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December 2011

NGEN Race Heats Up

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.

Navy Amasses Digital Armada

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.

Defense Intelligence Aims for Savings Via Reforms

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.

Military Website Spoofing Is No Laughing Matter

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.

The Broad Perspective on Cyber

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.

Underwater Communications Rise to Surface Fleet

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.

Network Intricacy Complicates Computer Defense

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.

Imagine What Might Be Possible

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.

Robot Looks and Leaps

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.

Keeping Pace With Cybercrime

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.

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