Search:  

 Blog     e-Newsletter       Resource Library      Directories      Webinars
AFCEA logo
 

SIGNAL Connections

Latest Laptops Enhance Capabilities

November 17, 2008
by Katie Packard

This is where the article will go.

So You Want to Host a Webinar?

November 17, 2008
by Rita Boland

More than ever, businesses and other agencies are using the Internet to share information with clients, partners and stakeholders, and webinars are becoming a popular method to distribute news and ideas. Using these online presentations, organizations can invite people from around the world to attend the same event without requiring travel or large physical facilities. However, not all webinars are created equal, and just as in-person interactions mandate certain behaviors and rules, so do addresses in cyberspace. Luckily, by remembering and implementing some easy and almost basic practices, groups can attract an audience and host a successful online seminar.

Thomas Masotto, the vice president of product management and business development at ON24, explains that webcasts have gained popularity because they reach a dispersed crowd and are cost effective. His company assists organizations with hosting webinars. “They’re a good way to engage an audience and communicate a complex message,” he says. Webinars are akin to keynote addresses at large conferences; they offer a platform for distributing information and responding to direct questions from audience members. Of course, webinars are only effective if people attend.

Chertoff Kicks Off SOLUTIONS

November 17, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

The Honorable Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will set the tone for the fourth SOLUTIONS series event with a plenary speech on the first morning. “Cyberspace: Challenges and Solutions for National Security” is the focus of the conference, which takes place December 10-11 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C.

In addition to Chertoff, a number of high-ranking officials from the federal government as well as the military will offer their insights during the conference. Speakers include Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, USN, director of command, control, communications and computer systems, J-6, the Joint Staff; Vice Adm. James Winnefeld, USN, strategic plans and policy director, J-5, the Joint Staff; Lt. Gen. John Paxton Jr., USMC, operations director, J-3, the Joint Staff; Maj. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, commander, Air Force Cyberspace Command (provisional); Brig. Gen. Steve Smith, USNR, chief cyber officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6, U.S. Army; and Melissa Hathaway, senior adviser for the Director of National Intelligence and cyber coordination executive.

Information Operations Multiply With the Value of Information

November 17, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

As information has increased in value with the dynamism of the information age, so too have operations against it. Information operations used to be the purview of the military, but now they have become an element of cyberspace in general. Thus, the threats that once were limited to the military realm now are appearing in civil government and commerce. As military-style information operations begin to wreak havoc in civilian cyberspace, military-style countermeasures will need to be deployed.

The flip side of this coin is that the military is making greater use of information technologies and capabilities drawn from the commercial sector. So, the vulnerabilities that have characterized civilian cyberspace now are moving into the military realm. This cries out for commercial solutions to protect both military and civilian information assets.

And the threats to cyberspace are becoming more sophisticated across the board. The melding of useful cyberspace capabilities has its match in information operations. Cybermarauders ranging from basement hackers to foreign governments are adopting increasingly similar methodologies. Information operations now are being waged by virtually anyone with malice of intent in cyberspace.

2009 Security Directory Update Underway

November 17, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

The community of companies doing business in the security arena is as large and diverse as the products and services they offer. Organizations may find it difficult to locate the company with the products and services matching their specific requirements.

To help readers compare and find solutions best suited to their needs, SIGNAL Magazine and AFCEA produce two security directories each year. The print version is published annually in the February issue of SIGNAL Magazine. The issue also will be distributed at the AFCEA Homeland Security conference, February 25-26, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Participation in the print version is open to any company that offers relevant products and services.

The AFCEA Online Security Directory will be available in early 2009. Inclusion in the electronic product is a free benefit of AFCEA corporate membership, and all corporate member companies that participate in the print directory are listed in the online directory automatically.

All companies must submit a new form each year for placement in either directory. Security Directory records are unrelated to AFCEA membership or Source Book records. Companies must update their information for the Security Directory separately.

Computing in the Clouds

November 17, 2008
by Maryann Lawlor

Organizations seeking ways to improve the bottom line may find their solution in the clouds—cloud computing, that is. The paradigm offers dynamic access to computer processing, network bandwidth and file storage on a pay-per-use basis. Companies as well as government agencies can take advantage of new technologies sooner while spreading their information technology expenditures over a longer period of time. This approach can be especially advantageous for small firms because it gives them access to cutting-edge technology without huge investments.

Cloud computing refers to assigning tasks to a combination of connections, software and services over a network. Through a thin client, users can access resources such as data or applications when they need them while benefiting from supercomputer power. Google’s Apps, Maps and Gmail are perhaps some of the most well-known cloud residents; other providers include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Flexiscale, GoGrid and Mosso.

Marines Take a Chomp Out of Multiple Radars

November 17, 2008
by Rita Boland

The Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) combines five U.S. Marine Corps legacy radars into one, offering enhanced capabilities and reduced operation and maintenance costs to the Corps. The system has a planar antenna and employs active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology. 

By using this type of state-of-the-art radar technology, the U.S. Marines Corps will have a highly mobile, multipurpose tool that will help commanders track threats in the air and on the ground. The device will address multiple asymmetric threats targeted at troops and offer capabilities necessary for the 21st century battlefield.

The Marine Corps will begin combating enemies with G/ATOR within the next decade, starting with an increment one rollout in 2012. The device’s most important role is air surveillance; the system will offer enhanced capabilities to detect, track and provide target-quality data to engage hostile aircraft, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), rockets, mortars and artillery. It also has air traffic control functions.

The various functions of G/ATOR combine through the Marines’ air and ground command and control (C2) nodes. The radar will detect its targets and send all the associated information to the C2 systems. The data from G/ATOR will be amalgamated with individual systems and can be integrated at a higher level with other services or passed directly to the joint battlefield. 

Experts Tackle Acquisition Woes

November 17, 2008
by Maryann Lawlor

Confusion abounds when it comes to the government acquisition process, and the general consensus is that the system is in serious need of repair. Experts in the acquisition field agree that some of the top priorities are additional training for the work force, a revamp of requirements approaches and adoption of a logical method for leveraging commercial products.

Two former government officials who dealt with acquisition issues on a daily basis offer valuable insights and possible solutions. One of these experts is the Honorable Jacques S. Gansler. Before he became a professor, Gansler was the U.S. Defense Department’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Last year, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren asked Gansler to head a commission to conduct an independent study of the U.S. Army’s acquisition and program management in expeditionary operations and offer recommendations for improvement. The review, now known as the Gansler Commission report, is a snapshot of acquisition issues that plague the federal government.

The commission noted that after the Cold War ended, the budget dropped drastically. The Defense Department decided to reduce acquisition personnel rather than reduce the number of warfighters, Gansler explains.

Security Assurance Sometimes Starts From the Outside In

October 15, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

The explosion of new Web tools increases the usefulness of everyone’s computers but also amplifies the threats to organizations’ network systems. Life behind the corporate firewall may be relatively safe, but once the windows are open to let exciting capabilities in, systems administrators must take extra precautions to ensure that information isn’t leaking out.

Blake Frantz, chief technology officer for the Center for Internet Security, says risks to organizations’ systems today generally fall into three categories. The first is at the desktop itself. Information security officers need to evaluate the information that traverses between their computer users and the outside world. Security officers also must take an inventory of the tools their users have on their desktops. “Enough attention isn’t being paid to the inventory on desktops,” Frantz states.

While software creators develop patches for their products when vulnerabilities are discovered, users may be employing a plethora of different plug-ins and widgets that include vulnerabilities that are not being patched. “Overall, the popularity of Internet tools means that you have more computers on your local area network that have them. The sheer number causes this to be an increasing threat,” he explains.

Tactical Communications Empower Force Doctrine

October 15, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

The past few years have seen military communications and information systems described in terms ranging from force multiplier to battlespace domain. No one doubts that command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems have revolutionized warfare. What many people do not realize is just how broad-reaching the changes have been across the spectrum of warfighting.

One need look no further than the Iraq War for a singular example. When Gen. David H. Petraeus, USA, initiated the troop surge to seize the upper hand in Iraq, he also instituted major changes in operational doctrine. One of these was to move U.S. forces out of centralized locations and into the general populace. New tactical C4I systems that were being deployed with the force enabled the general to commit to that undertaking. Absent those new technologies, the force would not have been able to maintain connectivity while dispersed. This was a case in which the C4I systems enabled the change in doctrine that helped shift the outlook for the war in Iraq.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - SIGNAL Connections