SIGNAL Online Exclusives

February 22, 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Defense Department has released a new rule in which major contractors--defined as organizations whose covered segments allocated a total of more than $11 million in independent research and development (IR&D) and bid and proposal (B&P) costs to covered contracts during the preceding fiscal year--must enter project information into the Defense Innovation Marketplace for costs to be allowable. This regulation aims to create better communication between what the military needs and where companies invest their funding.

February 13, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

As expected, President Obama's fiscal year 2013 defense budget request reflects significant changes in the force structure of the military, adjustments in major weapons systems, and a proposal for two consecutive rounds of base realignment and closure (BRAC).

February 10, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months and the intervention of high-level Pentagon officials helped the NATO nations to move forward on the Alliance Ground Surveillance system. The surveillance system is designed to provide commanders with a more comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When it comes down to it, you — yes, you — are the last line of cyber defense against the endless hordes of cyber criminals, terrorists and foreign agents. Digital technology now touches almost every living person and as time moves on its reach will only continue to grow. With technology reaching us all and being incorporated into more parts of our daily lives, you can no longer rely on someone else to protect you. Whether it is defending your data at work, or defending your personal data at home, being an effective cyber defender is a continuous responsibility.

February 3, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says he believes a forthcoming period of budget restrictions should provide the impetus for the DHS to shift its intelligence efforts away from overseas threats and focus instead on domestic security.

February 2, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, has selected Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corporation to develop and produce the Navy's next-generation tactical afloat network, Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES).

January 26, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today offered the first glimpse into changes in store for the U.S. military that will come to pass if the president's 2013 Pentagon budget is approved by Congress. Those changes include reductions for two major branches of the military, adjustments in some major weapons systems, and asking Congress for authorization to begin a new round of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.

January 23, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Army deployed four large unmanned ground systems to Afghanistan earlier this month to assess their ability to lighten the load for combat troops.

January 18, 2012
By Rita Cooper, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the military's current mandates to increase efficiencies, virtualization offers multiple benefits to the armed forces. Projects underway at the National Security Agency are advancing its use, but the government needs to reconcile security requirements with available capabilities before warfighters enjoy the full benefit of the technology.

January 10, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the new year only a few days old, one of the information technology industry's biggest security firms is out with its annual predictions of the top cybersecurity threats for 2012. David Marcus, director of security research with McAfee Labs and a principal co-author of the study, says threats against industrial and industry networks top the list.

January 5, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Out with the old (Cold War systems), in with the new: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says that ISR, space and cyber will be new priority areas as the Defense Department embarks on a strategy befitting the new global security environment. Speaking at a January 5 Pentagon press conference, Panetta defined the future military as “a smaller and leaner force” with reductions coming in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. This force will be more agile and flexible, ready to deploy quickly, and it will feature new technologies and other advances.

December 23, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Officials in the Tampa FBI office recently awarded a badge and credentials to a non-agent for what, according to their research, is the first time in the bureau’s history. Sgt. Joel Tavera, USA, received the honor in recognition of the sacrifice he made serving his country and to pay tribute to his persistent spirit. But he set the process in motion with a little playful cheek.

December 19, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Although still in the planning stages, next year’s National Level Exercise will likely include analysis of the role of social media during a major cyber event, according to sources participating in the exercise. One official says social media may prove useful in predicting and reacting to a wide array of catastrophes, including terrorist attacks, natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

December 16, 2011

This holiday season, don’t fall prey to a criminal’s cyber scam. Protect yourself by following a few simple guidelines when shopping online and giving to charities. Actually, these rules are good all year round as well.

December 15, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Navy's rescheduling of the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) request for proposals (RFP) should not delay the program, according to a Navy official. After slating an RFP release for December 21, the Navy changed course and extended the RFP release date to sometime in late January 2012 at the earliest.

December 9, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The small form factor of increasingly popular mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is posing new challenges to those developing applications, or apps, for these items. Gwynne Kostin offers her advice for agencies considering the move to mobile.

December 5, 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

When it comes to Internet content consumed on a mobile device, there may be an app for that … but there’s an important distinction that must be recognized. Mobile isn't just a "little Web," according to a GSA official.

November 30, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

NASA's final space shuttle mission did not mark the end of U.S. space travel. Instead, scientists and engineers now have their sights set on exploring deeper into the solar system with plans to enable trips to Mars and asteroids. A plethora of projects are testing how to supply the food, liquids and fuel necessary for such journeys.

November 17, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. intelligence community faces the possibility of devastating budget cuts if the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction does not reach an agreement by November 23, 2011. The community is not ready for the massive reductions that would be imposed if that congressional committee fails to reach agreement, says a senior defense official.

November 28, 2011

Here’s an interesting look into the inner workings of international cyber criminals by virtue of covertly recorded conversation snippets. The characteristics of similar processes in Western governments, particularly here in the United States, are well known because they are described in detail in the media. Our processes exist to provide accountability, budget constraint, quality assurance and fair competition. The bad guys have a slightly different take on how to go about things.

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