Cyber

December 1, 2021
 
Zero-trust techniques can help improve federal agency videoconferencing systems. Credit: Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how government agencies do business by requiring remote work and videoconferencing for meetings, creating a growing need for securing these virtual workspaces.

One way to achieve this security, and one that is being mandated across the federal government, is with zero-trust architecture.

Zero trust requires a change of perspective about securing data versus securing networks because data can be anywhere on a device, Joel Bilheimer, a strategic account architect with Pexip, told SIGNAL Magazine Senior Editor Kimberly Underwood during a SIGNAL Executive Video Series discussion.

December 1, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced the appointment of 23 members of the agency’s new Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), announced today the appointment of the first 23 members of the agency’s new Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, a group that will advise and provide recommendations to the director on policies, programs, planning, and training to enhance the nation’s cyber defense.

December 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Implementation of zero-trust security will require users to adopt new security measures and attitudes. Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

The human factor looms as the most imposing challenge to implementing zero-trust security, say experts. Aspects of this factor range from cultural acceptance to training, and sub-elements such as organizations and technologies also will play a role. Ultimately, change will have to come from the top of an organization to be truly effective.

All security measures depend to a large degree on human cooperation, but that is only part of the picture for zero trust. Its implementation will entail a massive change in security procedures both for users and for network architects. And, the ability to share information across organizational boundaries will be strongly affected at all government levels.

December 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Officials across the U.S. government are releasing guidance documents and assisting departments and agencies in the adoption of zero-trust cybersecurity architectures. The OMB is considered the team captain for zero trust, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the DHS is compiling lessons learned for inclusion in a zero-trust playbook to be released early next year.  Illustration design by Chris D’Elia based on artwork by Phase4Studios & Yaran/Shutterstock

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency may soon release an initial playbook for departments and agencies to follow while transitioning to a zero-trust cybersecurity architecture. The new guidance will be based on lessons learned from various pilot programs across the government.

December 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory that developed the Linux-based open-source zero-trust architecture called Keylime are now seeing it deployed more significantly.

December 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor flies with an Australian air force E-7A Wedgetail near Oahu, Hawaii, earlier this year. The U.S. Defense Department’s joint all-domain command and control concept envisions connecting any sensors and weapon systems from across the military services while also enhancing the ability to share data with allies and other mission partners. Credit: Air National Guard Staff Sgt. John Linzmeier

The U.S. Defense Department has chalked up a number of accomplishments in a short amount of time aimed at achieving a vision of connecting sensors and weapon systems from all of the military services. However, officials still are assessing the best way to achieve zero trust.

December 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility enabled by Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to its launch enterprise could enable U.S. Space Force guardians and U.S. Air Force airmen to conduct their launch mission-related tasks from really anywhere. In June, the Space Force and its mission partners at Cape Canaveral successfully launched into medium earth orbit the fifth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System III Space Vehicle, SV05, aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Credit: SpaceX

The U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to the launch enterprise could bring earth-shattering flexibility to its mission operations, its commander says. Under a year-long pilot effort, officials at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, Space Launch Delta 45’s headquarters, and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, its launch range, have installed zero trust-related software and hardware into the launch mission system and are conducting beta testing and evaluation of the capabilities.

December 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The spread of 5G will accelerate the need for zero-trust security, which in turn will help increase the number and types of networks spawned by the technology. Credit: Fit Ztudio/Shutterstock

The use of zero trust could prove to be a boon for 5G networks by providing vital security across networks made up of a variety of innovative devices and capabilities. Fully established zero trust could allow unprecedented network visibility and situational awareness while ensuring that potential attack points are closed to cyber marauders. Yet, implementing zero trust runs the risk of slowing down the network’s fast data flow if it is not applied properly.

December 1, 2021
By Sandra Jontz

Zero trust has become the ubiquitous cybersecurity term and a strategic, need-it-now necessity that adapts rapidly to changing threats. It’s a digital architecture that provides secure access to data when users need it, from anywhere in the world and at any time of day or night.

I connected with Ned Miller, senior vice president and general manager of Appgate Federal, and with Michael Friedrich, vice president of strategy and innovation, during a Q&A session to learn how the Defense Department in particular can use the company’s influential dynamic zero-trust solution—today and in the near future.

December 1, 2021
By Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh III, USA (Ret.)

Make no mistake: zero trust represents a cultural shift from today’s approach. It will change the way information is secured and the way users access it. Yet, it also must be applied in ways that do not prevent the secured data from being effectively exploited by its users.

The president has issued an executive order to implement the necessary security to stay ahead of our adversaries. But ultimately, the challenge of zero trust is less one of technology and architecture and more one of integration into the operation and workflows. The key to a successful zero-trust implementation is to secure the data that people need to use while simultaneously enabling them to access it.

November 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Organizations are seeing the need to bring cybersecurity education to middle schoolers. Credit: Shutterstock/SpeedKingz

The need for the United States to not only have digital literacy but also cybersecurity-educated students is prompting the addition of programs into the middle school level. Students in grades 6-8 can benefit greatly from having a foundational understanding of cyber concepts, as can the nation, officials say.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)/Central Security Service’s National Cryptologic School, which already has a robust offering of cyber education programs across the elementary, high school, college and graduate student levels, is growing its specific offerings to middle schools, teachers and kids age 12-14.

November 8, 2021
By John Dvorak
Zero trust may not be an entirely new concept, but it is still important, says John Dvorak, emerging technology specialist for Red Hat and a member of the AFCEA Technology Committee and Zero Trust Strategies Subcommittee.  By Matt Gibson/Shutterstock

More than just a technology focus, zero trust (ZT) is an invitation for all of us to think differently about cybersecurity. We are losing on the cybersecurity battlefield, and continued investment in more advanced versions of the same architecture patterns will not change that.

November 5, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Defensive Army cyber operations soon will benefit from new technologies and capabilities being incorporated into existing systems.  U.S. Army photo

New technologies are fueling U.S. Army cyber operations as the force girds for more diverse challenges in the operational environment. This thrust entails incorporating innovative capabilities while improving existing systems with new approaches, such as moving to the cloud.

The defensive effort was outlined by a group of experts on the second day of the three-day AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, November 3-5, 2021. A panel of military and civilian leaders described how these improvements are being incorporated atop existing systems to ensure continued effectiveness in the field.

November 4, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A member of the Army Corps of Engineers examines filter actuators at a water treatment plant in Baghdad. With a presence in more than 20 countries worldwide, the Corps is modernizing its infostructure to maintain connectivity with minimum downtime and maximum operational options.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo

Known mostly for its large-scale physical projects, the Army Corps of Engineers is erecting a digital infostructure to allow it to engage in operations in a host of different settings. What will be a mobile Corps of Engineers will rely on many top-shelf information technologies, including zero trust.

November 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly alongside an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during training near Mount Fuji, Japan, earlier this year. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is building a mission partner environment that will allow greater interoperability between U.S. forces and international partners and allies in the region. Credit: Air Force Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command will deliver an initial mission partner environment next summer. The capability ultimately will allow U.S. forces to access classified and unclassified networks with one device. It also will provide more effective information sharing with allies and coalition forces.

November 1, 2021
By Howard Sutton
U.S. Air Force Airmen speak with reporters on the new innovative Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Onramp 2 in September at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. ABMS is the digital infrastructure which allows a level of connectivity and sensor compatibility for military at war.  Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez, 1st Combat Camera Squadron

In the current cybersecurity environment, live video and data distributed within physically secure environments, such as a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), command and control centers, situational awareness or secure briefing centers, is no longer safe and secure.

November 1, 2021
By Jennifer A. Miller

When I hear of zero trust, I think of “In God We Trust,” the motto printed on U.S. currency and Florida’s official motto. More than just a buzzword phrase, though, zero trust is better understood as an approach to security.

October 28, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Christopher Inglis, national cyber director, speaks at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

One of the early efforts of the national cyber director is to tackle how to strengthen the critical infrastructure of the United States. The key to approaching that overwhelming task is to drive coordination across the federal government and the critical sectors, and to identify the crucial subelements that connect each component, versus trying to protect all sectors at once, which is not quite possible, explained Christopher Inglis, national cyber director, speaking at AFCEA International’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore on October 27.

October 28, 2021
By Beverly Cooper
Wendell E. Foster, Jr., executive director, DODIN (l), and Rear Adm. William E. Chase III, USN, deputy commander, JFHQ-DODIN, talk about the past, present and future of JFHQ-DODIN during TechNet Cyber. Photo by Michael Carpenter

To be prepared for today’s cyberspace competition and ready for tomorrow’s fight requires a new, comprehensive look at strategic focus areas within the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). Those focus areas include streamlining command and control; organizing battle space; optimizing technology; harnessing the power of partnerships; and cultivating change and talent management.

October 28, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
As part of its academic engagement strategy, U.S. Cyber Command is partnering more closely with the National Defense University and will assist with NDU’s new University Consortium for Cybersecurity effort expected to begin in December, says David Frederick, the command’s executive director. Photo by Michael Carpenter

For the last eleven years, the U.S. Cyber Command, which conducts cyber operations in defense of the nation, has partnered closely with government organizations and private industry to advance is mission. Now, the command, known as USCYBERCOM, is working to bolster its activities with academia as part of its comprehensive engagement plan. It recently launched a new academic engagement strategy that will broaden its communications with more U.S. universities; harness cyber research; promote cyber careers; and add analytical capabilities.

October 25, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts a town hall with the State Department’s chiefs of mission at the department’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on October 25. Secretary Blinken has approved the creation of a new bureau-level cyber organization at the department. Credit: State Department photo by Freddie Everett

The United States is adding another tool in its attempt to improve cybersecurity. The U.S. State Department is in the process of standing up a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy. The new organization will conduct cyber diplomacy around the globe and set international norms around cybersecurity. The department is also creating a new position at State called the special envoy for critical and emerging technology.

Compared to an ambassador who is stationed in a foreign country to increase bilateral ties with the United States, a special envoy oversees a specific portfolio, in this case, critical and emerging technology. Both the senior bureau official and the special envoy roles would require Senate confirmation.

October 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Air Force captain radios an aircraft heading for a landing on a highway in Bulgaria during the exercise Thracian Summer 2021. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is placing high emphasis on improving command and control as part of its new strategy. USAF photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency is introducing a new strategy that will blend five lines of effort with an internal reorganization amid new budgeting authority. The goal is a synergistic effort that ensures information superiority for the U.S. military as it moves forward against new adversarial challenges.

The new strategy aligns the fiscal year 2022 budget collaboratively with internal agency reorganization. This approach is designed by Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) leadership to allow it to make necessary changes for the next several years.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The addition of cyber offense capabilities by the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command marks another step in the service’s growing cyber versatility, says the leader of the command, Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG (l), speaking to Coast Guardsmen in the command’s Cyber Operations Center in Washington, D.C. Credit: USCG Cyber Command

As the 231-year-old U.S. Coast Guard guards the nation’s waterways and ports, more and more it is finding the need to increase its capabilities in the cyber domain, given the rising digital threats to the $5.4 trillion of waterway-based trade. This fall, the maritime service is adding new cyber offensive capabilities and is growing its existing cyber defense, reports Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, commander of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is developing robotic process automation solutions to automate some computer security authorization processes, which will reduce workloads and offer efficiencies to warfighters, such as to the airmen from the 4th Communications Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, who are responsible for authorizing and supporting about 7,000 computer users at the base.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera

The Defense Information Systems Agency is embracing robotic process automation, and it is implementing several steps. The agency is training a cadre of developers, and it is also creating a platform and code library and establishing practices and methods—all to internally improve how it delivers robotic process automation across the agency. By using automated software robots, or bots, that can perform rules-based processes, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) aims to reduce the workload for humans that conduct repetitive tasks across the agency’s financial, public relations, procurement and other offices.

October 1, 2021
By Col. Dean Hullings, USAF (Ret.)
Military readiness relies on an exchange of information among many different systems, which creates numerous cybersecurity challenges. Credit: U.S. Defense Department/J.M. Eddins Jr., Air Force

With no end in sight to the ever-increasing cybersecurity challenges, the federal government must move quickly and deliberately to adopt an architecture to protect against all outside threats. This means building on existing strengths and bolstering cybersecurity strategies.

October 1, 2021
By Rob Caudill and John Speed Meyers
A new digital rubicon looms on the horizon: the use of open source code as a condition within U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community software acquisition contracts. Credit: Shutterstock/ihor2020

Open source code is used increasingly across the entire federal government and the U.S. military. But a new digital rubicon is looming: the use of open source code as a condition within U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community software acquisition contracts.

October 1, 2021
By Rick Palermo
An important step toward Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is to conduct a Certified Third Party Assessor Organizations (C3PAO) assessment. Credit: Shutterstock/H_Ko

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a serious and involved process that will take time and resources, and for small companies, it’s often difficult to know where to start. Using these 12 steps, companies can effectively manage the transition from noncompliance to compliance.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Ryzhi

As it advances its application of robotic process automation, the Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding its artificial intelligence efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. The agency is using these latest efforts to examine the application of artificial intelligence capabilities to network defense—as it conducts its daily around-the-clock mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network.

In one effort, the agency is working with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts through a cooperative research and development agreement, or CRADA, to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Fit Ztudio

The Defense Information Systems Agency is initially employing robotic process automation, or RPA, to several of its processes in finance, public affairs, circuit management, security authorization and procurement, with an intent to build a robust RPA platform for greater use across the agency. The automated software robots, or bots, will perform repetitive, rules-based processes and considerably reduce the workload of humans, the director of DISA’s Emerging Technology Directorate, Stephen Wallace, shares.

October 1, 2021
By Willie Hicks, Dynatrace Federal CTO

Somewhere in the Middle East, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). After taking video images from 50,000 feet high, the UAV transmits them to an Army command center 100 miles away.

The command center then shares the images with a Navy carrier in the Persian Gulf, with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) officers and intelligence operatives on land and at sea—as well as in the Pentagon—collaborating via a tactical chat application about what the images mean, to better inform the mission at hand and facilitate command and control (C2).

September 21, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF (right c), commander, 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), and Chief M. Sgt. Kenneth Bruce, USAF (r), command chief, 16th Air Force, discuss the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron efforts during a visit at Hurlburt Field, Florida, in April. The command, which spent the last two years integrating information warfare capabilities including weather intelligence, sees zero trust as a core technology. Credit: USAF photo by Senior Airman Robyn Hunsinger

As the U.S. Air Force advances on its two important pilot programs designed to inform the service’s larger pursuit of zero-trust architecture, the 16th Air Force is playing a key role in helping to examine its use from an operational perspective.

September 21, 2021
 
SolarWinds is using a security by design methodology to strengthen its security and to help protect the software industry’s supply chain. Credit: Shutterstock

The software management firm SolarWinds is revising how it approaches security to develop better products and to help its customers and protect the supply chain they all rely on.

Cyber attacks on supply chains are a growing threat, something SolarWinds experienced in 2020 when Russian government-backed hackers breached the servers for one of the company’s software products and compromised the security of hundreds of customers including several dozen federal agencies.

Under its new CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the company is changing how it operates internally and with its customers by adopting a security by design approach to its operations.

September 15, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA (c), commander, U.S. Cyber Command, speaks on a panel at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The cyber activities of Russia to try and impact the U.S. presidential elections of 2016 and 2020 are well known, spoken about by U.S. military cyber and other leaders. Going forward toward the mid-term election of 2022, the roster of countries attempting to harm U.S. processes is growing, reports Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commander, U.S. Cyber Command. And the command is already preparing to protect the 2022 elections.

September 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Chris Inglis, national cyber director, discusses cybersecurity challenges with Suzanne Kelly, CEO and publisher, The Cipher Brief, at the 2021 Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Eight weeks on the job, the national cyber director, Chris Inglis, is examining the confines of how to approach the cyber adversaries and nation states conducting malicious attacks on the U.S. government, critical infrastructure and private sector. The former deputy director of the National Security Agency and a member of that agency for 28 years, Inglis sees how the Russian government is not taking any action against perpetrators.

September 7, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has released two key documents meant to raise the cybersecurity practices of government agencies and organizations. The documents, the Cloud Security Technical Reference Architecture and the Zero Trust Maturity Model, are open for public comment through September 30, the agency reported. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey Suslov

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, released two key documents meant to raise the cybersecurity practices of government agencies and organizations. The documents, the Cloud Security Technical Reference Architecture (TRA) and Zero Trust Maturity Model are open for public comment through September 30, the agency reported.

September 2, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Chief Master Sgt. Denzil Hellesen, USAF (c), 3D0XX career field manager, speaks to other cyber career field leaders during a meeting at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, on August 23. Leaders held a week-long conference to discuss how to transform the service’s cyberspace career fields to advance Air Force cyber capabilities. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle

As the Air Force strives to become a digital force and embraces Chief Gen. C. Q. Brown’s vision of accelerating change, the service is streamlining its cyber and communications career fields. Headquarters Air Force leaders, National Guard and Reserve leaders and major command functional managers of the cyberspace support career field met at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, last week to discuss how to develop the adaptable, agile communications and cyber career fields needed to support future Air Force requirements, reported John Ingle from the 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs.

September 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman

The key to controlling the epidemic of fraud that weak digital identity has unleashed on government benefit programs during the pandemic lies in cooperating with oversight authorities and intergovernmental information sharing, White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling told AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Wednesday.

“I don't think any of us in the federal government can tell you with 100 percent certainty that somebody who has used an improper identity that was not their own and got an [unemployment insurance] benefit is not also somewhere else in the government using that to try and take an additional benefit,” he said.

September 1, 2021
 

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Defense

August 31, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Credit: Shutterstock/Mad Dog

It’s time to abandon the dream of an open, federated, multiplayer identity-provider ecosystem and move on, one of the pioneers of the concept told AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Tuesday.

“This federation dream that we've been hanging on to a long time, this model of anybody can get a credential from dozens or hundreds of identity providers and use it everywhere, hasn't taken hold, and I don't think it's going to anytime soon,” Jeremy Grant, coordinator of the Better Identity Coalition, said.

September 1, 2021
By Rob Sobers

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that infiltrates a computer or network and limits or restricts access to critical data by encrypting files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and continue to be a disruptive force in the cybersecurity industry, affecting everything from financial institutions to higher education. Due to the rise in remote work prompted by the pandemic, attacks are up 148%.

August 26, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, DISA director and Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) DODIN commander, views five distinct lines of effort as the key to DISA's new strategy. (DISA photo)

Five key lines of effort define the course that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is taking to ensure information superiority for the U.S. military as it moves forward against new adversarial challenges. These lines of effort are the framework for the agency’s new strategy that is being developed and implemented at DISA.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials do not plan to try to force others in the Defense Department or military services to use its zero-trust solution known as Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a fledgling program that offers a range of capabilities, including secure access service edge (SASE), software-defined area networking (SD-WAN), identity credential access management (ICAM) and virtual security stacks.

SASE, which is pronounced “sassy,” is a technology package that includes SD-WAN, firewall as a service and cloud access security broker. While SASE has been implemented across much of the commercial world, it has not yet been widely adopted by the government.

August 24, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Kay Turner, senior counselor for digital identity, inclusion and payment infrastructure to the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, addresses the virtual 2021 Federal Identity Forum.

The threat to the integrity of the U.S. and global financial system posed by the crisis in online identity is a national security issue, a senior Treasury Department official told the 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Monday.

August 20, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Air Force is pursuing zero-trust architecture on a level not seen before with the lead command, the Air Combat Command, driving many initiatives with a comprehensive view to employ zero-trust architecture across the service’s bases, weapon systems and mission environments. Supporting the cyberspace and engineering side of the effort is the 16th Air Force’s 688th Cyberspace Wing.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss cybersecurity and cooperation among nations during TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It may take a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, but it can take a whole society to keep a country secure.

The term “whole-of-government” has been popular since at least the early 2000s to describe a multidepartment, multiagency effort to gain an advantage or keep the nation secure. The term has been used, for example, to describe counterterrorism efforts.

July 30, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Emerging Technology Directorate is beginning a new pilot program to look at how well artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied to automate aspects of cyber defense. Credit: Shutterstock/cybrain

The Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. While both efforts are in the beginning stages, the agency is considering how to possibly apply the so-called AI capabilities to network defense—among other areas the agency is separately pursuing—as it conducts its daily 24/7 mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN.

The agency entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.

August 1, 2021
By Jeremy Miller and Dawn Yankeelov
Workforce development must include education and training for cyber readiness.  Envato/mstandret

The small business sector must seize the day and immediately begin taking the steps necessary to implement tools for cyber resilience and cyber readiness. Scaling cybersecurity services, education and training are crucial to national security.

Regarding the cyber warfare landscape for 2021, the most critical group to secure is the small and midsize business sector (SMBs), particularly following the pandemic. When working with tech-specific organizations and the military, process management and a sense of purpose can overcome inertia and apathy until a financial loss appears.

August 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Airman 1st Class William King, USAF, technician, 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron, troubleshoots a modem connected to a parabolic dish in August, at RAF Mildenhall, England. JADC2 relies on globe-spanning high bandwidth links like these. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed off on the U.S. Defense Department’s first-ever strategy for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, giving his imprimatur to an ambitious vision of a fully networked U.S. military.

JADC2 aims to provide rear-echelon commanders with continuous connectivity to front-line sensors, providing real-time data and offering an unassailable decision advantage to U.S. forces.

On the digitally managed battlefield envisaged by JADC2, autonomous vehicles and networked weapons would be remotely controlled via cloud-based AI-enabled software, so that a coordinated attack by land, sea, air and cyber forces can be launched with the swipe of a finger.

August 1, 2021
By Cmdr. Erika De La Parra Gehlen, USN
National security objectives can only be achieved when the government and private sector work together. NSA

As China continues to threaten U.S. national security through a whole-of-society warfare strategy, a government-private sector partnership must be a fundamental component of the U.S. government’s approach to information advantage and countering China’s attacks.

August 1, 2021
By Henry S. Kenyon

Cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the United States across all sectors of government and commercial industry, from the battlefield to the factory floor, requiring a strong, holistic approach to cyber defense through active monitoring and modeling techniques.

Recent attacks, such as the Russian-backed espionage operation that compromised a server at software developer SolarWinds Inc., affecting its downstream customers—including half a dozen federal agencies—and the recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Company, which halted fuel shipments to much of the U.S. East Coast for over a week, represent a grave threat to national security.