National Security Agency & National Cryptologic Foundation: Progress Through Partnership, April 2021
For more than 25 years, the National Cryptologic Foundation (NCF) has been a strategic partner of the National Security Agency (NSA). Through these years, the NCF has been Educating the public on the contributions of the Cryptologic community; Commemorating the many professionals who have “served in silence” in defense of this nation, and Stimulating public interest in the many professional opportunities available in the field of mathematics, science, and the languages that will ultimately accelerate our 21st-century workforce.
In a 30 April 2021 press release, NSA announced a renewed partnership with the Foundation - with a focus on increasing educational and public engagement opportunities centered on cybersecurity, national security, and cryptology. In late 2021, the NCF signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NSA based on the Progress Through Partnership vision.
The partnership will continue to form a bridge linking public and private sector experts on national security and cybersecurity - enabling them to collaborate on issues of national security importance. The partnership's key emphasis will remain on cryptology and cybersecurity.
You can also learn more about the shared VISION below.
NSA-NCF Vision: Progress Through Partnership
Progress Through Partnership is a shared vision National Security Agency (NSA) and National Cryptologic Foundation (NCF) vision to bolster understanding of the 21st century cyber landscape and facilitate collaboration across its multi-sector stakeholders. This partnership will create pathways and opportunities for individuals and organizations across public and private sectors to engage on U.S cybersecurity and national security. It will emphasize educating a diverse future generation about the profession dedicated to this joint focus – cryptology.
Cryptology, the field of making and breaking codes, is critical to U.S. national security. It demands the attraction and cultivation of a workforce that brings substantive intellect, innovation, and drive to solve some of our most daunting technical challenges. While many cryptologic achievements, past and present, necessarily remain veiled in secrecy; today’s cybersecurity challenges require the rapid pursuit of open partnerships across government, industry, and academia. As the nation’s premier cryptologic organization, the National Security Agency (NSA) is responding through the transformation of its public engagement strategy to create new partnerships and grow awareness of NSA and cryptology’s evolving roles in defending U.S. national security.
This strategy will:
- Promote deeper understanding of past cryptologic successes pivotal to our history in defending U.S. and allied democracies
- Support public-private collaborative path finding to remedy emergent cybersecurity challenges
- Partner with academia to develop and attract future cryptologists and cybersecurity professionals
NSA’s expanded outreach efforts will create connections with private industry, academia, the general public, national thought leaders, think tanks, professional associations, and more. Central to this engagement strategy is NSA’s relationship with the NCF. NSA and the NCF will partner closely to convene public and private sector entities to address national security and cybersecurity issues and to commemorate and promote broad understanding of cryptology’s past, present, and future role in U.S. national security. NSA and NCF share a three-fold cryptologic vision, with cybersecurity as a key emphasis area: Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate.
The NSA and NCF recognize the National urgency to advance cybersecurity education, innovation, and awareness in academia, government, private industry, and the general public. Together, they will create robust nation-wide education programs and build deeper pipelines for cyber and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skill sets to meet our nation-wide demand for expertise in these fields.
The NSA and NCF promote the value and necessity of public-private collaboration on cybersecurity and national security. Together, they create a platform for convening robust proactive dialog and technical exchanges to further cybersecurity collaboration and innovation and to bridge gaps across the cyber landscape. NSA’s external engagement strategy will continually inform and refresh the “stimulate” goal, and the NCF will ensure continued enrichment through public sector awareness.
Cryptanalysis and cybersecurity are professions that demand intellect, patience, and imagination, while providing little recognition beyond the confines of the cryptologic community. The NSA and NCF promote understanding of how cryptologic contributions past and present have protected and preserved U.S. national security and our way of life. Together, they are committed to educating the public on the value of cryptology to the nation, honoring those who have made landmark contributions, and commemorating the myriad historical achievements little known in the public sphere. The National Cryptologic Museum will rightly serve as the centerpiece for this focus.