Improving Data-Level Security and Digital Experiences at DOD

With the President signing the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law this week, we wanted to highlight two important sections of the House report (H.Rept. 115-200) that will help the Department of Defense (DOD) better protect sensitive information and improve its digital recruiting efforts.

Transforming the Recruiting and Enlistment Process

Adobe commends the committee for recognizing the need to modernize the recruiting and enlistment process for the digital era. While all branches of the military continue to rely on in-person recruiting stations, the bill directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the military services, to provide a plan to the House Armed Services Committee on ways to improve and modernize military recruiting and entrance processing. This is a smart move for the DOD. With improved paper-to-digital workflow processes and electronic signatures, the DOD can make it easier and more efficient for recruits to navigate the numerous paper-based forms and documents they are expected to fill out and sign. Additionally, by moving the recruitment and enlistment processes from the physical world to the digital world, the DOD will reduce costs and processing times.

Adobe previously helped the U.S. Army adapt a mobile-first strategy with its website to great success, ensuring that has the most recent and important news and information available for potential recruits. Adobe also helped the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) unit at Fort Gordon adopt marketing and communication tools with the Creative Cloud, to produce high-quality marketing materials, including apps, websites, videos, webzines, brochures, and more. The unit used these tools to produce high-end video content and a multi-platform app to promote initiatives for military families.

Securing Sensitive Information with Digital Rights Management

Another provision that Adobe applauds the committee for is taking steps to strengthen data security in the wake of numerous data breaches in both the private and public sector. The House Armed Services Committee directed the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to brief the committee on any plans to incorporate digital rights management (DRM) and attribute-based access control (ABAC) capabilities.

For the Department of Defense, content security is not optional. Information sharing is a necessity across the DOD today, but the potential for insiders to misuse or accidentally access or leak information exists every time someone disseminates content. With DRM, which is a systematic approach to protecting content that prevents unauthorized access and distribution of content and restricts the ways users can share content – the DOD can better protect content no matter where it is located, monitor for access and automatically track information as it is shared. DRM and ABAC can help military and civilian agencies protect their sensitive information both inside and outside of agency networks.

The DOD and members of Congress should be applauded for encouraging the digital transformation of the recruiting and enlistment process and recognizing the need for stronger content security across the enterprise. By adopting stronger data-level protections via digital rights management and transforming the digital recruiting process, the Department of Defense will be better prepared for the threats of the future.