Predictive Intelligence: The Marriage of Data and Analytics in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity isn’t what it used to be. The rise of social engineering, the internet of things, and the convergence of the cyber and physical worlds mean the old model of building a virtual moat around your network castle isn’t so much obsolete as having been rendered a subset of the complete cybersecurity mission.


For this panel discussion, Predictive Intelligence: The Marriage of Data and Analytics in Cybersecurity, Federal News Radio gathered together three federal experts:

  • Julie Ard, senior principal cyber engineer and architect at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
  • David Bray, chief information officer at the Federal Communications Commission. He’s also Eisenhower Fellow to Taiwan and Australia, and a Harvard Executive In-Residence.
  • Stephen Dennis, data analytics engine director at the Homeland Security Department’s DHS Advanced Research Projects Agency – part of the Science and Technology Directorate.

Panelists agreed the proliferation of monitoring tools used on today’s networks can result in data overload for harried security staffs. Rather than try and identify attacks after they happen and patch things up, a more up-to-date strategy applies analytic tools to anticipate attacks from within and outside of an agency.

Dennis said a promising research avenue could lead to autonomous threat responses that act much more quickly than humans could.

Bray noted the need for more resiliency in network architectures for when unwanted events do occur, and for organizations to develop higher levels of cybersecurity capability maturity.

Above all, cyber is a human challenge. That’s why IARPA, Ard said, is pursuing its Virtuous User Environment, or VirtUE, project. It’s aimed at creating more secure, auditable and efficient user environments that exceed what’s available from current virtual desktops.

Besides more training, people – whether users or the cybersecurity staff – will need the kinds of tools that complement their activities and enhance their knowledge by revealing insights from quantities of data no one can mine individually.

The discussion detailed insights into how data, analytics and cybersecurity are coming together.



Federal Drive host Tom Temin

Tom Temin, Federal News Radio

Tom Temin has been the host of the Federal Drive since 2006. Tom has been reporting on and providing insight to technology markets for more than 30 years.  Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Tom was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines. Tom also contributes a regular column on government information technology.



Julie Ard, Senior Principal Cyber Engineer/Architect, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

Julie Ard is a Senior Principal Cyber Engineer/Architect for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, where she specializes in discovering and developing novel methods for securing user environments in the cloud. Immediately prior to her assignment at IARPA, she was an insider threat consultant for Intelligence Community and DoD clients. Ms. Ard also served as a Computer Systems Researcher for NSA’s Research Directorate. She holds a Master of Science in computer science from the University of California, Davis.


David Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission, Eisenhower Fellow to Taiwan and Australia AND Harvard Executive In-Residence

In 2016, Dr. David A. Bray was named one of the top “24 Americans Who Are Changing the World” under 40 by Business Insider. He also accepted a role of Co-Chair for an IEEE Committee focused on Artificial Intelligence, automated systems, and innovative policies globally for 2016-2017.

In 2000, Dr. Bray joined as IT Chief for the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the program’s technology response to during 9/11, anthrax in 2001, Severe Acute Respiratory System in 2003, and other international public health emergencies. He volunteered in 2009 to deploy to Afghanistan to help “think differently” on military and humanitarian issues. In 2012, Dr. Bray became the Executive Director for the bipartisan National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, later receiving the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal. He received both the Arthur S. Flemming Award and Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership in 2013.

He currently serves as a Senior Executive and Chief Information Officer with the Federal Communications Commission. He was chosen to be an Eisenhower Fellow to meet with leaders in Taiwan and Australia on multisector cyber strategies for the “Internet of Everything” in 2015. He was named a Harvard Visiting Executive In-Residence and Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum that same year, focusing on leadership in exponential times.


Stephen Dennis, Data Analytics Engine Director, Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency

Mr. Stephen Dennis provides leadership and guidance for research, development and deployment of advanced computation and data analytics for the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) of the Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  As the Director of the Data Analytics Engine, Mr. Dennis leads a diverse team of subject matter experts to address a variety of homeland security challenges, including automated risk assessment, social media analytics, and data driven investigations for homeland security applications using big data and internet of things technologies.  Mr. Dennis also serves HSARPA as the S&T APEX Program Manager for the Border Enforcement Analytics Program to improve utilization of DHS Big Data sources for ICE Homeland Security Investigations.  This program has delivered the first open source platforms for big data analytics to ICE to support homeland security investigations. Mr. Dennis also represents S&T to cross-departmental working groups and represents DHS analytics interests to working groups within the White House Office of Science and Technology Programs.  Mr. Dennis has more than thirty-five years of experience managing research programs in information analysis and processing automation within the Intelligence & Defense Communities and in partnership with other federal agencies. Mr. Dennis holds MBA and a M. S. in Electrical Engineering degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BS in Computer Engineering from Clemson University in SC.


Matt Quinn, Executive Vice President,  Products & Technology and CTO, TIBCO

Matt Quinn leads TIBCO’s Core Products & Technologies Group, bringing focus to a broader go-to-market strategy. As CTO, Matt works to create a common, corporate-wide vision for all TIBCO products and technologies, ensures interoperability and consistent architectural approaches across TIBCO’s various product families, and provides overall leadership and coordination of product plans and technology direction. Matt has been with TIBCO for nearly two decades. Prior to serving as CTO, he held several worldwide roles including responsibility for engineering; product vision, delivery, and overall quality; as well as customer enablement. Matt was also a global architect, responsible for some of TIBCO’s largest implementations in diverse areas such as transportation and logistics, energy, and finance. He received his BA in Computer Science and Masters of Applied Science Information Technology from RMIT University Melbourne.