TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Where the 20th century was the age of airpower, the 21st century will be the age of cyberpower, according to the U.S. Air Force's chief information officer (CIO). Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, told the closing keynote luncheon audience that the growth in cyberspace's importance is outstripping even its own metrics for progress. What he referred to as "Android's Law" has accelerated Moore's Law when it comes to change. Mobile devices are driving a global cultural change, he offered, and that change is breaching barriers and crossing into new territory. For example, social media was the tipping point in recent revolutions, the general pointed out.

November 4, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

An airborne network may be the safety net for navigation if the global positioning system (GPS) goes down from cyberattacks or kinetic action. The Joint Aerial Layer Network, which would link aircraft from all the services in battlespace operations, could fill in for precision location and timing if GPS data is denied, said the U.S. Air Force chief information officer (CIO). Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, told the closing keynote luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu that the military must plan for the possibility that the advanced information technologies that underpin the force might be interrupted or denied during warfighting.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The new technologies that are enabling elements of the critical infrastructure to operate more efficiently also are making them more vulnerable to devastating cyberattacks. Advanced mobile connectivity and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have created fertile ground for cybermarauders to target key aspects of the infrastructure a number of ways. These were the findings of a panel comprising a number of experts from Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu. Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, the PACOM J-2, described how the use of SCADA industrial control systems was a primary threat to the infrastructure.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Situational awareness that borders on command and control (C2) may be necessary to protect vulnerable networks in the nation's critical infrastructure. The threat to these increasingly complex industrial control systems will require more than just commercial off-the-shelf security solutions, according to a panel of experts at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu. Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) J-2, warned that the proliferation of control systems, coupled with a lack of network situational awareness, are prime opportunities for cybermarauders.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Tasked with patrolling millions of square miles of water over vast ocean distances, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking to augment its surveillance forces with unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). These craft would serve to alert cutters to what lies over the distant ocean horizon. Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, USCG, the commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, told the final breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 how the vast area of responsibility across the Pacific Ocean tasks Coast Guard operations. Many isolated islands and atolls are U.S. territory, and their fish-rich waters constitute more than a million square miles of U.S. exclusive economic zones.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Building network security around firewalls is passé, as cybercriminals are employing innovative means to enter a network. Instead, security managers should concentrate on understanding the user, the application and the data, according to Tom Reilly, vice president and general manager, HP Enterprise Security. Speaking at the TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 Wednesday breakfast, Reilly described how new types of networking are rendering old measures obsolete. Traditionally, experts have looked at security as being a 100-percent solution that is layer focused. With the advent of mobile and cloud computing, perimeters are devolving and consumers want more access to information.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

As social media permeates deeper into military organizations, leaders are confronting a host of challenges. However, those challenges largely are new incarnations of longstanding problems that have faced military communicators for generations. A panel of experts at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 focused on how information sharing can exist within an information security environment. Many of their concerns proved to be more user-oriented than technology-based. Addressing those concerns, Master Sgt. Andrew Baker, USA, 516th Signal Brigade, said that forces need to be more operations-security (OPSEC) oriented with new media.

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Building and operating the third version of the Global Information Grid-GIG 3.0-will require new forms of accountability both for security and for operation. Accordingly, identity and access management will be the key items as the next-generation defense network is developed, said a panel of defense networking experts at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011. GIG 3.0 would tap existing technology to provide better information sharing-particularly for interservice, interagency and international coalitions-along with improved cyber security and responsiveness, offered panel moderator Randy Cieslak, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) chief information officer (CIO).

November 3, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The third iteration of the Defense Department's Global Information Grid (GIG 3.0) may represent a breakthrough in networking capabilities, but only current technologies need apply to build it, according to a Defense Department official. Mark Loepker, acting director for the Defense Information Assurance Program, told a panel audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 that industry should bring innovative solutions to the GIG table-only, a solution that is not supported by current technology is not a solution.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The spread of mobile networking systems along with the use of social media have opened new backdoors for hackers with potentially serious consequences, according to a leading security expert speaking at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011. Tom Reilly, vice president and general manager, HP Enterprise Security, told the Wednesday breakfast audience that this major information technology transformation is leading to an escalation of attacks, especially against applications, and cyberspace will be a more dangerous place as a result. "Things are going to be much uglier in the cybercrime world," Reilly declared. He added that our adversaries are evolving away from traditional marauders. Many of them now are working at the behest of nation states.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The world is witnessing a shift of economic and political power toward the Asia-Pacific region, and U.S. military forces will be following suit, according to the U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of forces for that region. Lt. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen, USMC, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, told the luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 that nations such as China, India and Indonesia are growing in influence and capability. "The focus of the United States is shifting to the Pacific," Gen. Thiessen stated. "That's where our challenges will be over the next few years. Forces will be shifting there too." Tension is built into the region, and it will not go away anytime soon, the general offered.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The balance of global power is shifting toward the Asia-Pacific region, and U.S. forces face numerous challenges if they are to maintain an effective security presence, according to Lt. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen, USMC, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Speaking at the opening day luncheon for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011, the general cited logistics and communications as two of the greatest challenge areas facing the U.S. military in that region. The vastness of the Asia-Pacific region is the major cause of most of those challenges, he pointed out. As a result, U.S. forces likely will be involved with widely dispersed, relatively small unit engagements.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Tighter budgets and changing technologies are altering the landscape for military information systems. Companies must take a different approach to providing the services with their communications and networking systems, according to a panel comprising service chief information officers (CIOs) at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011. Panel moderator Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, U.S. Air Force CIO, told industry that he has enough tools right now-he doesn't need any more, and he doesn't know how to use all of the ones that he has. Industry should sell him a solution to integrate his existing tools into a common operating picture. Michael Krieger, Department of the Army CIO, was even more blunt.

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The military services should not put all their networking eggs in the Internet Protocol (IP) basket, said a panel of service chief information officers (CIOs) at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011. Over-reliance on everything over IP (EoIP) could be counterproductive at best and detrimental at worst, the experts offered. "I like the theory of EoIP, but I can't prove it in practice," said panel moderator Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, U.S. Air Force CIO. "I'm not ready to put all those eggs in that basket-yet. We haven't invested enough in it." Michael Krieger, Department of the Army CIO, said that the best approach would be a hybrid environment that includes EoIP.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The most worrisome possibility of a nuclear war lies on the Indian subcontinent, according to the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. Adm. Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), told the audience at the opening keynote address for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that another terrorist attack in India could be the catalyst for an escalating conflict that leads to a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. Adm. Keating offered that a Mumbai-type attack that leaves hundreds dead almost certainly would trigger a military response from India. If terrorists based in Pakistan are "irrefutably" identified as the architects of the attack, then India could not sit by without responding.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The recent NATO action in helping depose Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi may not be the total victory that Western forces believe, said the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.). Speaking at the opening keynote address for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Adm. Keating pointed out that other rogue nations may take the wrong lessons from Gadhafi's experience. He pointed out that, with intense U.S. pressure, Gadhafi turned his weapons of mass destruction arsenal over to the United States in return for greater acceptance in the international community. Within a decade, the United States actively supported a rebellion that overthrew him and led to his death.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States should start pursuing some of the people who are hacking into U.S. systems and stealing intellectual property, said the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. Adm. Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), told the audience at the opening keynote address for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that going after cybermarauders may be the only way to reduce their activities. The admiral called for a "thorough review of our nation's policy" with an eye toward taking action against cyberintruders. Saying it's time to "let the Genie out of the bottle," Adm.

November 1, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command decried the concept of "leading from behind" and called for the United States to "lead from within." Adm. Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), told the audience at the opening keynote address for TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the United States must work closely with nations in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure security and reduce the threat of conflict.