The Open Source Center (OSC) is the U.S. Government’s premier provider of foreign, open-source intelligence. OpenSource.gov provides information on foreign political, military, economic, and technical issues beyond the usual media from an ever-expanding universe of open sources including social media. OSC’s website contains sources from more than 160 countries, in more than 80 languages, and hosts content from several commercial providers as well as content from OSC partners. OSC promotes the acquisition, procurement, analysis, and dissemination of open source information, products and services throughout the U.S. Government including content generated for the daily briefs to the White House. In fulfilling their mission, OSC evaluates content derived from newspapers, blogs, TV, radio, conferences, chat rooms, and social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) sources to create a comprehensive understanding of emerging threats and situations of concern to the United States and its allies.
OSC collects data from a wide range of sources, formats, content, media, and languages resulting in large volumes of data distributed across multiple repositories. One of OSC’s challenges is to derive value from this corpus, providing accurate insights while remaining flexible to incorporating new sources and integrating different technological capabilities. OSC analysts needed technology to help discover content, accomplish data harmonization (integration), identify relationships and connections in the data, use visualization and exploratory analytics to better understand the content, and capture/enable the sharing of analytic discoveries (retain knowledge). OSC must be able to quickly respond to constituent requests from other agencies or Congress, special projects, and general inquiries and, therefore, required a system that was adaptive, flexible, and agile with respect to the changing landscape of data, requests, and knowledge.
OSC needed a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) system that could be applied to real-world client data, used effectively by the analysts, and that could derive results to be used in an operational setting. OSC needed a framework to easily harmonize data from a variety of sources, formats, content, and languages, including a means to define entities (people, addresses, phones, emails, facilities, events, etc.) and expose their critical relationships and connections. The system was expected to automate the harmonization of data and help determine where duplicate or potentially similar entities exist. Through a very extensive selection process, OSC defined their requirements and selected SureView® Analytics due to its ability to enable analysts to quickly see patterns, trends, and critical network associations across large volumes of disparate data.
SureView Analytics’ integration capabilities enable analysts to see patterns, trends, and critical network associations and serve as the foundation for the creation of reports, documents, and various materials used throughout the intelligence community. Forcepoint™ resources (subject matter experts, engineers, software) were used to support the configuration and design of the OSC-defined entities (people, addresses, emails, facilities, etc.) and relationships. The team implemented SureView Analytics to expose these entities and relationships for end-to-end use by an OSC cross-mission customer group. This project has improved the OSC’s processes and deliverables by:
- Providing for faster understanding and more comprehensive analysis of all the available data through the harmonization of dozens of separate and disparate data sources to provide a single point of access for OSC analysts.
- Facilitating more standardized and consistent data acquisition processes through redefined data collection schemas.
- Producing better analytical results through restructuring of existing schemas into a more easy-to-read format.
Forcepoint constructed customized configurations using the tool and completed advanced modeling of numerous customer datasets.
Per OSC sources, SureView Analytics is the first certified Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software implemented.