DISA

January 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Internet of Things, the latest iteration of the overarching dream of an omnipresent network architecture, offers an uncertain future in both opportunities and challenges. That uncertainty is growing as the network concept itself expands in scope and reach.

The perpetual quest for convenience and expedience brought about technology that has connected billions of devices that produce and share vast amounts of information, from an infant’s sleeping habits to space mission data. What happens to the data, how it is managed, by whom and with whom, and how it might be safeguarded pose privacy and safety concerns for security experts and government officials.

October 29, 2014
George I. Seffers

Terry Halvorsen, the Defense Department’s acting chief information officer, is expected very soon to release a new policy revising the role the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) plays in brokering cloud services. The changes are designed to speed cloud service acquisitions by preventing bottlenecks created by having only one agency act as broker. DISA no longer will be the sole acquisition agency, but it will continue to ensure network access to cloud service providers is secure and reliable, agency officials say.

October 8, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

After much anticipation and preparation, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), along with the U.S. Army and Air Force, successfully migrated network traffic through the first of several Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) at Joint Base San Antonio, according to an agency press statement released Wednesday.

The JRSS upgrade is a step toward the realization of the colossal concept of connecting the entirety of the Defense Department’s network system under the Joint Information Environment (JIE).

November 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
The Defense Information Systems Agency command center at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2013.

There are no do-overs when it comes to safeguarding the U.S. military’s sensitive data. With that key, concise and blunt notion in mind, defense leaders say they are taking a slow, methodical, multipronged approach as the Defense Information Systems Agency develops a cloud security model for the whole of the Defense Department.

With current security controls too strict and limiting, agency personnel are sleuthing for the ideal balance that would let a greater number of commercial cloud service providers compete for billions in federal funding, while still safeguarding national security. Their goal is to determine what might be safe—and what might be safe enough.

September 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Having a single agency act as the cloud broker for the whole of the U.S. Defense Department's migration to commercial cloud services slowed the process too much, prompting a policy change to divvy up the duties among the services, says the department's acting chief information officer (CIO).

“The current status is [the Defense Information Systems Agency] DISA is still officially the cloud broker, because the memo is not out,” acting CIO Terry Halvorsen said Tuesday during a media roundtable discussion. “But we are going to make changes to DISA’s cloud broker role. The memo should be out by the end of October, maybe even a little sooner.

September 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The widespread use of mobile devices on the battlefield, which may have seemed an improbability just a few years ago, may become an actuality within the next few. A recently released strategy document supports that pending reality, which is expected to increase situational awareness, improve operational effectiveness and enhance the operational advantage for U.S. forces.

“I don’t think it’s going to be 10 or 15 years before these devices are going to be the preponderance of what we see on the battlefield. We’re probably three to four years away from that,” says John Hickey, Defense Department mobility portfolio manager, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF (l), director, Defense Information Systems Agency, and Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J-6, The Joint Staff, offer presentations at the JIE Mission Partner Symposium.

The shrinking military cannot achieve mission success without the advances promised by the Joint Information Environment, U.S. Defense Department leaders say. Yet the effort itself depends on innovative advances that may lead to changes in doctrine and operations if—and when—they are incorporated into the force.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Advanced Radio Frequency Mapping (RadioMap) program seeks to provide real-time awareness of radio spectrum use across frequency, geography and time.

U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete a departmentwide spectrum strategy road map this month, which will make more frequencies available to warfighters, provide greater flexibility—especially for international operations—and ultimately allow warfighters to conduct their missions more effectively. At the same time, however, some are suggesting a nationwide strategy to allow for more innovative and effective spectrum management and sharing across government and industry.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
Army vehicles are required to carry jammers to counter improvised explosive devices. Researchers seek technological solutions to prevent the devices from interfering with friendly force communications and use spectrum more efficiently.

The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges. To solve the issue, researchers intend to deliver a wide range of technologies, including automated spectrum planning and allocation tools and smarter radios, that will use spectrum more efficiently, network more effectively and provide commanders the flexibility to reorganize as needed.

May 1, 2014
by Kent R. Schneider

Anyone following the progress of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) knows by now that it is not a program of record. No one will see large procurements to provide the JIE. It definitely is a framework: it defines standards and architectures for consistency across the defense environment. It defines a core environment and interfaces for the connection of networks and systems to the core. The JIE leverages initiatives to consolidate networks and data centers, to establish enterprise services and to implement transitional technologies such as cloud implementations, mobility, security solutions, big data and analytics, and the Internet of everything.

May 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
A  U.S. Navy sailor monitors communications aboard an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The Defense Department’s JIE builds on communications and networking advances within the individual services.

The Defense Department drive toward its Joint Information Environment is picking up speed as it progresses toward its goal of assimilating military networks across the warfighting realm. Individual services are developing solutions, some of which are targeted for their own requirements, that are being applied to the overarching goal of linking the entire defense environment.

Early successes in Europe have advanced Joint Information Environment (JIE) efforts elsewhere, including the continental United States. Some activities have been accelerated as a result of lessons learned, and they have been implemented ahead of schedule in regions not slated to receive them for months or even years.

March 1, 2014
By Al Mink

It’s impossible these days to attend a U.S. Defense Department information technology presentation without repeated mentions of the Joint Information Environment (JIE). But industry representatives often ask, “What does JIE mean to me?” I did some digging into the environment—leveraging the expertise of the AFCEA Technology Committee, discussions with several senior defense information technology leaders and insights from colleagues at my firm who participated in JIE Increment 1 in Europe.

February 7, 2014
By Henry S. Kenyon

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has deployed the initial version of its unclassified mobility capability, which will provide military and civilian Defense Department personnel with access to a wide selection of mobile devices, applications and services.

DISA’s Defense Department Mobility Unclassified Capability (DMUC) version 1.0 was released on January 31 and will be built out in increments to support up to 100,000 users by the end of the fiscal year, according to DISA officials. The program currently supports some 1,800 unclassified mobile devices: the iPad 3 and 4 tablets, iPhone 4s and 5 smart phones, Samsung 10.1 tablets, Samsung 3s and Motorola RAZR. The program also supports 80,000 BlackBerry phones.

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 Online Show Daily: Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“You may have to make the job fun. What motivated me to get where I am today is not necessarily what will motivate the leaders of tomorrow.”­­­­—Cindy Moran, director, network services, Defense Information Systems Agency

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The revolutionary nature of cyberspace pales in comparison to the dynamic differences that characterize its work force. Not only do younger workers have different professional goals than their progenitors, but also same-generation technology-savvy workers may have varying outlooks on how to innovate and exploit new capabilities.

A Wednesday panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, wrestled with the challenges facing leaders in cyber fields. Senior Master Sgt. Torry Hickson, USAF, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Pacific, stated that an organization dealing with cyber needs a mix of young and old people. This will combine leadership built of wisdom with an innovative spirit with technology knowledge.

November 26, 2013
By Jim Sweeney

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) expects to have its Defense Department Mobile Unclassified Capability (DMUC) ready for initial operational capability in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. Dr. Jennifer Carter, DISA’s component acquisition executive, said she expects 100,000 users in fiscal 2014 and “well beyond” that number after 2014. The DMUC will support multiple devices and carriers, she noted.

August 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

 

Despite small pockets of resistance, officials across the U.S. Defense Department and military services support the convergence of multiple networks into one common, shared, global network. Lessons learned from the theater of operations indicate the need for the joint environment, which will provide enterprise services such as email, Internet access, common software applications and cloud computing.

July 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) command center at Fort Meade, Maryland, is the focal point for the agency’s efforts to maintain network connectivity throughout the U.S. defense community. DISA’s information assurance work has taken a new turn as capabilities such as commercial communications technologies and the cloud have altered the cyberscape.

From handheld
 to the cloud,
 new technologies are driving new approaches to data assurance.

The increasing use of readily available and inexpensive commercial technologies by the military is changing the way the Defense Information Systems Agency provides information assurance. As these technologies are integrated into the Defense Department information infrastructure, the agency is adjusting its approaches to providing security for its networks and the data that reside on them.

June 26, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Cyber Symposium 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 2

The Joint Information Environment (JIE) took center stage during the second day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium in Baltimore. The conference devoted one full panel to the joint environment, but presenters throughout the day stressed the JIE’s importance to the future of the U.S. military and coalition partners, discussed some of the challenges to achieving the vision and vowed that the department will make it happen despite any remaining obstacles.

June 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Air Force network administrator employs a laptop at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Dealing with virtual challenges may require a meeting of different disciplines.

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