Connect And Protect


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Connect And Protect

  1. 1. Connect & Protect – an advanced safety and security information service for government and industry Peter Eriksson, Patrik Stridh 1Future Position X, Box 975, Gävle, 80133, Sweden Tel: +46 026 61 44 00, Email: 2Organisation, Address, City, Postcode., Country Tel: +4670 638 9594 , Email:
  2. 2. . 1. Introduction – Connect & Protect 1 Key words: Security, Information sharing, communities of trust, emergency management, intelligence, Web 2.0 2 Experiences from disasters and emergencies show that one of the major challenges to managing an incident or emergency event is efficient sharing of information across organizations. Failure to target proper information to the right recipient in time may result in damage of property and, worst case, losses of lives. Being able to not only share common operating pictures, but also enabling professionals to create and share their own “personal” operating picture based on their role and field of responsibility (and related information needs), supports making more informed decisions, collaboration across organizations and efficient use of resources. 3 Over the past two years, Future Position X has coordinated a program in Sweden to support improved collaboration related to emergency events and threats at both local, national and international level. 4 This paper will provide experiences from both the local level, with participation from fire services, hospital and ambulance services, local government, county administration, and the national level with a number of government agencies. Particular focus has been placed on mobility. 5 The program is based on Connect & Protect, a web-based information sharing service to help organizations stay better informed of late-breaking threats and events and becoming more resilient. The service supports intelligence gathering and creation and sharing of common operating pictures by fusing various automated and manual online data feeds. Such data feeds may be ranging from global to domestic sources and spanning areas like natural disasters, accidents, terrorist acts, traffic incidents, weather, critical infrastructure disturbances, news etc. The platform is scalable from local to regional to national to international level. The Connect & Protect service supplies this information in a secure and trusted manner, where authorized users can set up communities to share sensitive and critical information during crises to enhance interorganisational collaboration.
  3. 3. 2. Objectives 1. To be a national system for information sharing cross organizations. 2. To be a international system for information sharing cross organizations. 3. Extend the reach of vital, life-saving, real-time emergency information to emergencie first responders, community safety stakeholders, such as schools, hospitals, large employers, et al. 4. Increase information sharing between public and private sectors for increased public safety. 5. Lower communications costs through the use of a highly automated functions fore information sharing and dissemination. 3. Methodology The national project has been a very hands-on proof-of-concept project, where the initial objective was to test if the experiences from the 911 centrals could be implemented in a Swedish context. The project group has consisted of representatives from 10 national government agencies. Much of the initial work consisted of information mapping to decide suitable sources for integration. Common priorities have been made through a number of joint workshops, followed up by implementation and testing (both in the field and in command stations). This has been continuously ongoing throughout the entire project. One of the biggest challenges has been to see how Swedish laws support information sharing across organization through the communities of trust model. The absolute strength of the service is that it lets the content owner administrate its information resources. They thereby decide and control their own information and who should have access to the information. That has been the absolute number one key benefit! One critical aspect involves identifying information hierarchies to support establishment and different levels of information sharing through communities of trust.
  4. 4. 6. Technology Description The service has been designed to support four main objectives: 7. Access to aggregated, time-critical information as decision support • Facilitate information gathering from many different sources by combining and visualising data through a unified, easy-to use configurable interface • Aggregate information based on subject or event, to enable users to quickly interpret and identify important related information, i e “connect the dots”. • Deliver alerts and notifications adjusted to each recipients profile and preferences, using filters such as subject, alert level, time or geography. • Support common operating awareness by integrated geographic information • Enable alerting and notification through various media incl PC and mobile units. • Dynamically extend the number of persons and functions given access to correct information on time. 8. Create and manage work groups and information rights (a k a ”Communities of Trust”) for information exchange between trusted members in a workgroup • Structure AND flexibility; authorized members in a work group can securely share sensitive information within predefined (e g harbor security) work groups or temporarily created work groups (e g Avian flue outbreak) spanning across organizational boundaries • Support management of work groups; such as inviting and authorizing new members, enforce policies and rules, configure content, provide check-lists, supportive information etc • Manage and create “sub-groups”, to meet the need for different levels of authorization within a community. 9. Simple and efficient information exchange for speed and user friendliness • Support automated alerting, with immediate notification to each authorized recipient • Enable users to filter information flows based on their needs reducing irrelevant information ”overflow”. • Provide access to critical information from any web-connected computer or mobile cell phone across the world. • Simplify access and integration of webb-based information sources; by using web services 2.0 and other standards, such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). 10. Standardised security to create trust and secure transfer of sensitive information • Full tractability on all system activity, inkl who took part of information
  5. 5. • Password-based authentication and access • Authorization based on security level at end-user • Encrypted transfer Since Connect & Protect is built on a service-oriented systems architecture, it is easy to integrate new data sources, given that these are specified in a unified manner. A number of local and national Swedish information feeds have been integrated, such as 112 alerts, weather, map services, web cams etc. All RSS-feeds are supported 11. TIES Architecture
  6. 6. 13. TIES Overview Actionable mission-critical information where and when you need it. TIES is a Web 2.0 information sharing service used by public and private Communities of Trust concerned with security risks, supply chain bottlenecks, brand compromise, and more. TIES delivers: • Up-to-the-minute critical information from thousands of sources: open source, commercial and government-restricted • Customized and configurable dashboards for relevance to you • Layered “operational pictures” for any and all enterprise functions • Community of Trust management • Advanced, policy-driven targeting and filtering As part of the TIES system, TIES Mobile provides secure, location-aware two-way alerting. With support for both standard browser and Windows Mobile platforms, TIES Mobile drives real-time alerts and maps to Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile 5/6 devices. TIES Mobile delivers: • Field-based alert creation with multi-media support (image, video and audio) • Continuous tracking of mobile users or assets (e.g. Executive Protection) • Dynamic alert mapping • GPS tracking • Secure, audited transactions 14. TIES Mobile Overview
  7. 7. Mission-critical information for situational awareness, safety and risk management— wherever you are. As part of the TIES system, TIES Mobile displays real-time safety, security and risk management data consolidated from many sources directly to a mobile device. Engineered specifically for ease of use, TIES Mobile provides secure locationally aware two-way alerting. • Displays TIES-filtered alerts near your current location • Lets you create alerts in the field and upload into the TIES system—capture alert details, location, pictures • Dynamic alert mapping 15.Results Government Credentials •2008: Operation Golden Phoenix '08 •2008: Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) •2006–2007: Spirals 1 and 2, Last Mile Intelligence Techniques (LMIT) program, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) •2006: Information Sharing Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate •2006: Synthetic Cities, Joint Forces Command, Dept of Defence
  8. 8. •2004: Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstration, NORTHCOM •2003–present: Connect & Protect, City of Portland, Multnomah County, State of Oregon, et. Al •2004-05: LA RECON (Louisiana Emergency Command Operations Network), Dept of Defence Homeland Security and Defence Command and Control Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (HLS/D C2 ACTD) •2003-04: TRANSEC-Net, a 22-port Information Sharing Pilot, TSA, Dept of Homeland Security •2002-2005: Homeland Security and Defence Command and Control Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (HLS C2 ACTD) Dept of Defence. Awards and Recognition •2006: The CRADA between Swan Island Networks and the NSA/IAD is the subject of a two-part information sharing political analysis published in the Washington Times •2005: Wired Magazine publishes a story about Connect & Protect (an information sharing service based on Swan Island Networks' technology) describing it as a “radical breakthrough” in emergency management •2005: Swan Island Networks’ CEO wins Federal Computer Week 16th annual Federal 100 Award •2004: Connect & Protect is a finalist for the Homeland Security Innovation of the Year, given by the Ash Institute at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government •2004: Swan Island Networks’ flagship SWARM technology wins Top Ten Performer Award, Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstration •2003: Swan Island Networks’ CEO speaks at a US Chamber of Commerce conference, “The National Response Plan: Implications for Government, Non-Profit and Private Sector Disaster Coordination” 16.Business Benefits •Managed Services: Low-cost, agile commercial-off-the-shelf information services are quickly replacing expensive proprietary systems. •Agile Mashups: New Web 2.0-style geospatial systems are dynamically fusing together a variety of information sources—and providing flexible new views of changing conditions, in real-time. •Communities of Trust: Requirements for cross-agency, cross-jurisdiction information sharing services are met with new community-based information access models.
  9. 9. 17.Conclusions A number of incidents and events, like the tsunami and various storms over the past years, clearly show the need for collaboration between government agencies to manage unexpected events and threats to society. Various initiatives have been made to facilitate this, including organisational changes, methods and technological development. Many organisations have developed their own command and control systems and in some cases exchange information with other agencies, but usually through “stovepipes”. Many organisations do however still lack application support for gathering information and sharing this with others in a secure manner. Getting organisations to collaborate in information sharing to support intelligence gathering and operational work is to a large degree a matter of mindset. Such projects do take time. Building trust is a key factor, where each information owner has concerns about the control and full ownership of his/her information and wh has access to this. Using a community structure similar to what has been implemented in Connect & Protect, this hurdle can be overcome. Conclusions from the project are that such a system as Connect & Protect can be implemented in a Swedish context within existing organisational framework. The project shows that there is a need for collaborative solutions that support sharing of emergency- related information across organisations. Development and use of standards for messaging, data feeds like RSS and geospatial mapping for publishing information is vital, and many of the involved agencies admit they need to review their existing information structures as their specific information is often “locked” into stovepipe applications. As the number of information resources grow exponentially and become available through various media and news services, there is an increasing need to provide access to various sources through a common interface. This enables forming a common operating picture across organisations and yet allows for flexibility to customise information views based on each users/ organisations needs and responsibilities. Empowering each information owner to control their own information and who has access to it is vital to the success of collaborative efforts in forming common operating pictures and sharing that information with others. References [1] [2] [3]