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A Powerful Vision

August 2001
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

Protecting warfighting information technology systems requires the same situational awareness for networks that battlefield commanders rely on to maneuver forces to outflank and engage an enemy at maximum effective range. Without a near-real-time picture of the U.S. Defense Department's Global Information Grid, the bubble could burst, leaving in question warfighter network defenses.

Modeling Reliability In Distributed Computer Networks

November 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

U.S. government computer scientists are studying how computer grids react to volatile conditions to understand how events such as virus attacks, sudden changes in workload and cyberattacks can affect linked groups of hundreds or thousands of geographically dispersed machines.

Privacy in the Public Domain

September 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

When the framers of the U.S. Constitution outlined citizens' rights, they could not have foreseen the birth of communications capabilities that would pervade both personal and professional life. Although the fourth amendment is very clear in its prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure, technology has blurred the line between what is considered public and private space. Privacy policy watchdog groups believe that the biggest challenge may be that technology seems to develop at the speed of light, while the legal protection of personal privacy moves at the speed of legislators.

Industry Confronts Privacy Concerns Head-On

October 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

While various Internet consumer privacy protection bills steadily make their way through U.S. congressional committees, businesses are taking a stab at self-governance. The work is based on the premise that commercial relationships demand trust, and the best way to gain customers' trust is to assure consumers that the information they provide, both automatically and intentionally, will not be shared without their permission. However, unless Web site visitors read published privacy policies, they may not be aware of how much of their personal data can be shared or sold.

Watch Out, Mobile Agents

October 2001
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

A fast-moving squad of government and industry computer security experts is preparing to swing into action. This computer-security-expert assist team is structured to support federal government agencies by providing ways to protect information technology systems and networks. The team's core will be industry members who are proficient in identifying and alleviating complex information system and infrastructure vulnerabilities.

Privacy vs. Protection: A Delicate Balance

November 2001
By Maryan Lawlor

It is hard to resist the Big Brother analogy to describe law enforcement agencies' use of new technologies for catching lawbreakers. From thermal scanners that monitor the amount of heat emanating from a suspect's house to hidden cameras that catch red-light runners to software that leads to the capture of cybercriminals, new capabilities have brought with them new privacy questions.

Flexible Defense for Uncertain Times

January 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

A software-based access control system offers administrators and planners a secure option for wireless and online communications. Capable of working with legacy technologies, the scalable program forms a layered defense against unauthorized entry or use of network components.

Fortifying Diplomatic Security

January 2002
By the SIGNAL Staff

The U.S. State Department is conducting "junkyard dog" network penetration tests and vulnerability assessments at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. Simultaneously, a network intrusion detection program will provide rapid warning of unauthorized access to the department's far-flung sensitive information systems.

Securing the Perimeter Virtually

February 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

A software analysis tool allows military and civilian managers of government facilities to evaluate vulnerability to terrorist attacks quickly. Now being installed at all U.S. military installations, the program calculates the risks that a variety of extremist organizations pose to a base or building, taking into account known tactics, methods of attack, preferred weapons and capabilities. This data is converted into graphics and three-dimensional models that can be stored and incorporated into reports.

Biometric Defense In Depth

May 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

A recently developed software application will allow organizations to design layered access systems that scan individuals to recognize facial features, voices and lip movement characteristics. The program permits the deployment of a variety of digital-camera-based devices in kiosks and stations or desktop and laptop computers to control and monitor admittance to secure areas, networks or individual pieces of equipment.


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