170328eahack400The second NATO Enterprise Architecture Hackathon recently concluded at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Headquarters in London, U.K., with participants from NATO Member and Partner nations, from Ministries of Defence and industry, joining together to develop solutions that will be readily available to tackle current and future issues affecting NATO.

NATO's Allied Command Transformation developed the concept of the Enterprise Architecture Hackathon as a means to address current business needs by engaging with groups made up of both of experts and novices "parachuted" for a short time into a high intensity workspace. The solutions developed at the Enterprise Architecture Hackathon are kept in the open source domain, to foster transparency and enable further development and collaboration. There were three challenges at the Hackathon: A modelling challenge, a coding challenge and a joint challenge.

The modelling challenge called for the development of architectural models representing innovative approaches to establish situational awareness in cyberspace operations. This challenge was won by the U.K. Ministry of Defence team, whose solution demonstrated how open standards could be effectively used while developing new concepts. All solutions will be further consolidated in the upcoming weeks and help inform the creation of a new concept for Cyberspace Operations under development at NATO’s Allied Command Transformation. Additionally, the reusable elements of architectures will be stored in the repositories for re-use during the implementation of cyber capability packages.

The coding challenge called for the use of analytical software to enable effective analysis of systems data that was collected at NATO Verification and Validation events. The coding challenge was won by a team from the Ukrainian Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Centre. That team’s solution applied big data technologies for information processing and innovative features to produce attractive and intuitive visualizations. In the next step of this effort, Allied Command Transformation is planning to deploy the developed solution within the CWIX environment to enhance the analytics capability for managers and analysts.

The joint challenge called for a solution through both modelling and coding to deliver innovative Internet of Things (IoT) products that would increase the effectivity of NATO operations. The challenge was won by the second Ukrainian team. That team’s product created a secure authentication in a distributed architecture, using the latest advances in facial and voice recognition on smartphones. All the solutions from the IoT challenge will be further developed to be tested at the upcoming CWIX event in June 2017.

Both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s Vice-President and Post-Quantum’s Chief Executive Officer were invited to observe the selection board, as a courtesy in recognition of their support to the competition as well as to include their perspectives in the judging process. NATO cyber protection now covers more than 50 sites, including a chain of new small headquarters in the Eastern part of the Alliance. Over 200 experts help protect our networks around the clock and Allies share real-time information about threats through a dedicated Malware Information Sharing Platform.

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