The most serious national security threat looming in cyberspace may be the potential for vital data to be altered by cybermarauders, according to a cyber expert with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Speaking to an attentive audience at the AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Sean Kanuck, national intelligence officer for cyber issues at the National Intelligence Council in the ODNI, admitted that the threat to data integrity keeps him awake at night.
Kanuck offered that, some day, a chief executive officer or even a U.S. president might not be able to trust the normally reliable data needed to make a crucial decision. That situation might be even more damaging than cyber attacks currently envisioned as realistic near-term threats.
“The question will not be distributed denial of service,” he said. “The question will be, can I trust my data from being altered?” He noted that, when data is denied, victims know it immediately. But, if data is altered without people immediately realizing it, they only discover it after financial records are not clearing and balancing, for example.
“Whether it is national security information for the president, or financial information for a chief executive, when you don’t know whether the data is true or false, it’s a really bad day.”
Resistance to change may prove to be the biggest impediment to information sharing among the cyber intelligence community. Both government and industry must break out of their existing paradigms to share cyber intelligence that may prove vital to national security.
Panelists on the second day of the AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., outlined some of the cultural obstacles that hold back information sharing. In the intelligence community, the conflict is the traditional need to know versus the new need to share.
“We need to change the paradigm of how we think about things,” said Vice Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and commander, U.S. Tenth Fleet. “How do we educate our senior officers about how we live in this [new information sharing] world?”
Larry Zelvin, director of the National Cyber and Communications Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security, pointed out that cybersecurity is a competitive business; not everybody is going to share. “People may not want to be as open as we think they ought to be—for some very good reasons,” he added.
Paul Tiao, a partner in the law firm of Hunton and Williams, called for leadership and a community-wide dedication to information sharing. This should include metrics for measuring the sharing that takes place. And, personal contact is important for overcoming cultural barriers “People have to sit with each other and talk with each other—not videoconference. if you want to collaborate, do more than just share information,” he suggested.
Ultimately, private sector companies are the defenders of cyberspace, Zelvin offered. “It’s not the government that will protect us, it’s the private sector.”
Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions, Owego, N.Y., (FA8732-13-D-0001); TYBRIN Corp., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., (FA8732-13-D-0002); Harris IT Services Corp., Dulles, Va., (FA8732-13-D-0005); SRA International, Fairfax, Va., (FA8732-13-D-0003); Raytheon, Garland, Texas, (FA8732-13-D-0006); and L-3 National Security Solutions, Reston, Va., (FA8732-13-D-0004) have been awarded a $960 million multiple-award, indefinite- delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) Application Services. This contract vehicle will provide services such as sustainment, migration, integration, training, help desk support, testing and operational support. Other services include, but are not limited to, exposing data from authoritative data sources to support web-services or service oriented architecture constructs in Air Force enterprise environments. This contract vehicle is the mandatory source for all Air Force units purchasing services that fall under the scope of the contract. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala., is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services, Colorado Springs, Colo., has been awarded a $20,794,692 modification (P00288) to contract (F19628-00-C-0019) to support critical mission operations for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Cheyenne Mountain Complex/Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment (NCMC/ITW/AA) in support of air, missile and space defense for the national command authority. The total cumulative face value of the contract (including this modification) is $1,800,000,000. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contracting activity.
Iris Technology Corp., Irvine, Calif., is being awarded a $6,622,350 firm-fixed price delivery order under previously awarded contract (M67854-12-D-5049) for the procurement of 1,325 solar power adaptors (SPA II) in support of the Product Manager Expeditionary Power Systems, Program Manager Combat Service Support. The SPA II is planned for use by the various Marine Corps communities in rugged and austere environments to power radios, computers, and charge multiple types of batteries. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $10,989,287 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-6278) to exercise an option for Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III engineering and technical support services in support of SBIR Topic No.N03-049, “Automation and Work Flow Advances Using Technology Infusions for Manning Reduction.” The concept for this SBIR is for a Navy-wide implementation of portal technology for internal and external information sharing requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Harris Corp., RF Communications Division, Rochester, N.Y., is being awarded a $22,117,791 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Harris radios and associated components which will be utilized within the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosive Response enterprise that interfaces with first responders, National Guard teams, military tactical components, law enforcement, and other Department of Defense entities. This contract includes the first delivery order for the procurement of 30 Harris tactical radios and associated components. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-13-D-0019).