13 August 2013
NSA Strategy and Core Values
Global Cryptologic Dominance through Responsive Presence and Network Advantage
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the
U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence
(SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables
Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for
the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.
We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards
LawfulnessWe will adhere to the spirit and the letter of the
Constitution and the laws and regulations of the United States.
HonestyWe will be truthful with each other, and honor the
publics need for openness, balanced against national security interests.
IntegrityWe will behave honorably and apply good judgment as
we would if our activities were under intense public scrutiny.
FairnessWe will ensure equal opportunity and fairness in Agency
policies, programs, and practices.
AccountabilityWe will be accountable for our actions and take
responsibility for our decisions, practicing wise stewardship of public resources
and placing prudent judgment over expediency.
LoyaltyWe will be loyal to the nation, the mission, and each
other, weighing ideas solely on the merits and ensuring that decisions enjoy
vigorous debate while being made, followed by unified implementation.
CollaborationWe will cooperate with others in a respectful and
open-minded manner, to our mutual success.
InnovationWe will seek new ways to accomplish our mission, planning
for the future based on what weve learned from the past, and thinking
ahead to the best of our ability to avoid unintended consequences.
LearningWe will acquire and transfer knowledge, provide the
resources and training necessary for our people to remain at the forefront
of technology, and individually pursue continuous learning.
Goal 1Succeeding in Todays Operations
Enable wise policymaking, effective national security action, and U.S. freedom
of action in cyberspace by exploiting foreign use of electronic signals and
systems and securing information systems used by the U.S. and its allies,
while protecting privacy and civil liberties.
Enhance Cyber Security. Provide intelligence and information assurance
products and services that will help uncover, prevent, mitigate, or counter
attempts to compromise information or information technology that is critical
to national interests.
Provide Tactical Advantage. Collaborate and securely share information
with customers and mission partners, in the places and at the speed that
maximize the operational impact of cryptologic activities.
Provide Strategic Advantage. Detect early indications of emerging
or potential strategic threats to U.S. political, economic, or military interests
despite the efforts of sophisticated adversaries to deny such warning, and
provide critical U.S. and allied networks with resilience against attack.
Thwart Terrorists. Uncover violent extremists, their locations, plans,
organizations and operations, and help deny violent extremists the ability
to use cyberspace or other information technology to directly attack or disrupt
U.S. interests, radicalize new extremists, or to otherwise advance their
cause by any means including cyberspace or other information technology.
Contain, Control, and Protect Strategic Weapons. Uncover foreign efforts
to develop or proliferate strategic weapons, provide cryptographic products
and processes to secure U.S. nuclear weapons, and help keep proliferators
from using information technology to their advantage.
Goal 2Preparing for the Future
Deliver next generation capabilities and solutions that meet the challenges
of tomorrow and drive solutions from invention to operation in support of
national security and U.S. Government missions.
Foresee Future Needs. Preclude strategic surprise by anticipating
the operational landscape and identifying future target and technology trends
integrating breakthrough research advances and partner effects into
the future mission landscape while providing a predictive awareness of technology
perishability to effectively influence investment priorities.
Create Research Breakthroughs and Transfer Technologies. Discover,
develop, and demonstrate scientific and research breakthroughs in sufficient
scale, scope, and pace for the NSA/CSS and our partners to gain, extend,
and maintain our technical advantages over current and emerging
adversariesusing technology transfer processes to deliver mission
capability directly to mission teams and/or indirectly through technology
capability development teams.
Develop and Mature Emerging Technologies. Leverage research breakthroughs
and distributed operations to ensure our mission success and provide improved
scalability, integration, precision, and assured information
sharingenhancing Information Assurance products and services, and SIGINT
analysis, dissemination, and mission management in order to realize the full
benefits of current and forecast collection capabilities.
Harden the Infrastructure. Harden the security of hardware and software
components critical to our national interests by developing, deploying, and
continuously modernizing a highly assured and resilient technology undercarriage
with associated standards to enable combined operations.
Deliver and Sustain Mission Capabilities. In response to validated
requirements, acquire and operationalize products and systems that provide
capabilities to meet mission needs and that are consistent with the current
and evolving Enterprise Cryptologic Architecture.
Leverage Partnerships. Develop and enhance U.S. Government, foreign,
academic, and commercial partnerships to obtain access, expertise, and
perspective to overcome cryptologic challenges while fostering cooperation
between partners to advance common goals, make optimal use of resources,
influence standards, and drive collaboration and secure information sharing.
Goal 3Enhancing and Leading an Expert Workforce
Attract, develop and engage an exceptional, diverse workforce prepared to
overcome our cryptologic challenges.
Build the Workforce. Sustain and improve a comprehensive recruitment,
hiring, retention and reward strategy that keeps pace with the national demand
for diverse talent.
Focus on Leadership. Identify, develop and sustain collaborative and
accountable leaders who strengthen mission results and enable employees to
realize their fullest potential.
Accelerate Learning and Achieve Mission Results. Educate, train, and
develop an agile and collaborative enterprise-wide workforce with the skills
and competencies necessary to meet current and emerging missions.
Provide Security, Counterintelligence, and Force Protection. Safeguard
the workforce and worldwide assets and operations against traditional and
Modernize Facilities that Support Workforce Resilience. Recapitalize
physical infrastructure to promote a modern, world-class work environment
that safeguards the health, wellness, safety and quality of life of our
Goal 4Implementing Best Business Practices
Provide timely data to inform optimal strategic and tactical investment decisions
while ensuring organizational accountability for executing those decisions
and realizing the associated performance improvement.
Support Responsive Business Operations. Provide disciplined, repeatable,
and transparent business processes, functions and support to mission operations
at the speed of mission change.
Achieve Auditability. Improve the integration of business management
functions to produce auditable financial statements, which will engender
the trust of our overseers and enhance the agility of corporate decision
Deliver Acquisition Excellence. Ensure timely and agile delivery of
cost-effective capabilities through innovative, disciplined methods of
acquisition, capitalizing on the strength of industry, and gaining efficiencies
in contract administration.
Implement Business Automation and Integration. Improve the performance
of all functions within the business segment of the architecture by refining
processes, ensuring use of standards, increasing the use of automation, and
enabling effective employment of common business solutions for ease of
information exchange within and between IC Agencies.
Improve Performance-Based Budgeting. Clearly demonstrate the relationship
between NSA/CSS strategy, mission performance, and investment decisions through
improved integration of performance analysis and documentation within the
planning, programming, budgeting, execution and assessment processes.
Goal 5Manifesting Principled Performance
Accomplishing our missions with a commitment to a principled and steadfast
approach to performance through compliance, lawfulness, and protection of
public trust must be paramount.
Demonstrate Stewardship. Maintain the Nations trust by ensuring
our actions, our processes, and our systems are consistent with the Constitution
of the United States, authorized by law, and within the framework of applicable
regulations by focusing on awareness, development, application, and prompt
updates of standards, policies, and other mandates.
Exercise Integrity. Provide the necessary processes that will demand
the highest standards of our people, processes and systems and ensure our
people strive to exercise sound judgment, place honor above expediency, and
avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Ensure Accountability. Take responsibility for outcomes related to
our decisions, actions, and policies, and strive for precision in our people,
processes and systems by appropriately implementing management controls and
monitoring for the acceptance of responsibility.
Advance Transparency. Remain committed to honesty and visibility with
our overseers and stakeholders to ensure the Nations trust is based
on an accurate understanding of NSA/CSS activities, supporting oversight
by providing all relevant facts in compliance with applicable laws and
regulations and educating the workforce on the expectations of our overseers
For more information, visit NSA/CSS on the web
national security agency
central security service
core values clear vision
The mission of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its military component,
the Central Security Service (CSS), is focused on saving lives, defending
vital networks, and exploiting the foreign communications of adversaries.
On behalf of the dedicated employees of Americas cryptologic organization,
I appreciate your taking the time to learn about this unique national asset.
Every day, we provide valuable intelligence on issues of concern to all
Americanssuch as international terrorism, cyber crime, narcotics
trafficking, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our customers
range from U.S. decisionmakers to service personnel who are in harms
For us, collaboration is built into the very fabric of who we are. A component
of both the U.S. Defense Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community,
we also partner with other Federal organizationsincluding the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Cyber Commandto safeguard
national security information and systems. Cybersecurity is a team sport.
No one organization has the resources to do the job alone.
Just as we are committed to protecting the Nation, we are equally committed
to protecting the privacy rights of the American people. It is not an either/or
proposition. We must do both, and we do, every day.
This guide highlights our core values and vision. We always stand ready to
servefor the good of the Nation.
KEITH B. ALEXANDER
General, U.S. Army
Director, NSA/Chief, CSS
succeeding in TODAYS OPERATIONS
By collecting foreign signals, we provide policymakers and warfighters with
information that gives them a decisive edge to keep our Nation safe. We protect
both information and information technology that are essential to U.S. interests.
We also defend critical U.S. and Allied networks against attack. We help
our customers identify and correct vulnerabilities in technology and operations.
Together, these activitiescollecting foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT),
providing information assurance (IA), and enabling computer network operations
(CNO)are the crux of NSAs work.
NSA/CSS provides indications and warnings of impending terrorist attacks
and operational planning abroad. Fast action is key. Our technology allows
us to deliver actionable intelligence to troops in near real-time or better.
We share information with agencies that are responsible for safeguarding
our homeland and protecting our citizens around the world.
operating as a RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN
We carry out missions in ways that are consistent with the Nations
values and laws. Earning the American publics trust is paramount. Our
employees are held to the highest standards of accountability and lawfulness,
which are reinforced by recurrent training at all levels. Our compliance
processes are a part of a broader oversight structure in which all three
branches of the U.S. Government play key roles.
building upon our RICH HERITAGE
We confront todays increasingly complex challenges with determination
and creativity, just as weve tackled past issues. An understanding
of our history enriches our future. Our legacy of cutting-edge technology
has developed communications solutions for generations.
preparing for the FUTURE
Our goals are to: Improve and modernize the security of sensitive information
systems and produce timely and actionable intelligence. Create and integrate
research breakthroughs and transfer technologies in support of national security
and U.S. Government missions. Collaborate in developing education programs
at the elementary, secondary, and college levels.
CYBERSECURITY: a team sport
NSA/CSS partners with Federal organizations, private industry, and academia
to develop the capabilities to safeguard national security information.
Cybersecurity is a team sport. Providing technical expertise to the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Cyber Command, and other Federal Government
entities is one of our essential duties. To stay ahead of adversaries, we
constantly adjust and improve our defenses to protect the United States in
this digital age. NSA/CSS provides intelligence as well as innovative products
and services to confront cyber threats in an everchanging global environment.
Remarkable people with remarkable skills form the heart of the National Security
Agency. We are an adaptive, forward-leaning organization. We can and must
outthink, outwork, and defeat our adversaries new ideas. This is possible
only with a dedicated, talented workforce that supports the defense of the
United States and all that it stands for. NSAs core values underpin
this commitment. First and foremost is our respect for the law. Everything
that we undertake in our missions is grounded in our adherence to the U.S.
Constitution and compliance with U.S. laws and regulations that govern our
activities. Honesty and integrity are core values. We recognize that national
leaders and the American people at large have placed great trust in us, and
we strive at all times to be deserving of that trust. In addition, we embrace
transparency to the fullest extent possible. We never forget that we, too,
are Americans and that every activity we engage in is aimed at ensuring the
safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens. NSA is a unique national
asset because of our employees, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice
for our Nation. NSAs people not only matter, they make all the difference.
JOHN C. INGLIS
National Security Agency
National Vigilance Park
National Vigilance Park honors the silent warriors who performed
crucial intelligence-gathering missions during the Cold War. The achievements
and sacrifices of these military personnel are a proud part of the NSA/CSS
National Cryptologic Museum
The National Cryptologic Museum houses thousands of cryptologic artifacts
that serve to illustrate the history of the cryptologic profession. This
museum is free and open to the public.
Defending Our Nation Securing Our Future
NSA Office of Public Affairs, 301-688-6524, www.nsa.gov