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Cyber

Disposable Cyber Systems to Stay Ahead of Adversaries

November 19, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman officials say they are developing a new kind of cyber system—a disposable system tailored for a single mission. The concept, they say, will make it more difficult for adversaries to penetrate or maneuver inside user networks.

Government Agencies Move to Secure Data on Non-Government Systems

November 18, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published for public review draft recommendations to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive federal information residing on the computers of contractors and other nonfederal organizations working for the government.

Soldiers Stand Up New Cyber CIO Focal

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army has established a Cyber Chief Information Officer Focal within the acquisition community, responding to the ever-expanding role cyber now has in the service branch.

(ISC)2 Foundation Announces First Recipients of U.S.A. Cyber Warrior Scholarship For Veterans

November 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

A new program aims to help veterans seeking work in the field of cybersecurity earn certifications. "The scholarship opens doors for veterans seeking continued service to their country ... and at the same time helps to fill the growing need for cybersecurity professionals."

Fragmented Government Efforts Stymie Cybersecurity Progress

December 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The private and financial sectors are pressing for better governmental answers to the costly cybersecurity challenges still plaguing the nation. They want the White House to create, as a minimum first step, an interagency or oversight group to facilitate information sharing. This small step is seen as a critical link between industry and government to organizing the fragmented cybersecurity efforts needed to quash mounting attacks.

While federal efforts abound, they are coordinated haphazardly, with gaps and no overarching governance—in spite of a preponderance of existing documents, plans, regulations and actions, according to experts.

A year has passed since the breach of Target Corporation’s information security in which hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and yet no national coordinated clearinghouse exists for the formal sharing of information and lessons learned that might mitigate future attacks. A spate of high-profile data breaches has hit big retailers and financial institutions, but cybersecurity in the United States remains a lax patchwork of ill-defined rules and dubious regulations.

But this is not for a lack of trying, some experts say. For years, officials as high as the president of the United States designated cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges—even though, of the 21 top issues listed on the whitehouse.gov home page in October, cybersecurity ironically is not among them.

Protecting Soldier Networks From Threats, Inside or Outside

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Cyber is becoming more critical in battle every day, and the U.S. Army is adjusting its Network Integration Evaluation to reflect that reality. The service branch is introducing new digital features to the training event from the laboratory to the field.

During the most recent evaluation, which occurred in October and November, several cyber features made their debut. For the first time, the Army Research Laboratory Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (ARL/SLAD) became part of the lab-based risk-reduction efforts in the lead up to the hands-on portion of the event. That work is helping to find earlier vulnerabilities that previously would have been discovered during the field portion of the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) so experts can resolve any issues before giving the technologies to soldiers. “Is it going to find everything? No, no lab test is ever going to find everything, but I think it is allowing us to move the ball down the road from the perspective of being more proactive to find these issues,” says Jennifer Zbozny, chief engineer for the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).

The lab-based risk reduction that took place before NIE 15.1 is one of the biggest pushes to do more cybersecurity work in the evaluations. By moving assessments into the laboratory, soldiers save time on the ground. It also helps ensure that updates are loaded before the fieldwork and that mitigation measures are in place when necessary.

Securing Communications By Skipping the Server

December 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

With the information world marching en masse to the cloud, one global firm is offering direct peer-to-peer encryption to reduce the threat of an intervening cyber intercept. This approach is applicable to dedicated hardware as well as to commercial off-the-shelf consumer communications equipment, and its operation is relatively transparent to the user.

Cyber Commander Expects Damaging Critical Infrastructure Attack

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, who leads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, predicts a damaging attack to critical infrastructure networks within the coming years. If an attack happens, the agency and Cyber Command will coordinate a response along with other government agencies and potentially the private sector organizations that own many of the networks.

DISA Targeted to Tackle Network Defense Role

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency is being tasked with an operational role in the cyber domain, namely network defense. The new role creates a formal relationship between the agency, U.S. Cyber Command and the military services; integrates network operations and defense; and should ultimately improve security.

Task Force Cyber Awakening Recommendations Due

November 3, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy’s Task Force Cyber Awakening, which was established in July, is expected to deliver its first report to the service’s leadership this month, task force officials say. The report will include recommendations for improving the service’s cyber posture, both ashore and afloat.

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