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August 2003

Computer Models Ensure Open Navy Communication Lines

August 2003
By Lawrence Nosek

Communication decision aids are enabling U.S. Navy shipboard-system developers to improve system designs and on-station communicators to prepare better communications plans by predicting performance. The tools help designers take into account the variables of the entire communications environment, including a sea of antennas or other obstacles that could block communications. Perhaps more importantly, the tool set helps commanders answer the quandary, "I have the systems, but can I communicate?"

Network Centricity Begins at Home

August 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new initiative by the U.S. Defense Department aims to speed the advent of network centricity by incorporating ideas directly from users. The result may be improved network centricity for small Defense Department components as well as new capabilities across the entire defense community.

Anatomy of Network-Centric Warfare

August 2003
By Clement C. Chen

As momentum grows for network centricity in military operations, architects of the plans may find themselves closely examining sciences such as sociology or biology to preview where network-centric activity can lead. When command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems become more highly networked, the need for sophistication in the products and platforms that sit at the edges diminishes. In some cases, too much capability at the edge may actually inhibit self-organizing behavior and negatively impact the mission of the networked whole.

Document Exploitation Increases in Importance

August 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

New technologies that increase the ability to process and enhance text documents are giving a badly needed boost to intelligence experts fighting terrorists and their weapons of mass destruction. Many of these technologies are being employed overseas on the battlegrounds of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in the pursuit of terrorists in other countries.

Unconventional Information Operations Shorten Wars

August 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

Future U.S. Air Force combat missions will see the widespread use of nontraditional tactics designed to end a campaign quickly with a minimum of casualties and damage. By embracing these methods, the service moves toward effects-based operations where success is measured by an enemy's decreased warfighting capabilities or outright capitulation rather than by counting casualties and destroyed equipment.

Alert Module Links Remote Facilities

August 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

U.S. Army communications facilities in Okinawa, Japan, are using an automated alarm management system to monitor legacy equipment that is not interoperable. Consisting of an easily installed remote unit and management software, the system permits administrators to control multiple proprietary devices from a single on-screen interface.

Security Solutions Ride Wi-Fi Wave

August 2003
By Michael A. Robinson

One of the key factors inhibiting the growth of the wireless fidelity market is security. The attractive wireless technology that offers a wide range of applications also is generating a wave of uncertainty about the fidelity of its connectivity.

Locking the Door From the Inside

August 2003
By Kevin Holmes, John Henry and Ray Steffey

A review of U.S. Defense Department information systems using a code analysis process has found no evidence of deliberate infusion of vulnerabilities into applications, but it has found instances of bad coding practices and programmer shortcuts that have left systems open to attack. The vulnerabilities found would not have been easily detected by an outside source, but they were open doors for an insider who wished to exploit them. The systems were hosted on extremely critical networks where a breach could have catastrophic consequences.

Advisory Board Blazes Security Professionals Trail

August 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

An increasing emphasis on information security is prompting experts in the technology industry to follow the lead of the medical and legal professions, which feature a system of specialties and subspecialties. One major accreditation organization is taking a closer look at the government sector and addressing the distinct circumstances of information security specialists in that arena. Once specific issues are identified, they could affect the certification process as well as influence public policy.

The Call to Action

August 2003
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

During the past 18 months, the topic of security has been explored in the pages of SIGNAL Magazine in dozens of articles and in at least a half dozen commentaries. Security also has been a priority for AFCEANs worldwide whose responsibilities range from ensuring network security to offering professional training, to enforcing disciplines and compliance and investing in technology. We know that we must set the bar very high and demonstrate that intrusions or disruptions of our networks is not an option. As information technology professionals, we recognize that security is a social, legal, technical and cultural issue and are working hard to cover all the bases.

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