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Efforts to improve integration between the requirements community and the acquisition community must now be expanded by adding the intelligence community into that partnership. This is because how we design and employ our systems is heavily influenced by the threats we face. Increased globalization of communication and technology sharing has enabled those threats to become more significant and pervasive, a trend that is not likely to diminish. To stay ahead of that threat, in a cost-effective way, the Acquisition, Intelligence, and Requirements (AIR) communities must partner in new ways and rely on each other’s strengths. This partnership or integration, must be present and active at each level in the Department of Defense (DoD) enterprise—from clear policy and governance down to program management and execution. At a minimum, we need to understand the threat and apply this understanding to drive our research, technology development, technology insertion, and existing program planned product improvements. Likewise, the intelligence community needs increased understanding of the requirements and acquisition demand for intelligence data necessary to build and operate weapon systems that are resilient and adaptable to this rapidly changing threat.
Cybersecurity is an area where program managers (PMs) find themselves between opposing forces. It is clear to them that cybersecurity is important and needs to have their attention, but where does it fit with all the other program priorities that have to be worked up front and early? What exactly should they be putting their attention on, and how? The kind of information they need on the subject is in the middle too; it is not at the national strategic policy level (although that affects them), and it is not in knowing the latest virus, back-door weakness or technology advance (but that is an impact too).