U.S. Urged to Do More on AI, National Security

The Wall Street Journal | December 12, 2019

The U.S. government needs a holistic approach for advancing the development of artificial intelligence to protect its national security and maintain a global leadership position in the technology, according to experts who gathered in Washington this week for a panel event.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Agriculture Selects Tantus Tech for Security Compliance

Tantus Technologies | January 04, 2023

In a recent announcement, Virginia-based Tantus Technologies, Inc., received a Task Order through the Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Information Assurance Branch. Tantus is engaged to provide cyber security services to the Risk Management Agency (RMA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Tantus, via the FPAC, has provided its expertise to several vital applications, systems and programs related to crop insurance, conservation, lending, and other services for over five years. The new Task Order mandates Tantus with authorization documentation analysis; project maintenance and management; security assessment and cyber security compliance support; contingency planning preparedness; and readiness and assurance support for the entire FPAC. Due to the long working relationship, USDA – FPAC selected Tantus for this crucial implementation. Under the federal Zero Trust Architecture mandates Tantus will focus on packaging its cyber services with automation, emerging practices and technologies to assist federal agencies in improving their security compliance. Tantus intends to bring thought leadership to this transition and increase the overall security of FPAC systems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center's (NITAAC) Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 Small Business (CIO-SP3 SB) contract awarded the new Task Order to Tantus. About Tantus Technologies, Inc. Tantus Technologies offers federal clients complete IT solutions and management consulting. With over two decades of experience working with the government, Tantus Tech solutions expertise ranges across Artificial Intelligence, Agile, Human Centered Design, DevOps, Strategy Realization, Program/Project Management, and Cybersecurity.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

BlueAlly Announces Acquisition of n2grate, Expands Access to Federal Government

BlueAlly | February 03, 2023

On February 02, 2023, a source capital portfolio company that delivers everything from hardware and software BlueAlly, announced it has acquired n2grate Government Technology Solutions; with specialist expertise, it provides service and offers IT solutions to its customers. BlueAlly and n2grate’s combined entity will help expand BlueAlly’s access to federal customers who can now benefit from an expansive suite of managed and professional services. n2grate has a wide range of end-to-end solutions that are best for large businesses and the government. The team has specialized knowledge and is set up to provide IT solutions that meet the IT needs of regulated industries and federal clients. In addition, the n2grate team knows a lot about networking, security, and infrastructure. George Barkley, CEO of BlueAlly, said, "the acquisition of n2grate provides strategic diversification to BlueAlly's core business while accelerating our maturation as a preferred national solution provider. Several of our core vendor alliances are immediately strengthened, ultimately helping us serve our clients more comprehensively." He also said, "We are excited to welcome a team of focused professionals with deep understanding of the federal space, and I have great confidence in the success of our combined efforts." (Source: Cision) About BlueAlly Founded in 1999, BlueAlly helps clients optimize, scale, and manage IT capacity to achieve the company's business goals. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, with 700+ global engagements delivered successfully. It tops in providing Managed Services, Consulting Solutions, and Converged Infrastructure. In addition, the services of BlueAlly include Infrastructure Assessment and Advisory Services, managed services, Data Center Solutions and network and security solutions.

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