Military Explores Expansion of Open Source Technology

Open source technology can help military and other government entities modify software quickly without sacrificing data security. That flexibility, coupled with lower overall cost, is helping fuel a rapid increase in government adoption of open source software, advocates say.

Members of the Mil-OSS group, which represents the military and government open source community, are holding a meeting to discuss these and other developments May 22-24 in Charleston, S.C. Mil-OSS LANT, the group's first Atlantic region conference, will address a wide range of topics that include cloud computing, mobile development, crowd sourcing and other open source-related initiatives. Attendees will hear from speakers representing government, industry and academia.

"As a major open source conference in the Southeast, Mil-OSS LANT promises to be a great opportunity to report on progress regionally and to discuss future directions," said Joshua Davis, a research scientist with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and a co-founder of Mil-OSS. "Budgets continue to shrink, in the U.S. and abroad, and the result is that governments are paying more and more attention to the advantages of open source technology."

Under the open source paradigm, developers make their source code available so that it can be changed and improved by other programmers in the community. Open source advocates maintain that bringing many minds to bear on program code leads to software that is high quality, low cost and rapidly available. They argue that when the military must go back to owners of a software product for important code changes, the process often takes too long to be useful.

Activity and interest in open source technology has increased significantly in recent years, said Michael Howard, a South Carolina-based executive with QinetiQ North America and a Mil-OSS LANT organizer.

Howard said that the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), which delivers advanced information technology to the U.S. Navy, is pursuing several projects that involve open source and open technology capabilities. These include TRANSCOM GAM/GAS, PEO-ES, Navy P-8A, Standardized Infrastructure Management (SIM) and QGlobe.

"We will be focusing on open source initiatives championed and supported by SPAWAR Atlantic, industry partners and other government agencies," Howard said. "Our goal for Mil-OSS LANT is for all attendees and speakers to walk away with a better shared understanding of open source in the government space."

At the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Davis and other GTRI researchers are engaged in government-funded open source efforts that include the Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) program and the VehicleForge (vehicleforge.mil) project for collaborative military vehicle design.

John Scott, director of open integration at RadiantBlue Technologies Inc. and a Mil-OSS co-founder, said adoption of open source technology continues to build in the Washington, D.C., area.

"We're familiar with -- and in several cases working with -- government entities that have been using open source technology for some time, but now they're talking about it and using it openly," Scott said. "That's new, and that's a big win."

For example, he said, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) recently announced that it needed to reduce the cost of its information systems. In a document made public in April 2011, the NGA said it was shifting its IT infrastructure away from its current heavy reliance on commercial, proprietary software towards open source applications.

Among the sponsors of Mil-OSS LANT are Canonical Ltd., Carahsoft Technology Corp., Dell, DLT Solutions, Geocent LLC, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), LCE Life Cycle Engineering, Maga Design Group, OpenGeo, QinetiQ North America, RadiantBlue Technologies, Red Hat Inc., Riverbed Technology, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), SPARC LLC, SRC Scientific Research Corp., URS Corp. and VMware Inc.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • 91 Percent of Security Leaders Believe AI Set to Outpace Security Teams

    Bugcrowd recently released its “Inside the Mind of a CISO” report, which surveyed hundreds of security leaders around the globe to uncover their perception on AI threats, their top priorities and evolving roles, and common myths directed towards the CISO. Among the findings, 1 in 3 respondents (33%) believed that at least half of companies are willing to sacrifice their customers’ long-term privacy or security to save money. Read Now

  • Milestone Announces Merger With Arcules

    Global video technology company Milestone Systems is pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2024, it will merge with the cloud-based video surveillance solutions provider, Arcules. Read Now

  • Organizations Struggle with Outdated Security Approaches, While Online Threats Increase

    Cloudflare Inc, recently published its State of Application Security 2024 Report. Findings from this year's report reveal that security teams are struggling to keep pace with the risks posed by organizations’ dependency on modern applications—the technology that underpins all of today’s most used sites. The report underscores that the volume of threats stemming from issues in the software supply chain, increasing number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and malicious bots, often exceed the resources of dedicated application security teams. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3