The U.S. Defense Department unveiled Thursday a bold information technology and cybersecurity road map that modifies its approach on several efforts in the rapidly changing environments. The guide positions the department’s IT infrastructure and processes for a broad impact, in addition to hopes of greater security and scrutiny, said its chief information officer, Terry Halvorsen.
With all of the public and media attention around high profile cyber attacks such as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach and the Sony hack, it is easy to understand why many in government, as well as others, continue to focus on the consequences associated with major cybersecurity events.
When we think of cyber attacks, we generally picture a lone wolf hacker or Anonymous-type organization. But foreign governments are also formidable threats. Take a moment to scan the headlines and you’ll see that articles about cyber hacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Democratic National Committee—among many others—have been attributed to North Korea and Russia.
When students studying cybersecurity return to Capitol Technology University in Maryland this fall, cash scholarships donated by a former adjunct professor will aid at least two of them.
Nischit Vaidya, president and CEO of Argotis, is driven by a love of education and a desire to give back to his community. The new scholarship program—created in his parents' names—accomplishes that quest and provides a legacy honoring his parents, who endured years of hard work and worry to see their son succeed, he says. “For me, the biggest thing is my mom and dad.”
A private cybersecurity institute is plucking U.S. veterans with related experience, training them and placing them with commercial firms where they can help develop solutions that ultimately could benefit their former services. Government and the military increasingly are calling on industry to provide them with effective cybersecurity, and this program aims to tap the expertise of former military cyber warriors as part of that private sector effort.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced Tuesday it has appointed David DeVries as its new chief information officer. DeVries now leaves the Defense Department, where he serves as the department’s principal deputy chief information officer under Terry Halvorsen.
One often-overlooked aspect of software development is how much programmers rely on open source libraries and packages for prewritten functions. Instead of writing code from scratch, or even copying and pasting code from one program into a new one, programmers often rely on what is called a dependency, the technical term for a shortcut to code maintained by a cloud service provider. Using the method makes a new program dependent on the existence and availability of that particular module. If that dependency is not available or the code functionality is broken, the entire program fails.
AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 3
Quote of the Day:
“We need a network environment where cybersecurity and cyber situational awareness is, in real time, capable of automated response, reacting at machine speed, self-diagnosing and self-healing.”—Gen. Dennis Via, USA, commander, Army Materiel Command
Officials with the Army’s Materiel Command (AMC) have initiated discussions with Army Cyber Command officials to see if the command can play a greater role in the cyber arena, according to Gen. Dennis Via, USA, AMC commander.
AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 2
Quote of the Day:
“There isn’t a warfighting function that isn’t impacted by cyber, so securing, operating and defending the Army portion of the DODIN is a core warfighting capability.” —Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army
On day two of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference, cyber experts from across the military and industry openly and bluntly discussed the challenges of cybersecurity.
When a hacker talks about a novel way to disrupt the power grid, people listen. At least that was the case on day two of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference taking place in Augusta, Georgia.
Shawn Wells, chief security strategist, public sector, Red Hat Inc., who was once busted—and then hired—by the NSA for breaking into the networks at Johns Hopkins University, said he recently learned at a Department of Energy cyber conference about a creative technique hackers used to mess with power distribution.
Wells did not specify when the attack took place.
One of the biggest advances in the near future likely will be the convergence of major military networks into one unified Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), predicts Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army. And that network will be operated and maintained by Signal Corps soldiers.
The Russian Federation forces are using a wide array of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities unlike anything U.S. forces have faced in the past 16 years. Russia uses its sophisticated capabilities to detect, locate and eliminate enemy forces, according to Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Center of Excellence.
Gen. Fogarty made the comments as the first speaker for AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference, Cyber in the Combined Arms Fight, taking place in Augusta, Georgia, August 2-4.
The U.S. government wants to hack the hackers—and be able to talk about it.
In an ambitious effort slated to begin in November, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to delve into developing technologies and processes that would allow authorities to access and then operate inside the networks and systems of cyber adversaries, says Angelos Keromytis, program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.
Research funded through a $9.4 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) could develop a new technique for wirelessly monitoring Internet of Things (IoT) devices for malicious software without affecting the operation of the ubiquitous but low-power equipment, according to a Georgia Tech announcement.
Fourth in an ongoing series of articles
One technique for speeding up the acquisition process is the use of open systems architecture. Employing open systems architecture (OSA) capabilities is the intelligent way to create next-generation solutions for warfighters in all services. OSA-based solutions can optimize scarce financial and engineering resources and enable the United States and its coalition partners to extend their strategic military advantages over global adversaries.
As government and businesses struggle to hire and retain highly qualified cybersecurity experts, it just might be time for the people sporting purple mohawks to receive consideration for the coveted jobs, some experts say.
The White House released this month the first-ever Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy that sets in motion aggressive plans to recruit and retain cyber talent, and the Defense Department seeks to loosen for cyber personnel some of its hiring constraints within the civil service system.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Defense Department embarked on a Cybersecurity Discipline Implementation Plan identifying specific tasks that department’s IT personnel must perform to reinforce basic cybersecurity requirements identified in policies, directives and orders across the agency.
The plan, publicly unveiled in March after being amended, segments tasks into four key “lines of effort” to strengthen cybersecurity initiatives:
Despite all of the talk of cyber technology safeguards being built in versus bolted on, security remains an afterthought for a vast majority of digital transformation activities such as mobility, cloud services and the Internet of Things, according to a recent industry survey.
Do you play Pokemon Go?
The craze surrounding the augmented reality game that blends modern technology with a hint of nostalgia has resulted in a lot of benefits, from getting people outdoors to striking up conversations with strangers. But security concerns cause the hair of cybersecurity experts and privacy practitioners to stand on end worse than Brock’s.
The mobile app, created by Niantic and supported by the Pokemon company Nintendo and Alphabet, which owns Google, has taken the nation by storm. The free app uses GPS and real-world aspects and overlays the Pokemon characters on a cartoon map of neighborhoods.
There’s more, but back to the security issue.
The U.S. Army is testing how cyberwarriors adjust to morphing cyber threats and electromagnetic warfare (EW) attacks during its Cyber Quest 2016, an exercise now underway at the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The event examines concepts and products that could influence future technologies and requirements as well as other Army and Defense Department exercises and experiments.