Friday, December 2, 2011

Contextual Intelligence: A DARPA Project Wicked Cool Example

VMR: Visual Media Recognition
A fantastic video analogy for explaining rich context. 

State-of-the art complex technologies handled ineffectively are ineffective. 
As a security professional, I want as much detail as possible that provides me assurance that my system's data is secure. Average auditors want enough data to validate compliance to their work papers. GREAT auditors want contextual data about the system to have assurance that data is secure, the system is operating as it should, and governance objectives (e.g. solution alignment, performance and capacity management) are met. GREAT auditors pay attention to multiple inputs during the data gathering process and correlate information in context to determine the veracity and completeness of the message.

Plain English? Push for the right controls and push for as close to centralized management and correlation of the controls into a cohesive process and system that make sense with your administrators. I spend a lot of time speaking to the organization of your information and controls because I have seen and witnessed how excellent state-of-the art complex technologies handled ineffectively are ineffective.

Now on to the Wicked Cool Project.
You probably have read stories or seen enough movies to understand the need to identify location details from a photograph or video. Maybe I watched too much Star Trek or read too many science fiction novels. This is cool!! Especially as an analogy for understanding as much about your environment as possible. This is particularly true in cloud (outsourced) environments.

There is a project from DARPA where they are "soliciting proposals for innovative research and development into creating a capability that can rapidly identify a range of information – Who, What, Where, and When– contained within a captured “noisy” photo or video image taken in theater by an adversary. The proposed research and development will investigate innovative approaches to visual image understanding, adaptation of existing techniques for novel purposes, and the integration of multiple visual processing algorithms and image datasets into a single, easy-to-use software system."

Here is the Wicked Cool Video.