Analysis

November 2009
By Paul A. Strassmann

Protection of the Global Information Grid now has evolved into global asymmetric warfare. Engaging in this combat is the principal mission of the U.S. Cyber Command because the infrastructure of the Internet is fundamentally insecure, and the U.S. Defense Department depends increasingly on this cyber highway to function.
There are tens of thousands of defenders of the Internet infrastructure who must be vigilant around the clock, everywhere. Meanwhile, small teams of attackers can strike undetected whenever they choose, from wherever they may be in the world. This is why the contests between the defenders and the aggressors meet the definition of asymmetric warfare in its extreme form.

July 2009
By Paul A. Strassmann

Network systems are similar to icebergs. Less than 10 percent of their volume is visible to the user of an application. Almost all of the hidden code, measured in hundreds of thousands of lines of logic, is invisible in the operating system, in the database management software, in security safeguards and in communication routines. The problem with such software is that for each application—and the U.S. Defense Department has more than 7,000 major software projects—contractors will develop the hidden coding to suit separate requirements.

June 2009
By Bob Gourley

Cloud computing could give a major assist to the U.S. Defense Department’s information technology strategy for implementing network-centric operations.

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February 2006
By Braun Jones and Nick Bundy

Biometric scanners, gamma ray detectors and unmanned underwater vehicles seem like topics reserved for futuristic action-adventure movies. However, these technologies are being embraced by agencies under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's umbrella. Technologies that serve to track, trace and contain or detain potentially harmful materials and individuals are being studied, tested and integrated into many homeland security activities.

November 2005
By Adm. Leighton W. Smith Jr., USN (Ret.)

Accredited, tested solutions could allow military decision makers and intelligence analysts to access information and make decisions simultaneously using information that resides in multiple security classifications. However, although the U.S. Defense Department is moving forward to address information-sharing challenges, it has encountered difficulties in proving and certifying these technologies in a testbed environment.

August 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

The debate between the European Union and the United States over protecting personal information represents a fundamental cultural difference that could alter the future growth of electronic commerce. Throughout this debate, these differences have threatened to bring data transfers from within the European Union to the United States to a grinding halt.

January 2000
By Maryann Lawlor

The smell of fat crayons, the snap of three-ring binders and the crack of book spines as they open for the first time bring back memories of those old school days. Students today, both in the classroom and on the job, are more familiar with the hum of a hard drive and glow of a monitor screen. One thing, however, has not changed--the up-front expenses for an education rarely reflect the final cost.

March 2001
By Ken Keane

Discussions between commercial and government organizations about spectrum management are coming to a head as third-generation wireless devices that combine today's desktop terminal features and functions in a shirt-pocket-sized handset are poised to enter the marketplace. This communications evolution poses some critical issues for regulators as well as the military. Experts not only must confront the traditional spectrum allocation challenges, but they also must consider separation, partitioning, sharing and reallocation. The policy issue may reduce itself, on the one hand, to minimizing the costs of securing new spectrum for third-generation devices and, on the other hand, to the desire for greater global harmonization.

August 2002
By Joseph McKendrick

Government agencies and commercial companies that are striving to share data to protect citizens or improve service to customers are discovering that as access to data increases, information security challenges grow exponentially. To address this concern, trusted security approaches emerging from government applications offer information assurance at both the operating-system and relational-database-management levels.

March 2003
By James C. Bussert

Having effective sensors, fire control, ordnance and control systems is only part of the picture for building a capable shipboard combat system. The task that makes all of these play together is called combat system integration, or CSI.

September 2003
By Ken Keane

Three important decisions reached at the recent World Radiocommunication Conference may hold substantial ramifications for the United States and the global telecommunications community as a whole. Many of the issues discussed at the conference are illustrative of the realities affecting both commercial and U.S. Defense Department spectrum usage today.

April 2004
By David Helfgott

After years of economic stagnation, the satellite industry could find that a turnaround is about to begin. Early returns point to a resurgence in interest and visibility for a weathered, yet optimistic, industry. Now more than ever, the government community recognizes that the commercial satellite industry plays an essential role in both international and homeland security. Several important occurrences in 2003 have set the stage for a turnaround.

October 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

The focus of long-term changes underway in China's military is on regional rather than global improvements. This approach includes deploying systems that have only a local reach as well as developing or acquiring advanced technologies for specific military units or elements.