When it comes to the transition for C4I systems to cloud computing architectures, both the challenge-and the promise-boils down to "getting the right information to the right individual at the right time-and [doing] it securely." Teri Takai, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks, and DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO), offered her thoughts on the path to cloud computing as the keynote speaker to the AFCEA Solutions series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and George Mason University C4I Center.
The second and final day of AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series event focusing on cyberspace demonstrated that the military and government are still perplexed by this new domain. In speeches and panel sessions, most agreed on the problems but few agreed on the solutions. In fact, many of the proposed solutions were diametrically opposed.
Two leaders in the intelligence realm shared their main concerns about security and cyberspace to a packed auditorium at AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series "Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security." Rosemary Wenchel shared some of the ways cyberspace has changed the world, and Dawn Meyerriecks explained the solutions the government will be looking for in the future.
Sherri Ramsay, director of the NSA's Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, opened AFCEA's SOLUTIONS Series today by admitting that the intersection of cyber, national and economic security has changed the way her organization interacts with industry. Citing statistics that cybercrime has cost individuals more than $2 billion, Ramsay called for shared network situational awareness across the U.S. government, industry and individuals. This holistic approach must include information about who owns, operates and defends the networks, she said.
Like previous AFCEA SOLUTIONS Series events, the one focusing on cyberspace features three concurrent track sessions, each addressing specific aspects of the conference topic. Panelists participating in Track 1 sessions at "Cyberspace at the Cross Roads: The Intersection of Cyber, National and Economic Security" are discussing the foundational issues in cybersecurity. Track 2 panelists are exploring current initiatives that are addressing the cyber threat. Experts leading dialogue in Track 3 sessions are examining long-term plans for cybersecurity.
Whether it's needs versus wants, open conversations versus regulations to protect intellectual property or oversight versus open development, agencies and the commercial sector must find the happy medium for acquisition processes to be truly reformed. These were the tough issues experts discussed at AFCEA International's SOLUTIONS Series event today.
Acquisitions experts from the government and private sectors agree that the procurement system is broken, but they do not necessarily agree about how to fix it. Meeting at AFCEA International's SOLUTIONS Series conference today, a consensus was achieved on contributing factors to the problem. Long acquisition cycles strip the effectiveness of many of the IT systems that are being purchased by the time they hit the field. Time and cost estimates are not realistic from the beginning of the purchasing process. Leadership to bring about true change is lacking.