Cybersecurity

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
An aviation electronics technician first class performs maintenance on a mission computer aboard an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on an aircraft carrier. The U.S. Navy seeks better computer and information systems for faster upgrades and less vulnerability to cybermarauders.

Cleaner, more modular software that can be updated with less fuss tops the U.S. Navy’s wish list as it girds its fleet for warfighting in cyberspace. These advances would not only help the service stay atop the wave of information system innovation but also contribute to better security amid growing and changing threats.

The Navy wants industry to develop operating systems and software from the start with fewer bugs. These software products should have fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an adversary, which compound the service’s efforts at cybersecurity.

January 26, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The defense industry will get a chance to scrutinize and help shape one of the U.S. Navy’s flagship information technology programs when the service releases in the coming months its draft requests for proposal for the mammoth Next Generation Enterprise Networks Recompete (NGEN-R) multibillion-dollar contract.

January 12, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Top leaders from the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, share government needs with industry during an AFCEA D.C. Chapter monthly breakfast.

While years of slashed budgets and uncertain revenue streams set in motion some innovative thinking at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the crunch constricted innovation and choked off a lot of creative work the agency developed.

DISA offers little opportunity to support in-house organic solutions, relying instead much more on private companies for solutions that agency officials can then adapt to military applications, said Tony Montemarano, DISA's executive deputy director. “We are in the adoption mode now,” he shared Thursday at an AFCEA DC Chapter monthly breakfast.

January 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), speaks at West 2016, the West Coast’s premier naval conference and exposition. Adm. Stavridis, dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, will speak again at this year’s conference on the topic “Are We Organized and Aligned to Fight the Cyber War?” West 2017 takes place February 21-23 at the San Diego Convention Center.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States endures hundreds of millions of digital attacks every day, from cases of cyber terrorism by nation-states to identity and trade secret theft by digital criminals. The nation has been fending off an unprecedented range of digital threats, escalating both in intensity and sophistication. In spite of hardened networks protected by some of the most advanced programs, the U.S. government increasingly is a prime target.

October 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s annual cyber safety awareness campaign winds down, if you’re tired of hearing about online threats and ways to patch vulnerabilities, you’re not alone.

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 a command and control construct (C2), hardening against cyberthreats the service’s enterprise networks that control everything from state-of-the-art fighter jets to weapons systems, said Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF

Competing priorities of speed, security and cost will drive future cyber-based programs as the Air Force focuses on the C2 of networks and the erupting amount of data. “It’s all about the data,” said Gen. Dennis, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
 Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, speaks at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Cybersecurity and controlling the electromagnetic spectrum, along with several years of continuous combat, are among the challenges for military communications, according to speakers at the second day of MILCOM 2016, taking place in Baltimore and co-hosted by AFCEA International and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss efforts to equip the cyber force at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

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, said Giorgio Bertoli, 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).

November 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
The HMAS Ballarat, USS Mobile Bay, CNS Cochrane, INS Satpura, HMCS Calgary and USS Shoup prepare for a live-fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. Interoperability in the Pacific theater is a constant challenge for U.S. forces that are relying more and more on new information technologies.

Military communications systems around the world are being asked to do more with less, but U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region face an even more complex challenge. Lacking a regionwide multinational alliance such as NATO, the U.S. Pacific Command is working to improve interoperability in bilateral arrangements with allies and partner nations amid an increased threat to the very networks forces rely on during crises. 

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.

According to a recent report by cybersecurity developer Forcepoint, millennials might pose as serious a cybersecurity risk to enterprise networks as cyber criminals. The research found that the baby boomer generation, those aged 51 to 69, are more cautious online while the younger work force is more likely to abandon caution in exchange for digital convenience.

October 21, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DNI James Clapper answers questions asked by guests attending AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) speaker series. The session was moderated by Jesse Nielsen, managing director of VXIT Analytics.

The next 17 days leading up to the presidential election pose a rather vulnerable time for the United States—more so than usual during a transition of power, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“This year, for lots of reasons, people are nervous, particularly for an election cycle that has been sportier than normal,” Clapper shared during at presentation Thursday at AFCEA’s Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) speaker series. 

October 17, 2016
By Aubrey Merchant-Dest

Last year, the Defense Department issued the Cybersecurity Culture and Compliance Initiative (DC3I), a memorandum containing alarming statistics on the actual number of successful network compromises and their causes, and principles for guiding daily operations for network users. The good news is that out of 30 million known malicious intrusions occurring over 10 months, 99.9 percent were prevented.

October 5, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

The first week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on promoting cybersecurity for individuals. However, organizations of all types and sizes, especially small businesses, must be aware of the devastating consequences of a cyber domain attack.

October 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
U.S. Army cyber warriors defend the network at the tactical operations center for the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, during a Network Integration Evaluation in fall 2015.

With cyberspace emerging as a critical warfare domain, U.S. military leaders have been forced to dump both old habits and doctrine in the name of network security. These arduous tasks are part of adapting to the new normal of the digital age, which can include contorting Army policies and actions to win modern wars and address global crises, says Essye Miller, the Army’s director of cybersecurity.

By Joe Kim

There is no escaping the barrage of technology and devices ever-present in our modern lives. Consider that many middle school kids today are iPhone-wielding and Fitbit-wearing youngsters.

The public sector workplace is no different. Federal IT professionals must consider the sheer volume and variety of devices connecting to their networks—from fitness wearables to laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Internet of Things and the cloud also significantly impact bandwidth and present security concerns, spurred by incidents such as the Office of Personnel Management breach of 2014.

By Maria Horton

We are little more than halfway through 2016, and it is safe to say that “regulatory compliance” are the cybersecurity buzzwords of the year. Regulatory compliance is not just a government or specialty market issue. Today, it applies to private contractors offering cloud, Internet of Things and other solutions within the federal marketplace. 

August 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A Louisiana Army National Guard chief communications plans officer trains members of the Cyber Defense Incident Response Team to defend the state’s cyber assets in November 2015. Photo courtesy DOD

Information technology modernization has reached a precipice within the federal government as agencies struggle to manage many moving parts and jockey for the same pot of money and talent. Add to the fray the results of a new survey showing an alarming reliance by federal agencies on outdated information technology systems.

August 11, 2016
By John Halksworth

Air gapping is a security measure that isolates a computer or a network so it cannot be accessed or hacked by an external entity. It's a useful technique that adds a security layer for companies and government agencies, especially those handling classified, confidential information often susceptible to hacking attempts. Although air-gapping systems offer extra security, recent malware-based attacks and other threats have created a new set of risks that organizations must manage in unique ways.

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. government wants to hack the hackers—and be able to talk about it. 

In an ambitious effort slated to begin in November, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to delve into developing technologies and processes that would allow authorities to access and then operate inside the networks and systems of cyber adversaries, says Angelos Keromytis, program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.

July 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

As government and businesses struggle to hire and retain highly qualified cybersecurity experts, it just might be time for the people sporting purple mohawks to receive consideration for the coveted jobs, some experts say.

The White House released this month the first-ever Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy that sets in motion aggressive plans to recruit and retain cyber talent, and the Defense Department seeks to loosen for cyber personnel some of its hiring constraints within the civil service system.

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