Currently, the UK is on the edge of building an environment that allows the timely flow of information between government organisations, specifically but not wholly related to countering the terrorist threat. In recent years, we have seen many examples of security breaches caused by a seeming inability to physically carry information securely between departments. Had the UK had a clear strategy for sharing electronically, the need to carry such information would not be required. However, previous attempts to implement such a strategy have stalled due to our failure to connect independently developed systems into a single, coherent solution that satisfies the varying department and agency requirements. Over the past few years, while we in the UK have talked about the issue, other nations have just got on with it. The best and most relevant example of this is the US, which now has an organisation under its Office of the Director of National Intelligence dedicated to the promotion and expansion of the ‘sharing policy’. The US ‘Dare to Share’ approach may have only started just over three years ago, but it already has significant traction and is proving its worth by results. Information Security Blog
A guiding principle
The US approach was based on the guiding principle of establishing a sharing environment that allows individual departments to share information, when deemed necessary for the national good, but does not compromise any individual department or agency’s ‘ownership’ of information.This approach has been reliant on an architecture that protects the individual department or agency’s systems, and does not require the wholesale redesign and development of all Information Communication Technology (ICT) across government. It has made best use of the existing infrastructure, yet by installing strategically placed ‘secure gateways’, has created a step change in national intelligence capability. This principle has been achieved with current technology, in a way that meets US security policy.