NSA: Looking for a few good cybersecurity professionals

By Dirk A. D. Smith, Network World |  Security, cybersecurity, NSA

[Lt. Greene] "Can't Tweet from the office. Have to leave my cell phone outside. And, oh, because of the security requirements at NSA, back up at West Point we couldn't work on certain data sets in our project because they were classified. That was frustrating because we only had one data set and, in order to get an accurate test, you've got to run more than one. We had to work our way around that and still make sure that we met the security requirements of the NSA.

So, what did you do while here at the NSA?

[Lt. Love] "Our project was to improve the performance of an aircraft system that picks up radio signals and figures out where that signal is coming from. We began by analyzing what this system was, right down to the gears turning in it then asked where does it fail and how can we improve it."

Who is tweeting from NSA's parking lot?

[Lt. Greene] "I worked on the same project as Max and, last year, we did a lot of research. We talked to experts in the software and hardware fields as well as in global information systems. Basically, everyone from the nerdiest mathematician to the most hippy biker out there; we talked to 'em and we worked with 'em and we tried to come up with a solution for improving the system. In the end we pumped out a working solution, our academic paper was published and we presented our findings at a conference where we ended up talking with people in industry from Microsoft, GoogleMaps and Yahoo. We even got to brief the Deputy Director of NSA, John "Chris" Inglis, up at West Point."

Do you think a network admin or CTO from industry, with some years of experience, would have much to offer the NSA?

[Lt. Love] "Very much so because, as the size of an organization grows, you start to run into a lot of the same requirements. A lot of the same functions a network admin has experience which carries over to this kind of enterprise structure that we have set up."

[Lt. Greene] "Definitely. Depending on what their interest is, and remember that NSA doesn't just do intelligence; there are a lot of mathematicians and computer scientists doing research as well as people managing the internal networks."

What would you say about the importance of cybersecurity for military and intelligence to someone on the outside?

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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