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dykstra-josiahmf08Josiah Dykstra, PhD

National Security Agency

Josiah Dykstra is using the latest technology to solve some of the biggest challenges at the National Security Agency. Dykstra, a computer security researcher at Fort George G. Meade, said he appears to have created the first augmented reality for cybersecurity professionals, a head-mounted display that allows the users to see the physical world and computer alerts.

One of the biggest challenges Dykstra and his team had to overcome was how to get the technology into NSA buildings, which usually do not allow wireless connections, cameras, and microphones. Negotiations with security organizations cleared the way for the new technology.

“This invention was successful because of the talented research and development teams who collaborated with me,” Dykstra said. “It was also successful because of the volunteer participants who allowed us to measure and study the operational users and scientifically show improvement in their work because of this innovation.”

Cybersecurity analysts and practitioners at NSA and other government agencies made up Dykstra’s first target user group, and he hopes the global cybersecurity community will also one day use it. Initial evaluations have shown that augmented reality has improved cybersecurity operations, with a 15 to 35 percent increase in productivity.

Dykstra said he hopes to have the next generation version of the technology in production by fall of 2017, which will include more realistic 3D graphics, he said.

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