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February 2008

Don't Let Lack of Labels Leave You Liable

February 2008

 

Imagine you have two cabinets in your kitchen. One is labeled “Poisons,” and the other is marked “Tasty Treats.” Okay, it’s a strange kitchen. On the counter below are two identical containers. They are identical in every way—same weight, same size and same appearance. Neither container is labeled. One of the containers is near the cabinet that says Poisons, the other is near the cabinet that says Tasty Treats. It might be a fair guess that the one near the Treats cabinet is just that—something good to eat. The other one must be for rattraps.

However, you want to make sure, so you carefully open the container and take a whiff of the contents. Almonds! You like almonds and so you put them in your Tasty Treat Bowl and start chowing down. You spy and murder mystery buffs see where I’m going with this, don’t you? For those of you too young to watch Murder She Wrote, arsenic has the smell of almonds. You suddenly stop munching those almonds in mid-bite, but it’s too late. Labels—correct and clear labels—would have been useful in this situation.

Let’s move that same scenario into a room filled with computers. The cabinets become computers, some labeled Classified, some not. On the tables around them are CDs, DVDs, flash drives and other portable media all without labels. How can you be sure that the storage media that you plug into an unsecured machine does not contain proprietary data? Are you willing to “taste” them to be sure? The message here is simple: unlabeled and mislabeled storage media pose risks because of potential confusion, misuse and compromised security.

Future Defense Department Cybersecurity Builds on the Past

February 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.)

Cybersecurity is becoming a critical issue for both government and industry—and for good reason. A dangerous combination of cyber-related activity is growing daily around us. This includes dependence on technology, skyrocketing cyber crime and terrorism, and vulnerabilities hidden by the complexities of an interconnected, global network. In government, industry and our personal lives, we have growing cyber dependence because that is how we are able to better perform missions, conduct business operations and lead our daily lives.

Solutions Are at Hand

February 2008
By Kent R. Schneider

A number of you in government and industry have told us that AFCEA should provide smaller, more interactive forums focused on critical issues. We have listened and created a new series of events called Solutions. You should have begun to see some communications regarding these new events. I think the introduction of this new series of forums is such a critical milestone for AFCEA and such an opportunity for our membership that I should explain why this series of events is fundamentally different from anything we have done before.

Mobile Routers To the Rescue

February 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

Confusion is common in disaster relief operations. Destruction of infrastructure, inefficient coordination among participating organizations and lack of interoperability between communications systems contribute to the operational fog that surrounds first responders. Crisis management services help abate the confusion in such operations by providing interoperable equipment and software that can be deployed quickly for various scenarios.

Training System Models National Defense

February 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to defend national airspace against a variety of airborne terrorist threats such as hijacking and missile attacks. To achieve this goal, the service has modified its training and simulation software toolkit to model the crowded skies over the United States. This new capability also permits Air Force commands to train jointly with federal and state law enforcement and civil aviation agencies and to simulate operating in a network-centric communications and sensor environment.

Airmen Train Today, Deploy Tomorrow

February 2008
By Rita Boland

The increased operational tempo for special operations forces over recent years has mandated a new training plan for their aircrew. In an effort to transition fully qualified crew members to the field faster and to accommodate upcoming airframe changes, various agencies have come together to fund and update a major U.S. Air Force instruction program.

Simulation Benefits Troops and Civilians

February 2008
By Rita Boland

The creation of virtual worlds and robots is spiraling out from the military into a broad array of applications. While the defense community continues to advance its technology to offer better instruction and to improve the safety of troops, other fields of interest—ranging from the technical to the personal—are beginning to use similar tools to meet their needs.

Iraq, Afghanistan Provide Templates for New Army Simulations

February 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new world is emerging from cyberspace as U.S. Army simulations draw from innovative technologies coming out of the private sector. These advances are allowing planners to build simulations that can model causes and effects of asymmetric warfare similar to what troops are experiencing in Southwest Asia.

Welcome to the Wide World of Web 2.0

February 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

The Web 2.0 revolution is as much about business culture as it is about social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Second Life and LinkedIn or collaborative content sites such as Wikipedia. Faced with a growing number of employees from the Gen X or Gen Y age groups, baby boomer executives are learning to let go of traditional thinking while simultaneously trying to discover the best way to adopt new capabilities without losing all control. As a result, organizations find themselves turning not only to technology providers but also to firms that specialize in integration.

Harbor Security Melds Sensors, Databases

February 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

A system that combines U.S. Navy and Coast Guard requirements for port security may be the key to securing harbors against maritime threats. Built largely with off-the-shelf technologies, the system can allow officials to monitor ship traffic by combining database knowledge with real-time sensor input.

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