Addressing Need to Know and Need to Share in MindLink version 23.7

Working with intelligence material is a continuous balance between restricting information sharing to those with a need to know, and making information available to a range of personnel based on a need to share in order to act on the information. Intelligence material is painstakingly collected, analysed and interpreted by organisation involved with various responsibilities, including safeguarding national security, engaging in defence activities and carrying out law enforcement.

Collecting, processing, comparing and presenting this information isn't a goal in and of itself, however - the true value of intelligence is in making it available to those who can make decisions and those who can act upon those decisions. Historically, the emphasis on intelligence handling has focused on preventing access to protect sources and methodologies from exposure and maintain the advantage over those who would seek to do harm, presenting an obstacle to the rapid flow of information between different parts of missions.

In more recent years, there has been a move towards a 'need to share' mindset, with organisations actively seeking to promote the flow of information to tackle threats collaboratively on a local, national and international basis. This change in posture requires a change in approach in terms of intelligence sharing, and in conjunction with updating policy and procedure, the adoption of technology which facilitates effective, fast but secure information sharing.

It is critical that information sharing platforms allow the selective sharing of information and intelligence in an efficient way, but that these systems are also robust in preventing unauthorised access. This is fine balance that MindLink's persistent chat software seeks to help users navigate with purpose-designed information sharing tools and features, which we have added to in our most recent release version, 23.7.

This release introduces the ability to define and set dissemination controls to efficiently set dissemination permissions for rooms. Dissemination Controls can be used in combination with existing classification and security context settings to allow precise management of information distribution at speed, for example limiting distribution to members of a specific organisation. This feature is designed to to provide an efficient answer to the competing challenges of facilitating the need to share information with the requirement to restrict that sharing to those who are authorised to access it.

The introduction of dissemination controls builds offers a new way to setup user access to chat rooms which contrasts with the existing security context behaviour. With dissemination controls, when there are multiple Attributes selected within a particular Control, a user is allowed access if they have ANY of those attributes. Whereas with security context behaviour, a user must have ALL Security Contexts if multiple are applied to a group.

Read more about security contexts here.

By implementing two types of access control means users can create rooms and determine room membership more flexibly and appropriately aligned with the desired level of participation and collaboration, all while safeguarding the need-to-know. In turn this enables swifter distribution of sensitive information to where it will be consumed for analysis or decision-making.

For a complete overview of the latest features, improvements and bug fixes in release version 23.7, please refer to our documentation pages.