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Guest Blogs

Guest Blog: Is 'Bring Your Own App' the Answer to Mobile Security?

August 25, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

"There’s an app for that" is truer than ever these days. As BYOD and BYOA increasingly infiltrate government agencies, public sector information technology departments must consider the impact these apps and devices have on their own environments. Chris LaPoint explains why agencies need to focus on applications, not devices, as the key to enabling a mobile work force.

Guest Blog: Cyber Trading Posts Ignite the Spark in Public-Private Collaboration

July 31, 2014
By Jessica Gulick

Partnerships are growing from disparate groups in search of the same goal.

Guest Blog: Continuous Monitoring Meets DISA STIG Compliance

July 3, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

Compliance with Defense Information Systems Agency rules are a must. Break the rules, and companies can lose their applications or have systems removed from the network.

Guest Blog: Mobile Battlefield Trends and the State of In-Theater Communications

June 4, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

Ongoing changes in the tactical networks—the mobile battlefield—should provide the U.S. Cyber Command with an increased ability to discover and address vulnerabilities in these networks.

Guest Blog: Making A Strategic Investment In Network on the Road to Innovation

May 27, 2014
By Anthony Robbins

Ongoing budget cuts place the Defense Department in a challenging situation, tasked with continually supporting warfighters on an increasingly tight budget. The most direct route for the department to accomplish mission goals and support warfighters is through information technology innovation.

Guest Blog: Let Go of Central Control to Increase Network Security and Visibility

April 30, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

In large federal organizations, tension always exists between local and central personnel who have different priorities, available resources and levels of control. In the U.S. Defense Department, that tension is especially apparent between the information technology professionals at the local level and the folks who oversee all of an agency’s operations.

Guest Blog: A Brief Look into the Cybersecurity Framework

April 23, 2014
By Matthew Smith

Whether a well-established company or one just getting started with cybersecurity risk management programs, those in the industry often can use a little help navigating the cumbersome and technical systems. This snapshot features pointers to clarify existing guidance and help organizations manage cybersecurity risk.

Open Data Initiative: Providing Fresh Ideas on Securely Sharing Information

August 30, 2013
By Paul Christman and Jamie Manuel

For years, the Defense department took a “do it alone” posture when it came to sharing information and protecting its networks and communication infrastructures from security attacks. Now in an interconnected world of reduced budgets and ever-increasing security risks, the DOD is fundamentally changing the way it approaches information sharing and cybersecurity. 

Guest Blog: Lowering Walls and Blurring Lines

April 12, 2013
By Dr. Louis S. Metzger

The latest Incoming column from Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN, titled “Link Warfighters to Technologists at the Lowest Possible Level” (SIGNAL Magazine, April 2013), resonated with observations I’ve made and conclusions I’ve reached over the years. I’ve been involved with the research and development and acquisition communities for a long time, including serving as the Air Force chief scientist from 1999 to 2001. Perhaps my adding to Lt. Kohlmann’s advice will help it gain additional traction, and stimulate further discussion and activity.

Leveraging technology to provide our military with improved capability requires diverse insights, multiple skills and varied roles. The insights cover current understanding of user needs, the operational environment, and the potential of existing and emerging technology. The skills span science and engineering, contracting, testing and training. And the roles include requirements developer, laboratory investigator, acquirer and support provider. The realities of specialization demand that multiple communities come together to provide all these ingredients. Unfortunately, interpretation of rules, processes and culture have built walls, and suspicion between different communities to the extent that the teamwork and collaboration needed to expeditiously develop and field new capabilities often islacking.

Guest Blog: Budget Impact on Developing COTS Systems

March 25, 2013
By Michael Carter

The current driving force in the military and defense environment is to keep legacy systems operating longer, or the replacement of legacy systems with new systems that emulate one or more legacy systems with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. However, there is insufficient budget to fund development of these COTS systems, and the burden of development falls upon private industry. The current sequestration environment adds another burden on industry to perform to the needs of the military, but without the benefit of nonrecurring engineering (NRE) costs being reimbursed. Programs although already funded (but not the NRE, as it is not initially funded) are being put on hold, cancelled, or are in a state of non-deterministic outcome.

Military and defense program managers and private industry face an uphill battle to find the intersection of needs, available resources and the expenditure of development costs. Small companies are at a distinct disadvantage when they develop technology to support the replacement of legacy systems when they are forced to use their own development resources without compensation and are not awarded a contract for production.

Whether a fixed-price, cost-plus, or IDIQ contract, the above scenario is increasingly commonplace in the face of budget constraints and sequestration. The burden on small companies doesn’t stop there; military program managers are also demanding engineering support without compensation for engineering-sustaining efforts, again without the presence of a production contract.

Although many systems are characterized as COTS, there are demands on the developer to perform military environment qualification testing, again without funding and no guarantee of a production contract.

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