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Clew: Low-Friction Capture of PAI Analysis

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-22-C-0042
Agency Tracking Number: N212-128-0291
Amount: $146,494.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N212-128
Solicitation Number: 21.2
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-10-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-04-20
Small Business Information
7047 Old Madison Pike, Suite 305
Huntsville, AL 35806-2197
United States
DUNS: 968887195
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Granade
 (256) 714-5062
Business Contact
 Heather Johns
Phone: (256) 327-5541
Research Institution

Cybersecurity is an important part of national security in the twenty-first century. While cyber crimes and hacks garner a lot of attention, the social media side of cybersecurity is also critical, especially to track information environment threats. Many tools exist to analyze the firehose of publicly available information (PAI) from social media, but they provide no good way to aggregate an analyst’s work, especially not across multiple tools. Most tools require a user to take screenshots, but screenshots are discrete, non-searchable, and lack provenance. Screenshot or PowerPoint filenames are a poor replacement for a searchable database. This lack limits long-term analysis, hampers an analyst’s ability to capture their thought process, and prevents instructors from determining how well a new analyst has learned the concepts they are trying to teach. What’s needed, and what nou Systems, Inc. will deliver, is Clew: a tool that captures analyst work product with low friction, and provides a screenshot editor that follow user experience (UX) best practices. In this innovative Phase I effort, the nSI team will (a) create a tool that captures screenshots and metadata (time, browser tab information, desktop process name and window title) to build a traceable work history, (b) store and index those screenshots along with relevant metadata, searchable text, and suggested tags in a private cloud, and (c) provide an editor that can display screenshots along a timeline, search them for relevant text, annotate, tag, and aggregate them into analyst notebooks for later analysis and report export. Clew will not only capture analysts’ work, but also their process, allowing easier report generation, long-term analysis, and evaluation of new analysts’ performance. The result: a better understanding of how analysis was generated, and better support for tracking information maneuvers, threat actors, and influencers. Like the clew of yarn Theseus used to navigate the Labyrinth, Clew will allow analysts to re-trace their steps through the myriad of available PAI analysis tools.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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