Tradecraft transformed: Leveraging Peraton’s strategic edge in intelligence operations

Intelligence agencies must modernize tradecraft to successfully adapt to an increasingly unpredictable global environment.

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The intelligence community is often the first line of defense for national security. In an era marked by escalating geopolitical tensions with near-peer adversaries, relentless cyberattacks, and rapid technology advancements that create new vulnerabilities, the threats grow by the day.

Agencies are modernizing processes and infrastructure for the nation to maintain superiority and decision advantage over these increasing threats. This includes transforming digital architectures to integrate authoritative data, models, and simulations that better inform and support operations. Many agencies are also looking to invest in advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. Through automation, agencies can be connected, aware, and on the bleeding edge of strategic competition.

“We are focused on providing AI readiness to our missions of consequence. This requires us to work on many levels with the systems, the infrastructure and the platforms that deliver capability to our customers. Advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning constantly require us to think about scale,” says Jessie Juarez, systems engineering senior advisor for Peraton, a leading national security and technology company.

Ensuring data security

Modernization and digital transformation show great promise in advancing intelligence tradecraft. These undertakings also introduce a range of potential challenges. First and foremost, AI/ML programs require massive amounts of data to fuel them. However, as information pours in from various sources, teams managing the influx will require the right data science and analytical skills to ensure the trustworthiness and quality of that data before it’s used in the field or to build AI models.

“There’s a massive amount of data available for AI/ML capabilities, but we have to make sure it is of high-quality and can power the automation we need,” says Juarez. “Establishing strong AI assurance and governance around data and models will allow us to deliver solutions that commands and warfighters trust.”

In the move toward AI/ML in support of warfighters, it is critical for intelligence agencies to maintain a state of constant vigilance — not just of their own operations and pipelines, but also the actions of adversaries. Keeping a bird’s-eye-view of the big picture will allow them to anticipate where and how enemies could cause disruptions.

“We have to be focused on how we're supporting the mission and what our adversaries are doing to disrupt it,” explains Juarez. “Understanding the full range of potential threats will help establish the countermeasures and strategies required to protect our data, models and capabilities.”

Accelerating the speed of innovation

Another key obstacle for the intelligence community’s digital transformation journey is balancing the rapid pace of mission requirements with traditional acquisition processes, which can slow the development and delivery of capabilities.

To facilitate an adaptive acquisition timeline, Chris Anderson, senior systems engineer for Peraton, advocates for a “joint rapid engineering forum” between the intelligence community and industry that serves as a streamlined means to research and frequently test promising capabilities.

“Our customers across the intelligence community are starting to become more risk-tolerant to the integration of experimental capabilities,” says Anderson. “Through that experimentation, we can iteratively improve upon those capabilities to deliver mission-critical needs faster, all without breaking current mission capabilities.”

With modernized systems and technologies, agencies can find ways to facilitate a faster innovation cycle to better future-proof operations for an unpredictable landscape.

“The intelligence community needs to create and maintain agile digital platforms to conduct its work at the speed of mission, enabling an interoperable fabric to bring the full power of what we, our alliances, and mission partners bring to bear upon our adversaries,” says Anderson.

Peraton’s trusted, holistic approach

Perhaps no one understands the intricacies of these challenges better than Peraton. With more than 50 years of experience supporting the intelligence community, Peraton blends this breadth of knowledge with technical expertise to create solutions that enable agencies to sense, track, and counter adversaries at speed across contested domains.

From high-level digital engineering and integrating secure AI/ML infrastructure applications to building total systems of purpose, the team at Peraton works closely with its customers to provide tailored capabilities that have the most impact on their individual missions. This “total solution approach” involves continuous research and integration across the intelligence community, ensuring a balanced enhancement of both modernized infrastructure and its supporting applications.

“We help agencies prepare for what's around the corner by continuing to research and remain curious about our total solution approach,” says Anderson. “We continuously communicate and engage across development teams to ensure we're delivering the quickest, best, and most resilient capabilities to the warfighter.” 

Peraton also aids the intelligence community and the DoD by integrating equipment, delivering products, cloud services, and distributed capabilities. These efforts include providing secure and resilient communication solutions in constrained environments at the edge.

“We can integrate with systems at each echelon to assure timely data delivery and resilient, secure systems that are sized, for example, from a data center all the way down to portable and handheld devices,” explains Anderson.

Ultimately, Peraton understands the unique customer requirements and needs of the warfighter. Its engineers can quickly capture those requirements amidst the evolving global environment to deploy the best solutions to the fight.

“We will continue to engage across the entirety of the intelligence community, so we can jointly collaborate and integrate capabilities to provide better, faster decision-making to the end user – our warfighters,” says Anderson. “From my perspective as a veteran who's had boots on the ground, it's about shortening the decision loop, which shortens the kill chain, so we can impart positive effects.”

Learn more about how Peraton can help bolster your agency’s intelligence operations.

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