these remarks at the Esri Federal GIS conference in Washington, D.C. this past week. See also the excerpted video of Long's remarks.
Also at the conference, Esri Cybersecurity account manager Ken Stoni made a case for how to apply geospatial technology to cyber security. He said that cyber threats are becoming more prevalent and more serious. The current approach to cyber is device centric and resource intensive. Organizations have legacy cyber security technology that can't be abandoned.  
Stoni advocated reconsidering cyberspace into five distinct layers that are potentially "mappable":
  • Social/ persona layer; i.e. individuals creating the threats
  • Device layer
  • Logical Network layer
  • Physical Network Layer
  • Geographic layer
Stoni remarked that each device in cyber space is owned by someone and that electro-mechanical devices exist in space and time and interact with physical events and assets. Geography, then, is required to integrate and align cyberspace with other data.

Published Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Written by Joe Francica

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