The U.S. Secret Service is putting into place its first-ever cyber and information technology strategic plan, which provides a path forward through 2021. Among other goals, the plan calls for the agency to build a world-class network operations security center and to continue the march toward greater mobility for special agents and uniformed officers.
According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 participants at 20 different agencies, federal employee behaviors on mobile devices are putting sensitive government data at risk. Whether agencies realize it or not, federal employees are taking their work home with them—even if an agency does not allow the practice.
As many as 50 percent of federal employees access work email from their personal device, and another 49 percent use their personal device for downloading work documents. There is a significant amount of data movement between personal and work accounts. Any organization, federal or not, should strive for visibility and control over where its data goes.
What will you be doing in 20 years? Have you planned that far ahead? As anyone who thought floppy disks or landlines would stand the test of time knows, predicting that far out is a challenge, especially when it comes to technology. But the U.S. Army has done just that, outlining its vision for an effective, modern enterprise network in the strategic document “Shaping the Army Network: 2025-2040.”
Advances in genomics, medical sensors and data-driven health care increasingly are enabling doctors and patients to make personalized and targeted care decisions. But the effectiveness of these precision medicine capabilities depends on critical cybersecurity components to protect patient privacy and the integrity of patient data.
Happy New Year! While I prepared this column well in advance of its publishing date, I unfortunately can predict with reasonable certainty (though I wish I could do this with the stock market) that another major cybersecurity event occurred last week or will occur next week.
The United States endures hundreds of millions of digital attacks every day, from cases of cyber terrorism by nation-states to identity and trade secret theft by digital criminals. The nation has been fending off an unprecedented range of digital threats, escalating both in intensity and sophistication. In spite of hardened networks protected by some of the most advanced programs, the U.S. government increasingly is a prime target.
There’s no disputing technology’s role in the rapidly changing face of modern warfare. The convergence of commercial services with military applications, such as delivery of real-time data from anywhere using various devices, has changed the physical nature and understanding of what constitutes a combat environment. The U.S. military seeks to define a strategic approach to these converged operations.
I first met Richard Hale, the recently retired Defense Department chief information security officer and deputy chief information officer for cyber security, in 2000. I had arrived for duty on the Joint Staff that August where I became the J-6K, relieving Capt. Nick Harris, USAF. The J-6K position held the duties and policy responsibilities for information assurance (IA) under the director for command, control, communications, and computers. The word cyber was starting to be heard in the background and would eventually overshadow the term “information assurance” as a field of network security.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced that ZeroPoint, an exploit detection and analytics tool, has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics.
Global security readiness received an overall score of 70 percent, or a C- rating, on the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, a decline of six points from last year and lower than the U.S. tally of 78 percent, according to recently released survey results.
The survey, created by Tenable Network Security and conducted by CyberEdge Group, solicited insights from 700 security practitioners in nine countries and across seven like-industries to calculate the global index score. It measures practitioners’ attitudes and perceptions rather than actual cybersecurity system effectiveness and seeks to determine whether cyber defenses meet expectations.
Operating in a relatively new operations domain, cyber fighters are coping with a wide range of challenges, including lack of training and still-to-be-defined policies, doctrines and authorities.
Hackers, take your mark.
Building on the successes of the U.S. Defense Department’s “Hack the Pentagon” bug bounty program launched earlier this year, it’s now the Army’s turn.
Hackers now can register for the “Hack the Army” bug bounty challenge, a competition modeled after the Defense Digital Service’s “Hack the Pentagon” pilot. The Army program is focused on more operationally relevant websites—specifically those affecting the service’s recruiting mission, according to a news release.
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, told the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific audience he is concerned about the cyber threat posed by insiders, but also warned against limiting employees’ sense of freedom.
U.S. military and civilian experts on protecting critical infrastructure control systems debated whether a cyber attack on common information systems or on industrial control systems would be more deadly in response to an audience question at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.
The military that can control and deny access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum will be the victors of the next war, predicts Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), former director of cyberspace operations and chief information security officer for the Air Force.
Attaining supremacy within that crucial domain should be driving emerging technologies that will give the U.S. military the technical overmatch on the battlefield, said Matthews, speaking Wednesday at MILCOM 2016, a three-day international conference for military communications.
Efforts to increasingly digitize networks that run the nation’s critical infrastructure enterprises also are boosting attack surfaces and vulnerabilities in an enduring cybersecurity contest in which hackers target those weaknesses with an elevated furor, experts admonished during a panel discussion on the issue.
The future of warfighting is smaller and lighter—technology that will let troops conduct battles from a smartphone or tablet, said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA.
The burgeoning cyber domain as a battlefront has done more than shift the front lines for warfighters—it has virtually erased them. At the same time, traditional armies continue to threaten U.S. national security both at home and abroad. Given the scope of cyber and conventional warfare, how does the U.S. military balance its competing needs?