cyber

July 14, 2017
By George Holland

The executive order signed by the president in May to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity policies is evidence that the federal government has recognized and is going to take significant steps to address increasingly frequent and sophisticated cyber attacks. This order is a great first step, but must be supported by more innovative and flexible acquisition and procurement strategies and processes.  

July 21, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded Salt Lake City-based startup Evernym a $749,000 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) award to develop an easy-to-use, decentralized mechanism for managing public and private encryption keys needed for the secure and scalable deployment of blockchain technologies.        

July 21, 2017

Officials with the Institute for Cybersecurity at Regent University recently announced the school is building a state-of-the-art cyber range training facility at its Virginia Beach campus. The Regent Cyber Range will open o during the fourth quarter of this year and will offer hands-on training programs for enterprises, consultancies, government and military organizations.

July 20, 2017

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) opened the Army Cyber-research Analytics Laboratory (ACAL) on July 19, a facility that unlike any other lab, provides industrial and federally-funded partners—including universities—access to highly-sensitive live cyber-security data, the service has announced.

The new research space was developed as a result of a partnership with Army Cyber Command and represents an extension of ongoing collaborative efforts with the Defense Department’s science and technology community, said Philip Perconti, ARL director.

July 13, 2017
In late October, companies will have the opportunity to present cyber solutions to the U.S. Defense Department's Rapid Reaction Technology Office.

The U.S. Defense Department’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) will conduct a solutions meeting in late October in McLean, Virginia, according to a recent announcement posted on the FedBizOpps website. Companies will provide short technical presentations to government representatives about their technologies and products with the potential to be selected for pilot projects or experimentation if the technology appears to match the department's cyber needs.

The RRTO is interested in:

July 11, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Computers and credit cards are the new department stores, shopping malls and food marts.

Nearly everyone has heard a parent or grandparent refer to the good ol’ days. Tales usually begin either with, “When I was your age…” or “In my day, we didn’t have….”

While it seems appropriate that octogenarians and nonagenarians tell such stories, today they’re not the only generations sharing memories that begin with, “When I was young….” People in their 20s and 30s reflect on their youth wistfully because members of the younger generation—who, by the way, are only five or 10 years younger than they are—can communicate, play, buy and sell, and share life moments in ways that surprise even 20-somethings.

June 29, 2017
By Adam B. Jonas

On the eve of last year’s U.S. presidential election, two computational social scientists from the University of Southern California published an alarming study that went largely unnoticed in the flood of election news. It found that for a month leading up to the November vote, a large portion of users on the social media platform Twitter might not have been human.

The users were social bots, or computer algorithms built to automatically produce content and interact with people on social media, emulating them and trying to alter their behavior. Bots are used to manipulate opinions and advance agendas—all part of the increasing weaponization of social media.

June 29, 2017
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Army officials assessing cutting-edge cyber and electronic warfare capabilities during Cyber Quest 2017 tout the ingenuity of soldiers participating in the exercise.

U.S. Army officials expect that by this fall, they will have formal approval of a rapid prototyping process for acquiring cyber and electronic warfare prototypes assessed during the just-completed Cyber Quest 2017 exercise at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Army officials describe Cyber Quest as an annual cyber and electronic warfare exploration and collaboration event hosted by the Cyber Center of Excellence. This is the second year for the event.

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.

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