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Event Coverage

Army Ponders Cyber Security

August 18, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

One of the key issues at this year's LandWarNet conference and symposium is cyber security and operations. Among the challenges to security is the use of military computer networks for purposes they were not originally designed for. Speaking at a panel on the state of Army cyber security and operations, Brig. Gen. Steven W. Smith, chief cyber officer, Army CIO/G-6, noted that "The NIPRNET was never designed at a command and control network, but it sure is now." The service must facilitate cultural change and newly launched initiatives to ensure the security of its networks, he said.

Technology Is Neither Bottleneck Nor Solution

June 1, 2009
By Helen Mosher

This is my take on the AFCEA, Northcom and George Mason University conference on "Inter-agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing," which was covered on SIGNAL Scape last week. No, we still can't connect the dots as well as hoped and never will, but conferees agreed that what matters most is the thoughtful and trusting use that humans could make of what information manages to flow through IT systems, however improperly they may be connected.

Leadership and Information Sharing

May 21, 2009
By H. Mosher

The Obama administration can take certain key steps to improve the ability to recognize and deal with national security threats, according to recommendations in "Nation at Risk," a report issued by the The Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. Jeff Smith of Arnold & Porter LLP, a steering committee member for the report, presented it yesterday at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS conference on information sharing.

The Barriers to Information Sharing

May 20, 2009
By H. Mosher

The dramatic culture shift that needs to happen for government agencies to embrace change kept coming up at the SOLUTIONS conference like the refrain of a popular song: agencies must move from an emphasis on risk avoidance to a focus on risk management. Without that shift, the quest to achieve 100 percent risk avoidance is quixotic at best; more realistically, it hampers agencies' ability to share information.

What Needs to Change?

May 20, 2009
By H. Mosher

Chris Gunderson of the Naval Postgraduate School posited some interesting ideas during yesterday afternoon's plenary sessions about why everyone keeps hearing the same things about changes that need to be made. Certain things, he suggested, we should just acknowledge and move past.

Improving Our Net-Centricity

May 19, 2009
By H. Mosher

Command and control (C2) still hasn't evolved with the times, according to an afternoon plenary session at AFCEA SOLUTIONS today. Dr. David S. Alberts, director of research for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, networks and information integration, spoke on the maturity and agility of C2. Alberts explained missions are increasingly complex, with implications on command and control:

Common Themes Vex Coalition Operations

May 19, 2009

Although there has been a great deal of progress in streamlining information sharing among allied forces over the past decade, many impediments remain. As the panelists at this morning's session on the challenges surrounding information sharing in a coalition environment noted, the devil is in the details.

Continuing Exercises Help Bridge Defense and Civil Authorities

May 19, 2009
By H. Mosher

Ongoing exercises at the national level are the key to improving inter-agency homeland security processes, according to panelists at Tuesday morning's Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) panel at AFCEA SOLUTIONS. Such exercises contributed to the successful security implementation at the inauguration in January, said Col. Ken McNeill, ARNG, NGB/J-6.

Mission Partners Need Information Sharing

May 19, 2009
By H. Mosher

General Victor E. Renuart Jr., USAF, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, opened the AFCEA Solutions conference on Inter-Agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing with a resounding endorsement of the need for continuing conversation about information sharing. But conversation isn't enough, he continued. "Discussions don't move to real solutions very rapidly. Discussion is wonderful, but action is what we need."

Web 2.0 Usage Saves Money, Increases Efficiency

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Michael Byrne, former member of the New York City Fire Department, started out the discussion about how technology can save money with a bold statement: "Web 2.0 is biggest shift in how we communicate since the introduction of the telegraph." At an afternoon break-out session at the National Conference on Emergency Communications, he backed up this statement by explaining that social networking capabilities have replaced traditional one-way communications with dialogue. "It's a dialogue that's taking place that makes it faster to get input from the constituents then ever before," he stated.

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