Live from NFCA Annual Training Event: No wrong door for SBU information sharing

After years of hard work, what seemed like an unreachable goal has finally come to fruition. The Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Working Group has achieved integrated access between four key SBU networks: Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS), the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP, formerly LEO), and Intelink.

Four SBU Working Group mission partners (Tracy Hollis from DHS HSIN, Tom Rekus from Intelink, Ron Benson from FBI’s LEO, and Matt McDonald from RISS) gathered today at the National Fusion Center Association Annual (NFCA) Training Event to provide a live demonstration of their new capabilities. This groundbreaking capability is the result of the Identity and Authorization Attributes that the SBU Working Group agreed on a few months ago. In the background, there’s a “handshake” happening between the systems – they’re transacting attribute information, using standards like Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management (GFIPM) and tools in Project Interoperability.

Why is this important? “We don’t want the user to get hung up on what network is what. The user needs to be able to access the tools they need to support their mission,” said Mr. Benson.

In a live demo this morning, Matt logged into HSIN first, and then clicked to access his credentials as a RISS user. With one click (just one!), he moved into RISSNET. (For those of you who have a PIV card, that’s another way to log in.)

With access to RISS, HSIN users are able to search data from a number of fusion centers and geographical areas: New York state, Cincinnati, Boston, and many others. It also gives HSIN users access to a number of other RISS services: RISSafe (a law enforcement deconfliction database), RISSProp (for stolen property), RISSGang (gang intelligence, including a list of gang investigator organization POCs nationwide).

From RISS, Matt clicked on LEEP, and sure enough, moved seamlessly into the LEEP databases. On LEEP, Matt is now able to access eGuardian, the Virtual Command Center, Virtual Academy (with lots of web-based training) and other FBI services and databases.

Last, the group demonstrated Intelink integration. We watched as Matt, who started by logging into HSIN, also clicked right into Intelink. In Intelink, users can search Intelink websites, media (photos or videos), people (other users), and maps.



The SBU Working Group built up to this capability by taking it step-by-step, and building other foundational capabilities: starting with simple sign-on (SSO), then moving to federated search, then a security-trimmed search (where some items are locked down), then access control, and finally, into full-scale identity, credential, and access management (ICAM).

Today’s presentation was remarkable, and capped off more than three years of work. We blogged about the first step back in 2011, and the work began as far back as 2005. Congrats to the working group on reaching this enormous milestone, and on a successful live demo at the event today!

If you’re at the conference, join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #fusion2014. 



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