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Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Seeks Input on Securing Medical Devices

December 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence outlines a threat to medical devices and launches a search for solutions.

Files of More Than 40,000 Federal Workers Breached in Cyber Attack

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Disposable Cyber Systems to Stay Ahead of Adversaries

November 19, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman officials say they are developing a new kind of cyber system—a disposable system tailored for a single mission. The concept, they say, will make it more difficult for adversaries to penetrate or maneuver inside user networks.

Fragmented Government Efforts Stymie Cybersecurity Progress

December 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The private and financial sectors are pressing for better governmental answers to the costly cybersecurity challenges still plaguing the nation. They want the White House to create, as a minimum first step, an interagency or oversight group to facilitate information sharing. This small step is seen as a critical link between industry and government to organizing the fragmented cybersecurity efforts needed to quash mounting attacks.

While federal efforts abound, they are coordinated haphazardly, with gaps and no overarching governance—in spite of a preponderance of existing documents, plans, regulations and actions, according to experts.

A year has passed since the breach of Target Corporation’s information security in which hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and yet no national coordinated clearinghouse exists for the formal sharing of information and lessons learned that might mitigate future attacks. A spate of high-profile data breaches has hit big retailers and financial institutions, but cybersecurity in the United States remains a lax patchwork of ill-defined rules and dubious regulations.

But this is not for a lack of trying, some experts say. For years, officials as high as the president of the United States designated cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges—even though, of the 21 top issues listed on the whitehouse.gov home page in October, cybersecurity ironically is not among them.

Cyber Commander Expects Damaging Critical Infrastructure Attack

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, who leads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, predicts a damaging attack to critical infrastructure networks within the coming years. If an attack happens, the agency and Cyber Command will coordinate a response along with other government agencies and potentially the private sector organizations that own many of the networks.

CERDEC Sets Priorities as It Prepares for New Environments

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Article updated December 3, 2014.

With a number of uncertainties coloring their activities, officials at the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are preparing their program objective memorandum, laying out several key projects and goals for the coming years. The leaders are calibrating efforts to align with expected congressional funding as well as with the capabilities soldiers require for mission success.

For fiscal year 2015, sequestration will not affect that budget timeline; however, fiscal year 2016 presents a different challenge, with possible large cuts to funding. The situation shadows the development of the program objective memorandum for fiscal years 2017 to 2021. Planning programs and budgets for the upcoming years involves making choices about what demands attention in an age of diminished resources and about where resources might remain viable. The autonomous systems command and control and sensing systems, or communications systems that might be on autonomous platforms, is one area of the portfolio undergoing adjustment. “That is something we’re going to have to go back and reinvestigate because there’s been an added incentive—though it’s not been finalized—through the various budgetary processes of re-emphasizing autonomous systems,” explains Robert Zanzalari, associate director, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “That’s a business area that we think we’re going to have to try to go back into if there really is going to be a concerted effort to do more work at the platform level.”

CERDEC has nine strategic initiatives underway. They illustrate what the organization seeks to accomplish for warfighters from a science and technology perspective. They are not ranked in order of importance.

DISA Targeted to Tackle Network Defense Role

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency is being tasked with an operational role in the cyber domain, namely network defense. The new role creates a formal relationship between the agency, U.S. Cyber Command and the military services; integrates network operations and defense; and should ultimately improve security.

Task Force Cyber Awakening Recommendations Due

November 3, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Cyber Awakening, which was established in July, is expected to deliver its first report to the service’s leadership this month, task force officials say. The report will include recommendations for improving the service’s cyber posture, both ashore and afloat.

Booz Allen Hamilton Supports Cybersecurity

October 24, 2014

Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Virginia, is being awarded a $6,643,293 task order (P00003) to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (HQ0034-14-A-0023) to provide technical support services for the Department of Defense's Chief Information Officer Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Support program. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, with an expected completion date of Oct. 16, 2015. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,643,293 are being obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with two proposals received. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

NCI Awarded $125 Million Cyber Contract

October 20, 2014

NCI Inc., Reston, Va., has announced that it was awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee, single-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract valued at $125 million for cyber network operations and security support (CNOSS) services for the U.S. Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) G3/5/7. NCI has served NETCOM since 2007, with two predecessor contracts to CNOSS. The new contract has a 12-month base period with two one-year option periods and one six-month option period. NETCOM has primary oversight of network operations and security for the U.S. Army and serves as the single point of contact for network development and protection. NETCOM ensures information technology services, systems and networks are secure, responsive and available to its global U.S. Army users in all operational environments.

 

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