ODNI To Protect R&D, Cyber, Workforce

ODNI To Protect R&D, Cyber, Workforce

One of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) top officials said yesterday the agency will focus on protecting, and investing in, research and development (R&D), cyber operations and its workforce as budgets begin to tighten.

Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan told an audience at the Security Innovation Network’s (SINET) annual showcase in Washington she meant protecting in a proactive sense.

“Protecting means investing as well, not just holding pat and stagnating,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan said ODNI will focus on personnel, so it doesn’t become vulnerable like it was on 9/11.

“We decided there were three things we’re going to protect, (one being) the intelligence community workforce,” O’Sullivan said. “We all lived through the drawdown in the 90s. We hollowed out our workforce, and then when 9/11 struck, we were not structured to move forward.”

O’Sullivan cited a study that said it took three to five years to train a cyber operator in cyber command.

“Because of that and because of the tremendous investment that we make in our workforce…we’re trying to protect our workforce,” she added.

O’Sullivan also said ODNI is going to cut entire programs, which is similar to what fellow intelligence community leader Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said two weeks ago at the GEOINT 2012 conference in Orlando, Fla. Flynn said DIA was going to potentially eliminate whole programs (Defense Daily, Oct. 12).

“We will have less capability,” O’Sullivan said.

SINET is an organization that seeks to increase awareness among buyers, builders, researchers and investors in the cyber security domain, particularly the defense industrial base and the federal government, according to a statement.