SIGNAL Blogs

November 9, 2016
By Ralph Wade

An impression exists among senior U.S. government officials that moving C4ISR systems into the cloud is overhyped. They question whether the migration would improve operational effectiveness. The answer is yes, and its time has come, writes Ralph Wade, a vice president within Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group with a focus on digital solutions/C4ISR across government and military organizations.

November 8, 2016
By Joe Kim

More than a decade ago the Defense Department announced plans to convert its network to the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard. Today, the wait continues. The department no longer can afford to cite the re-occurring mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Today’s military simply cannot overlook the need to transition, writes Joe Kim, SolarWinds' senior vice president and global chief technology officer.

November 9, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) announced the public release of the Accurate Events from Natural Text (ACCENT) technology.

By David Young

Discussions about the nation’s critical infrastructure usually focus on aging networks, some more than 50 years old. Government efforts to modernize the information technology infrastructure have been going on for years, yet many agencies continue to spend the majority of their IT budgets on legacy technology. The Department of Homeland Security has designated November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience month to raise awareness around these essential systems.

November 1, 2016

AAI Corp., a Textron company, Hunt Valley, Maryland, was awarded a $206,561,704 cost-plus-fixed-fee foreign military sales (Australia) contract for contractor logistics sustainment services for Shadow RQ-7B unmanned aerial systems. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2017. Fiscal 2017 other funds in the amount of $3,705,107 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Natick, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (W911QY-17-C-0013).

November 3, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
An Atlas V launch vehicle carrying the Navy's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite lifts off from Space Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance/Released)

After experiencing some initial difficulties, the Navy’s fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite has reached its operational orbit and has successfully deployed its arrays and antennas.

November 3, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, addresses attendees on the final day of MILCOM 2016 in Baltimore., The U.S. Air Force is placing a heavy emphasis on C2l construct, hardening the service’s enterprise networks against cyberthreats, says Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF., “Data flow is one of the primary challenges we face,” says Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, at MILCOM 2016.

The U.S. Air Force is placing a heavy emphasis on command and control, hardening against cyberthreats the service’s enterprise networks that control everything from state-of-the-art fighter jets to weapons systems. Competing priorities of speed, security and cost will drive cyber-based programs. “It’s all about the data,” said Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, wrapping up the MILCOM 2016 conference in Baltimore.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss efforts to equip the cyber force at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Giorgio Bertoli is a senior scientific technical manager for offensive cyber at the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) at the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). Photo by Mike Carpenter, Donald Coulter is a computer scientist and team lead for trusted systems and networks with CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Giorgio Bertoli displays a rather recent history of the Internet during a panel discussion at MILCOM 2016.

The history of the Internet as we know it today doesn’t really date back that far. Some 25 years, really. But what is both enticing and concerning is that the rate of change in this arena constantly is speeding up, making it difficult to forecast where technology will go next.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), former director of cyberspace operations and chief information security officer for the Air Force, delivers the luncheon keynote during MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Six key characteristics matter for cyber situational awareness: speed, resiliency, intelligence, integration, analytics and expertise, says Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), now vice president for Enterprise Security Solutions, U.S. public sector, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The military that can control and deny access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum will be the victor of the next war, predicts Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), former director of cyberspace operations and chief information security officer for the Air Force. Attaining supremacy within that crucial domain should be driving emerging technologies that will give the U.S. military the technical overmatch on the battlefield.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss readiness and training of U.S. military forces at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Maj. Gen.  Bruce Crawford, USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), speaks on a panel during MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, speaks at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Fifteen years of continuous combat on multiple global battlefields has made U.S. military troop readiness one of the most critical challenges facing the services and Defense Department in spite of advances in communications, networking and other computer technologies. Efforts to sustain troops and equipment have taken a toll on training in particular, making operational priorities and capability needs a highly relevant topic toward shaping the force of the future.

November 2, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain-replication work of three teams who aim to map, understand and mathematically recreate visual processing in the brain.

Over the next five years, Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain replication work of three university-led teams who aim to close the computer-human gap in object recognition.

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss modernizing U.S. military networks at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Efforts to modernize U.S. Marine Corps networks might have begun when the service worked to blur the lines between garrison and tactical networks, when nearly two decades of continuous war left the military with little opportunity for modernization beyond what troops needed immediately on the battlefield.

 
November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of DISA and JFHQ-DODIN, addresses cyber-based network issues at MILCOM 2016 in Baltimore. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Today’s young soldiers don’t want cutting-edge mobile technology in their warfighting platforms; they want that to be their warfighting platforms, says Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA. He spoke Tuesday on the inaugural day of MILCOM 2016. This year's theme, Securing Communications at the Speed of Cyber, digs into the competing priorities of speed, security and cost amid emerging challenges. 

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray is one example of the Defense Department's pursuit of autonomous systems.

Over the next decade—if not sooner—the U.S. Defense Department wants more of its military systems to operate autonomously, capable of independently determining the right course of action no matter the situation. The Defense Science Board predicts the department will get there. 

October 31, 2016
By David Young

November marks the Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience month. The strongest assembled securities available today can't fully safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure assets. But the good news is that these vulnerabilities are front and center on official radars and primed for increased attention. 

October 28, 2016

IARPA recently released the Virtuous User Environment broad agency announcement. The goal of the program is to create and demonstrate a more secure interactive user computing environment by leveraging the federal government’s impending migration to commercial cloud based information technology infrastructures and the current explosion of new virtualization and operating system concepts.

 

October 26, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Privacy and security settings exist for a reason. Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks.

Social networks are a great way to stay connected with others, but users, particularly millennials, should be wary about how much personal information they post.

October 25, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Millennials could just pose as grave a cybersecurity risk to enterprise networks as cyber criminals, according to one recent study. With more of them entering the federal workplace, they bring along technology preferences and bad behavior that threaten security of federal IT systems, according to cybersecurity developer Forcepoint.

October 19, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

Cyber criminals have become quite savvy in luring people to click on a link or open an attachment through spam and phishing attacks. Learn how to spot and avoid these cyber attacks with tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance.

October 21, 2016

Major websites such as Twitter, Spotify, Amazon—and AFCEA International and SIGNAL Media—fell victim to successive massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Friday. The Internet traffic firm Dyn informed people of the cyber attack after the sites were shut down.

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