Panelists at TechNet Land Forces Southwest offered ideas for attracting, training and retaining cyber warriors. Ideas included bringing more women into cyber, simplifying the process for current soldiers who want to transition, and increasing opportunities for career and leadership development.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force Portal was spoofed, causing a ripple of concern through the service branch. Nearly identical to the real site, the fake one aimed to fool people into entering their log-ins and passwords so the information could be captured by illicit sources. Such scams are on the rise across the Internet, and the U.S. Defense Department is not immune to the threat. But in a government department known for passing orders from the top down, the only way to secure the networks is through awareness at the lowest level.
As more complicated networks develop and deploy unique and expanded capabilities, protecting U.S. cyber infrastructure grows more challenging. The Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate is responsible for defending the nation’s commercial and private networks. But with the complexity of these products, the directorate’s success increasingly depends both on sharing responsibilities among government organizations and between government and industry.
Evolving technologies such as mobile devices, cloud computing and steganography present challenges for those tasked with finding digital evidence of a crime. But the cyber forensics field also is evolving, and experts in industry and government are finding innovative tools for overcoming the obstacles.
The U.S. Defense Department faces many hurdles in its effort to protect and defend government computer networks. According to an unclassified version of a previously issued classified report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), several cyberspace capability gaps exist.
The U.S. Navy already is encountering unexpected changes following the consolidation of its N-2 and N-6 organizations. The effects of the merger already are leaving their mark on the organization itself along with the rest of the service. Budgetary planners effectively are defining the new organization’s campaign plan for the next few years. And, new technologies have leaped to the top of the Navy’s priority list.
Although the U.S. Navy has been in the cyber arena for many years, today the service officially moved into the operational cyber domain as Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, USN, took command of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.
The networked world is beginning to discover that sharing is not always beneficial. Marauders always have been the bane of cyberspace, but now a new set of threats has emerged to imperil more than just the usual targets. Ordinary citizens now are menaced by sophisticated organizations seeking to damage society or to loot it of its funds-or both. And, as always, the network-centric military is under assault by increasingly frequent and effective cyberagents operating under foreign government control.
The dark-hearted members of the human race have found ways to exploit innovations for their own selfish means throughout time. Now, with the ever-growing global dependence on computer networks, criminals are finding new ways to disrupt lives in the real world through enterprise in the cyber one. The U.S. Department of Justice and its allies have adapted their methods and techniques over the past decade and continue to adjust to prevent the morphing illegal activities in cyberspace, whether the computer crime itself is the full intent or only part of a larger scheme.
Modeling initiatives and new research into predictive systems are required to thwart the increasingly aggressive, ever-evolving cyberattacks on both equipment and data. These efforts are part of the recommendations of a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy that calls for a more scientific approach to cybersecurity. The report criticized U.S. government and private organizations for relying on outdated forms of cyberdefense that are a step behind the latest threats.