Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) looked to EasyDynamics to improve information sharing for Fusion Centers.

Homeland Security Information Network

DHS has a vital mission—safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values. Information sharing is the centerpiece of this vital mission and HSIN is integral to supporting public safety and other partners’ abilities to meet their operational needs. HSIN allows mission operators and first responders to share Sensitive but Unclassified information between federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, international, and private sector partners for emergency response, disaster relief, and major events.

To meet this objective, DHS turned to EasyDynamics to swiftly and efficiently stand up HSIN Exchange, a secure centralized, mobile ready solution that supports Request for Information (RFIs) using National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) standards. In this way, DHS could offer a secure, interoperable system to respond to Fusion Centers’ and Terrorist Screening Center’s RFIs. The engineers at the Washingtonbased firm leveraged mature Agile and DevSecOps practices to quickly engage with the department to rapidly provide early releases of capability, driven from a human centered design process. EasyDynamics also used its program management capability to ensure a timely response to all changes incurred throughout the program.

The Challenge

In response to 9/11 terrorist attacks, the nation began to fund and create regionally based Fusion Centers. The centers became a hub for regional information sharing on a variety of law enforcement and intelligence issues. The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center became a federal entity that actively engaged with Fusion Centers. As the Fusion Centers increased in numbers, their primary means of coordinating requests for information from one another was email. The increasing levels of email traffic, inability to respond to one another in a timely manner, and lack of coordinated responses became unmanageable.

Since HSIN was adopted early as a platform for information sharing by the Fusion Centers, the HSIN program determined to develop a secure, centralized system for Fusion Centers and the Terrorist Screening Center to communicate more effectively.

The Solution

EasyDynamics created the HSIN Exchange system for law enforcement and intelligence professionals across the centers to streamline information requests and tracking capabilities. After the initial release, new features were added to target RFI’s one or a group of Fusion Centers, to provide reporting to understand the effectiveness of the system and communicate its success to Congress who provided funding for Fusion Centers.

More recently, EasyDynamics engineers added the Flash Alerts feature for authorized users to create, send, receive, and acknowledge emergency notifications regardless of their location or device. When an incident (e.g., kidnapping, terrorist event, earthquake) occurs, a Flash Alert is sent to a target audience responsible for incident response. Flash Alerts enables operators to prioritize critical time-sensitive activities despite working in a fast-paced environment.

The Benefits

Increased Efficiency and Customization

  • Single sign on enables enhanced usability
  • Business rules customized to meet needs of specific stakeholders
  • Additional customization can be requested by end users as needs change

Increased Transparency via Performance / metric driven

  • 360-degree view of user activity via advanced tracking
  • Reporting metrics communicates value of Fusion Centers and their technology to investors
  • EasyDynamics Agile software development ensures new capabilities and services are rapidly built and fielded to improve mission support

Real-time Responsiveness

  • Single sign on enables enhanced usability
  • Business rules customized to meet needs of specific stakeholders
  • Additional customization can be requested by end users as needs change