December 2011

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 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 15, 2011
By Helen Mosher, SIGNAL Connections

Social networking has revolutionized the way that people interact both online and off. AFCEA offers many opportunities for its members to connect using these interactive platforms.

December 15, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower, SIGNAL Connections

Being a history buff is just one trait that has made Col. Landry stand out since he joined the Atlanta Chapter of AFCEA in 2005.

December 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

AFCEA International, the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA) and the Atlantic Council have collaborated to create a cyber conflict history case studies contest.

December 15, 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

Remember a time without cell phones? It wasn’t all that long ago when communicating with someone other than the people in the room was only possible from home, the office or a telephone booth. For better and worse, those days are long gone.

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.

December 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is in the midst of a revolution in its systems that eventually will connect information among the command and control, combat, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance realms. Not only does the effort introduce new technology, it also marks a deviation from previous development and acquisition cycles in an effort to roll out tools faster. Proving the value of the technology, sailors in the fleet are clamoring for the prototype even as developers work to transition the pieces into programs of record.

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Cost, security and the transition from the existing network to a new one are the top criteria for determining which company wins the contract for the U.S. Navy’s successor to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet. The Next Generation Enterprise Network, which is estimated will cost the Navy several billion dollars, would take a different contracting approach than its predecessor. This difference is only one of the departures from precedent that characterize the new network.

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is operationalizing cyber throughout the service as it reconfigures both its force and its overarching network. The goal is to pull cyber operations out of the corner and into the middle of daily force activities as part of the Navy’s information dominance mission.

December 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

Evolving technologies such as mobile devices, cloud computing and steganography present challenges for those tasked with finding digital evidence of a crime. But the cyber forensics field also is evolving, and experts in industry and government are finding innovative tools for overcoming the obstacles.

December 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

A lightweight robot that can leap more than 20 feet horizontally and vertically could be fielded within a year if funding is made available. By enhancing situational awareness during urban combat operations, the robot has the potential to lower casualties both for civilians and for friendly forces fighting their way through a city environment.

December 2011
By Capt. Joseph A. Grace Jr., USN (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

You may remember that old New Orleans house I mentioned in a previous column and its ongoing renovation that so closely matches the process of upgrading legacy federal information technology systems. The house was built in 1890, by true artisans, with thick plaster walls, joists made out of solid red pine or cypress, a slate roof, ornate ironwork, thick wooden floors, nine monstrous fireplaces and all the supporting brickwork that was certainly made for beauty, functionality and durability. However, it was not made for wireless networks, sound systems or any other type of technology innovation.

December 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

As more complicated networks develop and deploy unique and expanded capabilities, protecting U.S. cyber infrastructure grows more challenging. The Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate is responsible for defending the nation’s commercial and private networks. But with the complexity of these products, the directorate’s success increasingly depends both on sharing responsibilities among government organizations and between government and industry.

December 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is in the early stages of an endeavor to duplicate a successful program for upgrading the communications centers of its submarines and apply it to surface warships.

December 2011
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

The concept and practice of cyber operations are topics of considerable discussion. I thought about what I could add to this dialogue, and I came down on the side of making one more case for a comprehensive, holistic view of cyber.

December 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force Portal was spoofed, causing a ripple of concern through the service branch. Nearly identical to the real site, the fake one aimed to fool people into entering their log-ins and passwords so the information could be captured by illicit sources. Such scams are on the rise across the Internet, and the U.S. Defense Department is not immune to the threat. But in a government department known for passing orders from the top down, the only way to secure the networks is through awareness at the lowest level.

December 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The defense intelligence community is considering an unlikely pairing of architecture approaches to enable necessary budget cuts without savaging performance. This hybrid method would team convergence and federation to allow all the disparate members of the community to strengthen their interoperability while maintaining a degree of autonomy necessary for their unique mission requirements.

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