August 8, 2016
By Marvin Marin

One often-overlooked aspect of software development is how much programmers rely on open source libraries and packages for prewritten functions. Instead of writing code from scratch, or even copying and pasting code from one program into a new one, programmers often rely on what is called a dependency, the technical term for a shortcut to code maintained by a cloud service provider. Using the method makes a new program dependent on the existence and availability of that particular module. If that dependency is not available or the code functionality is broken, the entire program fails.

May 24, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

In just a matter of weeks, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will open the process for requesting proposals for the next round in the U.S. Defense Department’s cloud services offering. DISA’s pre-solicitation notice serves as notification to industry of the upcoming request for proposal (RFP) package for DISA's milCloud 2, Phase 1 (m2P1) contract, a government-offered service that, while not a completely commercial cloud-based system, leverages commercial products.

May 12, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Department's continued collaboration to streamline the whole of the military's information technology networks and systems, known as the Joint Information Environment, tops leaders' agendas and fiscal spending plans—now available with a caveat for decision makers, officials said.

April 24, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, USN, commander, Fleet Cyber Command and 10th Fleet, reviews cyberthreats during the AFCEA 2016 AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 3 and Final Wrap-up

Quote of the Day:
“The longer cyber attackers are in, the harder they are to get out.”—Marty Roesch, vice president and chief architect, Cisco Security Business Group

April 26, 2016

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has renamed the Continental United States Field Command to reflect the organization’s evolution as a global service provider. The organization, which will soon consolidate the majority of its personnel into a new facility at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is now called the DISA Global Operations Command (DGOC).

The organization, which was informally known as DISA CONUS, was one of four regional field commands and Defense Network Operations Centers operated by DISA. It was originally established in 2003. Unlike DISA’s Central, European and Pacific field commands, DISA CONUS was not directly aligned or co-located with a combatant command headquarters. 

April 22, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is treading a fine line as it tries to expand its relationship with industry without running afoul of federal acquisition regulations (FARs). The agency wants to bring industry into its processes earlier, but it cannot risk being accused of prejudicing future competition.

Several leading DISA officials made these points at a special media roundtable held during, but apart from, the 2016 Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), held in the Washington, D.C., convention center April 20-22.

April 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
A serviceman monitors his computer during the Cyber Guard 2015 exercise. Efforts within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) may lead to defense personnel receiving a cybersecurity lesson every time they log on to a military network.

The ballooning volume of network breaches, the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks and the advancing talents of adversaries are among the cybersecurity challenges keeping Roger Greenwell awake at night. The chief of cybersecurity for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Risk Management Executive, Greenwell confronts increasingly potent threats throughout a more diverse cyberscape. 

Consequently, the agency, known as DISA, is moving away from traditional cybersecurity measures. New methods, from embedding security in an operating system baseline to providing security training whenever a user accesses a device, are part of the agency’s evolving cybersecurity strategy.

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, director, Defense Information Systems Agency and commander, Joint Force Headquarters, Department of Defense Information Network, gives the keynote luncheon address amidst attendees at Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 1

Quote of the Day:
“It’s cyberwarfare, and it’s daily. It’s happening on our networks.”— Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, director, Defense Information Systems Agency and commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Industry will hold the key to U.S. military information technology systems, according to the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, explained industry’s role to the keynote luncheon audience at Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) 2016, being held in Washington, D.C., April 20-22.

“We want the technology industry to partner with us to develop the next generation of military [information technology] services,” Gen. Lynn said. “We’re seeking more opportunities to provide CRADAs [cooperative research and development agreements] with industry.”

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cybermarauders have become so malevolent that today’s environment is nothing less than “cyberwarfare,” according to the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, told the keynote luncheon audience at Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) 2016, being held in Washington, D.C., April 20-22, that cyber has changed considerably over the past few years.

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is undergoing a reorganization, effective May 1, that aims to refocus efforts more efficiently for government and contractors alike. Traditional portfolios have been rearranged to reflect new emphases and service patterns.

Tony Montemarano, executive deputy director, DISA, outlined those changes during the opening session of the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) 2016, being held in the Washington, D.C., Convention Center, April 20-22. Montemarano was blunt about the challenges facing DISA in this new era.

April 18, 2016
DISA has awarded UltiSat Inc. a task order valued at more than $9 million to provide Ku bandwidth capacity to support Global Hawk flight tests.

UltiSat Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland, has announced that the Defense Information Systems Agency Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization recently awarded a COMSATCOM Transponded Capacity task order to UltiSat to provide Ku bandwidth capacity to the United States Global Vigilance Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base near Palmdale, California. Services will support Global Hawk Unmanned Air Vehicle to flight tests. UltiSat will support GH Ku-band earth terminals associated with the Global Hawk Mission Control Element which may be located at any of several locations in California. This task order falls under the Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition Schedule 70 contract vehicle.

April 12, 2016
By Brian Fogg

The evolution of information technology is heading toward a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Companies such as Cisco and Nutanix already are delivering HCI platforms that logically and seamlessly manage, configure and allocate memory. Additionally, a software-centric HCI combines computing, storage, network and virtualization technologies into one system, which can streamline resources and eliminate the need to navigate to different applications and platforms.

February 25, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

OK, your New Year’s resolutions are probably distant memories, but resolutions to improve agency IT security should be yearlong endeavors. Before gearing up to move forward with implementing new fiscal year 2016 IT initiatives, it is a best practice to conduct a security audit to establish a baseline and serve as a comparison to start thinking about how the agency’s infrastructure and applications should change, and what impact that will have on IT security throughout the year.

It’s critical to maintain a consistent focus on security all year long. Security strategies, plans and tactics must be established and shared so that IT security teams are on the same page for the defensive endeavor.

January 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Dallas Goecker joins a panel discussion on mobility from Indiana via a robotic telepresence device developed by Suitable Technologies to facilitate remote collaboration. Goecker was a panelist at Mobile Tech Summit held in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The U.S. government and industry are at a critical juncture in the development of the much-anticipated fifth generation, or 5G, mobile networks slated for rollout in five years and are presented with opportunities to work in tandem to build in security measures to protect the whole of communication networks, said Rear Adm. David Simpson, USN Ret., chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.

January 12, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DISA officials present agency needs to industry during an AFCEA DC Chapter breakfast that included (l-r) Tony Montemarano, David Mihelcic, John Hickey and Alfred Rivera. Photo by Mike Carpenter.

Not all the news surrounding shrinking federal budgets is bad news. Dwindling coffers mean the government increasingly relies on ready-made products and services from private industry for solutions to both carry out day-to-day operations and prepare for the future.

November 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, commander of Joint Force Headquarters–DODIN and DISA, forecasts future requirements and needed solutions to protect the Defense Department from cyber attacks during an AFCEA D.C. Chapter event. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The cyber attack into a key unclassified email server of the U.S. Joint Chiefs in August helped indoctrinate and shape missions at the new centralized office erected to defend the Defense Department’s cyber networks, said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, commander of Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN).

The nation-state-sponsored attack was a bit of a shock in its aggressiveness, said Gen. Lynn, who also serves as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). “For three weeks, we went after this cyber event and worked it to figure out how we now work as this new command.”

November 3, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) seeks to use big data analytics to enhance network situational awareness while automating as many cybersecurity capabilities as possible, officials said during the agency’s November 2 forecast to industry in Washington, D.C.

October 7, 2015

The General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center has awarded ManTech International Corporation, Fairfax, Virginia, a contract to provide cyber range services to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and United States Marine Corps (USMC). The contract has a 1-year base period and three option years, with a value of $250 million. This award expands services and capabilities to enhance cyber workforce operational tactics, techniques, and procedures across agencies.

September 16, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

As the Defense Department continues to forge closer relations with Silicon Valley, its leaders say they need more tools to improve automation of cyber basics, the department’s chief information officer (CIO) said. “At a certain point, I want to have some cyber defenses completely automated, where certain conditions occur and the system takes its own response,” said CIO Terry Halvorsen. “I think that is the only way we will keep up.” Automation would free up military and civilian cyber staff to concentrate on higher-level work.