Cybersecurity

March 10, 2017
By J. Wayne Lloyd

Do you work for a cyber company with federal government contracts? If so, hold onto your hat, because $210 billion in government information technology contracts will expire this year and be re-competed.

October 26, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

A repeat or expansion of the recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Internet traffic firm Dyn could be prevented with just three simple security measures ranging from adoption of a secure network architecture down to basic cyber hygiene. These measures could forestall up to 99 percent of these types of cyber attacks, according to a Washington, D.C.-area chief information officer (CIO).

March 1, 2017
By Danny Ilic

If you can’t beat the hackers, join them—or at least act like them. By hacking a system from within, security experts can identify vulnerabilities and try to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals. Thinking like an attacker cultivates an offensive mindset that leads to streamlined systems that incorporate the best of human skills and automated capabilities to shore up defenses from the inside out. 

March 2, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
John Hickey, director of the Cyber Development Directorate for DISA, kicks off the 6th annual Mobile Tech Summit hosted by AFCEA DC Chapter. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Ushering in full-blown mobility for the U.S. Defense Department will require key technology advances, particularly in areas of automation and security management. With mobile no longer a fringe idea, troops want to avail themselves of all the bells, whistles and efficiencies the ecosystem has to offer. But security concerns continue to crimp the department’s migration to what is otherwise commonplace in the private sector, experts shared Wednesday during the day-long AFCEA DC Chapter Mobile Tech Summit.

March 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Internet of Things has gone mainstream. Home refrigerators are chattier than ever, and emerging virtual home assistants can order wings for dinner, turn on lawn sprinklers, start the car and purchase pounds of cookies—all without users ever rising from the couch. Yet behind the headlines of these gee-whiz cyber technologies lurks a shortcoming. It is one that poses significant threats to national security but could be remedied fairly easily, some experts offer.

March 1, 2017
By William Allen
Adversaries and near-peer competitor nations are catching up to the United States when it comes to technology. In some cases, they are overmatching U.S. military systems, a threat that has propelled the Defense Department to launch its third offset strategy to spur innovation.

For many years, the U.S. military owned the night. The Defense Department could assert that the nation held the defining edge in nocturnal warfighting capability, thanks to massive acquisition efforts in night vision optics and weapons platforms for troops. Regaining that edge means the military must rely more on private-sector solutions that are as lethal as they are profitable.

February 23, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN (l), and Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), discuss national security issues during day three of the West 2017 conference in San Diego. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Cybersecurity can no longer be viewed as a technology-only problem and segmented into stovepipes where the U.S. Defense Department carries out one set of tasks; the civilian government another; and industry does its own thing, said Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

“It must be viewed more broadly and must be tackled from a national security perspective,” Adm. Rogers said during a morning West 2017 conference presentation Thursday with Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), former NATO commander and dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

February 21, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, delivers a keynote address at West 2017 in San Diego. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It is imperative that the United States—government and private companies alike—begin using its inherent innovative spirit to think exponentially and develop technologies that will save time, dollars and lives while defeating the nation's adversaries, said Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. 

February 13, 2017
By Ali Cybulski

Cybersecurity does not keep most Americans awake at night, even though many expect major cyber attacks to be a way of life in the near future and place little trust in modern institutions to protect their personal data, reports the Pew Research Center. The center’s national survey of more than 1,000 adults last spring showed that even as confidence in data security declined, Americans failed to follow digital security best practices.

February 13, 2017
 
The U.S. Army is rolling out a direct commissioning program for the cyber career field that would allow qualified civilians to bypass prerequisites to become an officer.

The U.S. Army is rolling out a new cybersecurity career management program that could let qualified civilians bypass prerequisites​ and be commissioned directly into the service with a rank up to colonel.

The Defense Department has directed all military services to research the idea and submit findings by 2020 to determine if a pilot program should be implemented across the department. But Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, USA, director of cyber for the Army’s G-3/5/7, explains that the Army decided to respond to the high demand for cyber experts more quickly. “We’ll see if the other services do something similar,” she states.

February 7, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Today marks the 14th annual Safer Internet Day, a global campaign to make the cyber domain a littler safer, especially for children. This year’s theme, Be the change: Unite for a better Internet,” highlights how all of society has a role to play in cybersecurity, and that working together creates a safer Internet, according to a campaign statement.

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. 

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