Cyber

January 17, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
DISA Director Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton, USN, presents Steve Wallace with his promotion certificate as he takes over the agency’s newly created Emerging Technology (EM) Directorate.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has reorganized its technology innovation efforts into a single organization designed both to work with outside research organizations and to operate across internal agency lines. The new organization, known as the Emerging Technologies (EM) Directorate, will tap legacy expertise but apply it in a new approach to incorporating innovation, according to DISA.

January 16, 2019
By Julianne Simpson
Rob Joyce, senior cyber advisor to the director, NSA, talks about the cyber workforce shortage at CERTS.

There is not enough skilled talent for the growing need of the cyber community. Based on a state-by-state analysis on cyberchair.org, there are currently 320,000 open cyber jobs in the United States. Projections get worse. According to a CISCO report, by 2020 there will be 1 million unfilled cyber positions worldwide.

“We need to make systemic changes to address that gap,” said Rob Joyce, senior cybersecurity strategy advisor to the director, National Security Agency (NSA), and former cybersecurity advisor to the president.

January 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The cyber threat offers challenges unique to this moment in history, but the cyber policy, strategy and legislation stars are aligning to counter the threat. Credit: insspirito/Pixabay

The United States faces a threat unlike any in its history. The cyber threat zips around the world at blinding speeds and continually transforms. It can neutralize billion-dollar weapon systems and leave entire cities in the dark. It also can be wielded by superpowers, smaller governments or criminal organizations. At the same time, however, legislation, strategies, policies, authorities and a vigorous spirit of cooperation across government and the international community are all aligning to meet that threat.

January 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood

The federal government’s comfort level with the cloud improves, due in part to standards and more offerings from commercial cloud providers.

Although it is already ubiquitous in the private sector, cloud computing has had a slow adoption by the federal government. That trend is shifting, an expert says, as the federal government, as well as state and local governments, employ more cloud computing.

January 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Thirteen C-17 Globemaster III aircraft fly over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia during low-level tactical training. U.S. Transportation Command, which mobilizes troops and equipment around the world, is moving its cyber and command and control systems to a commercial cloud environment.  U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey, USAF

The U.S. Transportation Command was the first U.S. Defense Department organization to begin moving its cyber capabilities, along with command and control applications, to a commercial cloud environment. More than a year later, the unified command is making strides in transferring its unclassified systems and is sharing lessons learned that will make the path to cloud usage smoother for others to follow.

January 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman

As data migrates to the cloud, it is spawning a new generation of capabilities that may trigger major changes throughout the information realm as well as in the economy itself. These advanced capabilities will allow greater business development in ways that otherwise might have been limited to resource-rich firms.

New iterations of software are being written to connect different devices via the cloud. This will affect networking concurrent with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of 5G wireless connectivity. And, the cloud is topping its own status by providing layered services that mimic the cloud itself.

January 1, 2019
By David Sheets
Future Army aviation systems will need to be able to operate against adversaries with advanced capabilities even in a contested airspace. Embedded systems need to be designed with cybersecurity in mind and may require some size, weight and power tradeoffs. U.S. Army graphic by Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center VizLab

Embedded systems are emerging as the latest challenge in the drive to secure deployed U.S. military technologies, including those residing within weapons and flight controllers. Because they are deeply entrenched inside critical hardware, these systems can be tricky to safeguard, so cybersecurity and cyber resiliency must be considered at the beginning of the design and architecture process. And although upgrades can boost embedded systems’ cybersecurity, system operators must determine when the potential pitfalls of doing so outweigh the benefits.

January 1, 2019
By Rand Waltzman
The ability to create a digital alter ego would put control of sharing personal information in an individual’s hand. Artificial intelligence within the device also would warn an owner when data is likely disinformation aimed at influencing behavior. Credit: sdecoret/Shutterstock.com

Up until the digital age, wars involved a limited number of combatants with clear identities battling within distinct boundaries visible on a map. These conflicts ended either with a victor or as a stalemate. But today’s information warfare does not fit this traditional model. Instead, it comprises an unlimited number of potential combatants, many with hidden identities and agendas.

Cyberspace is a theater of operations that is nowhere and everywhere. Within this domain, information warfare will not and in fact cannot come to any conclusion. This conflict closely resembles an incurable disease that can be managed so the patient can lead a productive life but is never completely cured.

January 1, 2019
By Nicola Whiting
The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time, developed at San Diego State University, can detect changes in physiology and behavior during interviews with travelers. Photo by Aaron Elkins

Artificial intelligence can analyze vast amounts of information, identifying patterns and anomalies at a speed and scale beyond human capacity. To make it an invaluable part of defense, the goal will be to create cybersecurity systems that can anticipate national security threats. Once systems can automatically reconfigure themselves and their security controls to prevent any potential breaches, the next step will be to move to machines with the power to make their own decisions.

January 1, 2019
By Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan White

Cybersecurity in complex systems is a significant challenge for the federal government that must be addressed in the coming years. As shown in the recent Government Accountability Office report (GAO-19-128) on cybersecurity in major weapons systems, we are nowhere near solving this problem. At this critical juncture, I propose that we take a step back to analyze the performance and viability of the cybersecurity system before a significant effort is spent on emergency patches and system redesigns.

December 4, 2018
 

Today’s government missions and challenges are more complex and larger in scale than ever before, and they require informed, data-driven solutions, approaches and insights. DoD must be able to tap into the power of data to solve mission challenges, realize new degrees of operational efficiency and remain relevant in an information-rich world.

November 30, 2018
By Sean Berg
Small contractors remain cyber's weak link in the defense industrial chain. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

The U.S. defense industrial supply chain is vast, complex and vulnerable. Organic components, large-scale integrators, myriad commercial service providers, and tens of thousands of private companies sustain the Defense Department. According to the SANS Institute, the percentage of cyber breaches that originate in the supply chain could be as high as 80 percent.

December 1, 2018
By Shaun Waterman
Credit: sp3n/Shutterstock

Powered by recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, long-hyped technologies such as facial recognition and behavioral biometrics are promising frictionless identity authentication. In the near future, people will be able prove who they are without even trying and sometimes without even knowing they’re doing it.

November 29, 2018
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Rawpixel.com

Threat researchers from McAfee Labs have released their 2019 cybersecurity threats predictions report. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are expected to become more sophisticated and collaborative as the “underworld” consolidates into stronger malware-as-a-service families actively working together.

Software and security teams will need to adapt as threats become more complex. McAfee predicts more attackers will be using artificial intelligence to avoid detection by security software. “In fact, an entire underground economy has emerged where criminals can now outsource products and dedicated services to aid their activities,” says Thomas Roccia, a researcher on the team.

November 16, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
 Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh III, USA, J-6, Indo-Pacific Command, leads a panel discussion on combined cyber operations in the Indo-Pacific region. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

Across the vast Indo-Pacific region, all roads lead to cyber, according to a panel of U.S. and foreign military and civilian experts. Speaking on the final day of AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018, held November 14-16 in Honolulu, the panel discussed the need for interoperability amid growing cybersecurity concerns.

November 16, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Speakers at a TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018 panel on achieving cyber resilience in the Indo-Pacific region are (l-r) Jodi Ito, ISO, University of Hawaii; Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, DISA and commander, JFHQ DODIN; Jeff Watkins, Commercial Solutions for Classified, NSA; and John Zangardi, CIO, DHS. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

Technologies need to be less centralized and people need to be more informed if the Indo-Pacific region is to improve its cybersecurity, according to a panel of military and civilian experts. Speaking on the third and final day of AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018, held November 14-16 in Honolulu, the experts explored security measures that begin with network architecture and end with individual practices.

November 15, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Australian Army Brig. Colin Karotam, assigned to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, leads a panel exploring how technology will help meet the challenges of the vast region. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

Being able to conduct successful operations in the Indo-Pacific region will require top-notch intelligence, and information technologies hold the key to achieving that goal, said panelists discussing how to incorporate cyber into multidomain operations. Speaking on the second day of AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018, held November 14-16 in Honolulu, the panelists discussed what is needed as well as how to succeed amid growing challenges.

November 14, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, DISA, and commander, JFHQ-DODIN, describes cybersecurity challenges at a TechNet Asia-Pacific panel.

The United States needs to take a multifaceted approach to cybersecurity to ameliorate problems affecting every sector of government and society, said experts in a panel comprising women in the cyber arena. Two officials each from industry and government described the broad scope of the challenges and potential solutions at AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018, held November 14-16 in Honolulu.

November 14, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Philip S. Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, describes the command's new cyber challenges and policy at TechNet Asia Pacific 2018 in Honolulu.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is seeking the capabilities and enabling technologies to conduct “full-spectrum cyber operations” in its vast region of responsibility, according to its commander. Adm. Philip S. Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, described this new cyber push at the keynote luncheon on the first day of AFCEA’s TechNet Asia-Pacific 2018, held November 14-16 in Honolulu.

November 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers

For three years, the U.S. Army has been asking questions about how to converge cyberspace operations, electronic warfare and spectrum management capabilities at the corps level and below to deny, degrade, destroy and manipulate enemy capabilities. Now, officials say, they are drawing closer to answers.

In 2015, the service created a pilot program known as Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activity (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below. The CEMA concept integrates elements from offensive and defensive cyber, electronic warfare, and intelligence into expeditionary teams that support tactical units.

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