cyber

June 28, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman and Breann Pendleton

As industry and government work to hammer out complex details in the cyberthreat intelligence struggle, each side expects support from the other—but both must improve the foundational understanding of the capabilities each brings to the table. Many of these issues will define the agenda of AFCEA’s Classified Cyber Forum, to be held July 13 at the Heritage Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

July 1, 2017
By Farisa Dastvar

President Donald Trump recently signed a succinct but sweeping cybersecurity executive order fortifying the U.S. government’s role in thwarting cyber attacks, establishing a path toward protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure, and bolstering cybersecurity for the nation as a whole. 

“Our nation’s economic and national security rely on a safe, secure and reliable cyberspace,” said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly of the order, titled Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure.

July 1, 2017
By Carl De Groote
The CONUS Defense Department environment shares data and information amid complex networking. A secure and effective environment could be ensured using an approach known as Digital Network Architecture, or DNA.

The fully digital world has changed the strategies, tactics and procedures required to operate successfully in modern warfare. Highly skilled cyber analysts play an important role, but to achieve peak performance from both human and machine, automation within the network is needed. A new network approach—a single platform that is simple, automated, intelligent and secure—will better enable the U.S. Cyber Mission Force to operate within an enemy’s decision cycle and preserve U.S. supremacy across all five domains: land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

July 1, 2017
By Bob Lazaravich

Solid-state drives store data using flash memory and are becoming common system-level components in military systems. Although they are inexpensive and readily available, commercial off-the-shelf versions often fail to meet military requirements: predictable performance under stressful operating conditions, robust ruggedization, long-term availability from an accredited supplier and trusted security. Drives designed for the commercial market do not provide the flexible security features needed in today’s modern military applications. 

June 27, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of DISA and commander of the JFHQ-DODIN, speaks at AFCEA’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in June. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Conquering cyberthreats that pose a national security risk means acquiring cutting-edge technology and leading-edge talent and pairing them, according to U.S. Defense Department experts.

The department’s technology wish list, discussed during the annual Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), touches on a number of disruptive areas, including machine learning, biometrics, the cloud, what officials are dubbing “software-defined everything,” and solutions to improve mobility and identity protections. Experts shared the challenges and solutions of leveraging technology and talent at the AFCEA International event June 13-15 in Baltimore.

June 26, 2017

The Council on CyberSecurity’s Critical Security Controls for Effective Cyber Defense provides guidance on prioritizing security processes that are most effective against the latest advanced threats, such as malware and other malicious targeted attacks. The main emphasis of the controls is on standardization and automation that not only maximize security but also enhance the operational effectiveness of information technology administration.

June 27, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Governments, banks, transportation systems and critical infrastructure entities reeled Tuesday from yet another wide-sweeping disruptive cyber attack—one that echoed the WannaCry breach in May but is potentially far more crippling.

Cyber experts began bracing for the effects of a massive attack that hit Ukraine first, and then rippled throughout other European nations before going global.

June 26, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Only about 15 percent of U.S. Internet fraud victims report the crimes to law enforcement.

You’ve probably received a phone call that goes something like this: “Mr. Smith? I’m calling from ABC company, and there appears to be a security problem with XYZ operating systems. Are you at your computer right now? We can fix the problem for you. All you have to do open your computer, and I’ll take care of it.”

June 21, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Students in a Virginia Tech laboratory test Popcorn Linux, an operating system that can compile different programming languages into a single cyber tongue. The research is a collaborative effort between the university and the Office of Naval Research. Photo courtesy Binoy Ravindran

A collaborative government-academia collaboration is crafting a new operating system that, if it comes to fruition, would compile different computer programming languages into what U.S. Navy officials have termed a single cyber tongue.

It's called Popcorn Linux, and the operating system unites the language spoken, if you will, by the many processors that otherwise use their own programming languages.

June 13, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of DISA and commander of the JFHQ-DODIN, speaks at AFCEA’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore.

How many software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. It’s a hardware problem. That joke, though, soon might be on its way to becoming wrong with the speed of technology, joked Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander of the Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN).

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
John Zangardi, acting DOD CIO, closes out AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The swiftly changing cyber domain demands a dynamic and dedicated partnership between the U.S. Defense Department and industry—a critical relationship for the development of both technologies and the work force needed to help the United States maintain a superior edge over adversaries, said John Zangardi, the department's acting chief information officer.

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
A panel discusses the cyber work force during AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The U.S. government’s primary competition for cyber work force talent is not with Silicon Valley—it’s with the struggling critical infrastructure sector woefully behind shoring up its cyber defenses, said Karen Evans, national director for the U.S. Cyber Challenge.

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Stephen Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena, speaks at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The constant acceleration of technology is pushing for radical changes in the networking arena, tapping systems to continuously scale capacity and connectivity. 

The assessment might sound like a daunting problem. It's not, offered the morning keynote speaker on the final day of AFCEA International's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, or DCOS. “If you’re in the networking space, get ready: It’s going to be an interesting ride,” said Stephen Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena

June 14, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Acting federal Chief Information Officer Margie Graves and Alfred Rivera, director of DISA's Development and the Business center, discuss cyber at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

New technologies are just about obsolete by the time they actually hit federal work stations and are put to use, a disruption that could threaten the future of federal information technology investments. Acquisition at times precariously hinges on the government striking a sustainable balance between agility and innovation on one side, and security on the other, according to acting federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Margie Graves.

June 14, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Steven Walker, acting director of DARPA, speaks at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

It might be true that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) invented the Internet. And so, in some way, the agency could be considered at fault for the burgeoning ecosystem of cyberthreats, the agency's acting director joked Wednesday. But DARPA also shoulders some of the responsibility for finding protective solutions for the vulnerable space.

June 13, 2017
by Sandra Jontz
Military panelists discuss the government's cyber mission during AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

In cyber, the U.S. Defense Department might have its SWAT team, but it is missing the beat cop. 

And cyber operations really need that beat cop, said Brig Gen. Mark WeatheringtonUSAF, director of cyberspace operations at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

June 13, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss cybersecurity at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Cyber is one domain that could benefit from lessons taught in kindergarten: learn to share and build trust.

Those two could provide for a strong foundation toward securing the cyberspace, according to a panel of experts who spoke Tuesday at AFCEA International’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), taking place this week in Baltimore. The event runs June 13-15. 

June 12, 2017
By Bob Gourley and Jane Melia

New federal agency leaders, along with the fresh crop of chief information officers, chief technology officers and chief information security officers, face formidable cybersecurity responsibilities when it comes to protecting federal networks and data against a growing number of dynamic threats. The chaos produced by last month's WannaCry ransomware attack was just a taste.

June 9, 2017

Raytheon Company has announced that it has been awarded a contract valued up to $600 million for software support and sustainment to modernize missile defense and other strategic systems. The work will be conducted at the Software Engineering Directorate, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal. Rapid prototyping, hardware development, testing and validation will support Raytheon's software engineering. Systems include: Strategic missiles and launchers; radars; data mining and visualization tools; condition-based maintenance; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; virtual operations centers; and cyber resiliency of fielded systems.

June 7, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Attending conference sessions like this one from the 2016 DCOS can help you earn certifications. Photo by Michael Carpenter

CompTIA has sweetened the pot for participants of an inaugural five-hour mini-boot camp offered next week at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) in Baltimore.

Participants of the entire mini-boot camp, which showcases CompTIA’s newest security certification, the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+), will receive a free 30-day CSA+ Practice Lab evaluation license.

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