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April 2009

An Argument for Asset Covering

April 2009

“Securing the Enterprise” does not mean locking down a starship, yet. But what does it mean? The “computer guys” know. But even they think about it in terms of boxes and wires or digital data. For the rest of us it means knowing where our computer “stuff” is and whether it is under physical and digital lock and key. It’s true that keeping track of all that “stuff” requires a lot of work. Some think it’s not worth the effort. Those who have fallen victim to a cyber attack or a breach of cyber security because of lost or unsecured assets would strongly disagree.

What does it take to enter your computer assets into an appropriate database? Obviously, the answer is time and effort, two things in short supply. What do you get after taking the time and effort? On the surface, maybe not much. There’s no formal ceremony or high-flying when the work is done. Job satisfaction? Maybe only for a few highly organized types.  It’s just another administrative task that no one gets too excited about. Your workday doesn’t change. At the very least, it’s another task crossed off your list. In fact, there’s a good chance you put it pretty far down your list.

What do you get if you don’t enter them into the database? A potential security breach because assets were unknowingly lost, stolen or because a critical security patch was not automatically installed. Then things get exciting.

What Would Google Government Look Like?

April 2009
By Christopher J. Dorobek

I know it seems like an almost silly question, but go ahead—just try to make it through the day without using the ubiquitous search engine. Or, even try to make it through the day without using it in speech—“Googling something.” My guess is it would be fairly difficult. Google has become the way to find information. But it also is arguably the fastest growing company in the world. Are there lessons that government can learn from the search giant?

Information Systems Agency Has Full Menu on Its Plate

April 2009
By Kent R. Schneider

We all know the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as the keeper of enterprise networks for the defense community. We know DISA as the agency cognizant of many of the U.S. Defense Department’s key joint enterprise applications. But we also know that in recent years, DISA’s role in network centricity has grown.

Video Streams to The Tip of The Spear

April 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Dismounted warfighters soon will have access to live imagery transmitted from aerial sensor platforms. This mobile video capability allows infantry and special operations units to capture and share video streams across tactical communications and data networks. The equipment consists of two new lightweight systems that move what had originally been a command post and vehicle-based system to the company and squad level.

Homeland Security Activities Pushing Information Sharing Advancements

April 2009
Reporting by Maryann Lawlor and Beverly P. Mowery. Compiled by Henry S. Kenyon

Reliable federal and state homeland security coordination hinges on information sharing, interoperability, governance and trust. But achieving the right mix of these elements among governments, law enforcement agencies and the private sector presents both cultural and technical challenges.

Foes and Funding Vex Military Planners

April 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

Enemies are probing U.S. military forces for weaknesses that they can exploit, and these foes already may be winning in cyberspace. Coupled with changed budgetary priorities brought about by the new Obama administration, these threats pose substantial challenges to defense planners wrestling with maintaining readiness in the age of global terrorism.

Intelligence Must Plan to Develop Tomorrow's Analyst

April 2009
By Christopher Zinner

As the intelligence community looks to a future in which better intelligence decisions emerge from smarter use of available but limited resources, human capital must take center stage. Including culture, values, education and lifelong learning will provide the right ingredients to evolve the intelligence community to the next level of a learning organization—and to achieve high performance for the missions it supports.

Warfighter Network Takes Shape

April 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

The initial stages of the U.S. Army’s new tactical communications architecture are now operational. When it is complete, the network will connect units across all echelons with high-bandwidth voice, video and data streams. Many of the major components of this architecture are beginning to be fielded to units, providing forces with enhanced operational awareness and increased connectivity as the entire system goes online in coming years.

Division Evolves to Keep Connections Safe for Everyone

April 2009
By Rita Boland

Keeping networks secure is one of the most important and challenging tasks for the U.S. Defense Department as it continues its morph into a network-centric force. The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Field Security Operations Division has the responsibility for ensuring the strength of those networks by certifying and testing them against threats. A few recent, and some gradual, changes have occurred to streamline the security process, as more systems connect into the Global Information Grid. The review process involves multiple levels of urgency along with a range of possible violations.

Information Services Inch Closer to the Edge

April 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

Leaps in technology innovation and changes in the business enterprise climate are transforming the military’s view of its primary information systems provider. Network stability, computing advances, increased financial transparency, enhanced governance and the compelling need to modernize systems are key instigators in this new perception—and exciting opportunities are likely to keep it going. But because supplying warfighters with bleeding-edge technologies quickly, flexibly and robustly can be an elusive goal, work continues in earnest to remain one step ahead of the next requirement.

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