Charting an Intelligence-Connected Highway to Navigate the Security Road Ahead

A lesson learned from history on how our far-reaching highway system was developed – and its usefulness as a model for transforming security – was the premise of my keynote at our recent Summit.

I titled it “The Road Ahead,” a literal title to describe how the Ontic Platform would evolve in the future but one that also had figurative meaning: the commonality between the development of the Interstate Highway System and how Ontic believes corporate security teams need to be thinking about the future of their intelligence programs.

In 1919, the Army ran an experiment to see how easy it would be to drive across the country. What they were hoping and predicting would take one week took 62 days. The task became much more difficult than anticipated due to the challenging road conditions. One lieutenant colonel chronicled the journey in a report that included a recommendation to fund the build-out of infrastructure that connected states and communities nationwide.

The outcome did not move policymakers who were content with the infrastructure they had in their state and major cities. They didn’t see the need to connect infrastructure with their neighboring states and certainly no need to fund infrastructure that connected the country.

Decades later, near the end of World War II in 1945, American military leaders saw the future in the German autobahn, which became the inspiration for the Interstate Highway System – the largest public works in U.S. history of over 46,000 miles of road comprising a woven interconnected network.

As each section of this highway system came to life, it completely transformed the nation. From the way in which the military was now able to move goods and men across the country to a movement of people from cities to suburbia, it now meant you could move freely throughout the country. 

But perhaps the biggest transformation of all was transportation logistics and distribution. It became the most optimal source of transportation for product carrying. With an effective and more modern way to transport goods, the US gained more stability, visibility, and control.

The Road to an Intelligence Highway System

How powerful would it be for the corporate security world to have a system where intelligence could be seamlessly stored, transported, and collaborated upon to help keep people and businesses safe? This was the question we asked ourselves when we went down the path of creating the Ontic Platform. In many ways, we embarked on a journey of creating our own Interstate Highway System except not to move goods, but to move intelligence.

But we knew it wasn’t enough to just collect and connect intelligence. We needed an active always-on database that stretched across the entire threat lifecycle – from detection to conducting research, to managing investigations, to assessing each threat. One that would not only manage threats but also vulnerabilities – the principals, the people, and the assets security teams protect. 

People and teams are often content with a broken system until they are shown a better way of accomplishing things, which leads to the transformation that follows. Many companies have a siloed intelligence infrastructure that feels adequate simply because that’s the way things have always been done. But in reality, just like the army discovered in 1919, there’s massive room for improvement.

The movement of goods was once risky, costly, tedious, and slow but became what would serve as one of the most important resources for greater efficiency. It brilliantly connected the country as a network. It’s the notion of an “intelligence network” and its interconnectivity that unlocks the power of the Ontic Platform.

While it took several decades for the Interstate Highway System to take flight, Ontic has achieved great success in creating an enterprise-wide intelligence highway system. One that we believe transforms security, transports vital intelligence to those who need it most, proactively manages threats and vulnerabilities, and makes the world a safer place.

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See how Ontic has created an enterprise-wide intelligence highway system

Manish Mehta