Rising threats driving collaboration between IC, industry

Listen to Jason Miller's full interview with retired Rear Adm. Tony Cothron and Lynn Schnurr on collaboration in the intelligence community.
Tony Cothron
Tony Cothron

Rising cyber threats are driving the intelligence community and the private sector to pool their resources in the name of national security.

Retired Rear Adm. Tony Cothron, vice president for business development and customer requirements at General Dynamics Information Technology, and Lynn Schnurr, vice president for defense intelligence at General Dynamics, spoke to Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller about that partnership and best practices for the future.

“There were so many situations that we did not have capabilities for over the last decade that we had to very rapidly work together — the IC and industry,” said Schnurr, who is joining Cothron as the policy track leaders during the Intelligence and National Security Summit scheduled for Sept. 9-10. “Things like biometrics, needing to do biometric collection to identify individuals, geo-spacial capabilities; working together to really respond to urgent needs that were coming in from the field.”

Lynn Schnurr
Lynn Schnurr

Schnurr said it’s important to continue to build upon that work, though it has been frustrating when small or large businesses bring “stovepipe solutions” to the table and expect the government to work out the details.

Other hiccups have been the slow pace for acquisition, a larger government and a smaller, younger work force that is perhaps too focused on not making mistakes, Cothron said.

Maintaining the progress made between the intelligence community and private sector requires “some trust and confidence,” Cothron said, as well as integrating cybersecurity technology, training the workforce and making it relevant.

“Because we’ve got to keep pace with this threat,” Cothron said. “It’s not just again about the technology, it’s the understanding of that, the training of the people, the development of new trade craft as well as bringing on new sources and methods to keep up with that threat.”

Read more interviews with other experts from the Intelligence and National Security Summit here.

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