Cyber

June 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense says cybersecurity is a game changer. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Cybersecurity reaches far beyond processes to make doing business easier—it’s the “game changer” to counter real consequences that threaten everyday life, said Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

“Cyber attacks are no more science fiction,” Suder said. “They are real and will become even more critical in the future. The trajectory [of safeguarding networks] is not going in the right direction.” 

June 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves addresses attendees on the inaugural day of the three-day NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

NATO is dangling roughly 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funding for future cyber-based initiatives to match—and then surpass—the increasingly sophisticated attacks against its 28-member alliance, officials announced Tuesday on the inaugural day of the NITEC 2016 conference.

Increased Russian aggression, instability in Europe’s south, the Syrian refugee crisis and evolving cyberthreats all have contributed toward new strategic realities, but also jockey for the same pot of limited financial resources—mobilizing the alliance to strengthen collaborations with industry for vital solutions. 

June 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The world needs at least 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals who do not exist—a labor shortage created by the increase in frequency and severity of cyber attacks and employers all fishing from the same pond, said Michael Cameron, vice president for business development, cyber and cybersecurity at Leidos, at the NITEC 2016 cyber conference.

Solutions exist to help bridge the gap, including a detailed effort developed by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

June 6, 2016
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

A security framework established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is serving as a template for protecting networks using a threat-centric approach. The framework establishes five core functions in sequential order, and they are applicable across all network sectors.

The five core functions are Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover. Some of them can be bundled as part of an overall cybersecurity program, which is an approach already being adopted by commercial security providers.

June 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

When we closely examine U.S. cybersecurity policy, one point stands out. Many in the public, industry and government are not well-educated or informed about the causes and effects of our cybersecurity failings or their remedies. These knowledge gaps differ among and within each sector, but cumulatively they add up to the vulnerable state of affairs that defines securing our national cyberspace. Policy must be continually assessed, focused and adjusted to meet the needs of this dynamic domain.

June 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, USA (Ret.)

The second in a series of articles

Among the latest steps the federal government has taken to reform the acquisition process, the U.S. Defense Department initiatives Better Buying Power 2.0 and 3.0 aim to improve the affordability of weapon system development and reduce the bureaucracy of program acquisition. In addition, Congress recently passed H.R. 1232, the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which seeks better ways to obtain and manage federal information technology systems.

May 23, 2016
By Max Emelianov

April marked one of the largest data breaches in history, with 11.5 million confidential documents leaked online. How did it happen—and what can we learn from it?  

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the so-termed Panama Papers, one of the largest data leaks in history. The law firm Mossack Fonseca, a firm that specialized in helping clients create offshore financial holdings, reported that 11.5 million confidential documents leaked online, comprising more than 2 terabytes of data.

May 19, 2016
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA (Ret.) (l), spoke with conference attendees about the importance of academic, industry and Army partnership for innovation in the cyber domain.

Through innovation, we must adjust the human-machine balance to increase operational effectiveness. This begins with investing in people and technology, said Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA (Ret.) at the AFCEA International/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium. Our service men and women have trust in each other, but they must have trust that we will provide the capabilities to keep them successful. Trust is the number one ingredient that will create or hinder innovation, he explained.

Gen. Hernandez is West Point Cyber Chair to the Army Cyber Institute and president of CyberLens LLC. He was the first commander of Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER).

May 18, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Vint Cerf, touted as one of the “fathers of the Internet” and now vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, speaks at AFCEA International/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Is the emergence of robotics raising a generation of meat puppets? Are you a meat puppet?

While the questions posed by Bob Gourley, co-founder of Cognitio, drew a little laughter from attendees at the AFCEA International/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium, they should provide serious fodder for discussion on the people whose jobs are about to be replaced by robots. 

“I hope you laughed at that the term, but I hope that that makes it memorable for you,” Gourley said of slang adopted from sci-fi novels. “I hope it leads to a serious thought … about the people whose jobs are being displaced, because it’s going to be in the millions.” 

May 17, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
John Pellegrino, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Strategic Integration) speaks during the AFCEA DC Chapter's IoT Summit. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The U.S. military must be able to rapidly leverage both technologies and new policies surrounding the Internet of Things—not to keep pace with industry, one official said, but because U.S. adversaries already have figured out how to adapt and capitalize on what’s available.

“The enemy is capable … and we have to be able to do that,” Maj. Scott Cuomo, USMC, said Tuesday at an IoT Summit hosted by the AFCEA DC Chapter.

May 11, 2016
By George I. Seffers
LinQuest's cyber solution allows analysts to view data in 3-D.

LinQuest Corporation officials are now offering a new game-based technology that allows cyber analysts to view data in an immersive 3-D environment, which the company says allows quicker understanding of the data, saving users both time and money.

The 3-D Cyber Immersive Collaboration Environment (ICE) allows analysts to create a 3-D virtual world in which users are represented as avatars able to interact with big data analytics and/or real-time systems. The virtual world includes video feeds, data feeds, web interfaces, data visualizations and analytical tools. Once the crisis is over, the virtual world and its super metadata can be archived into the cloud.

May 11, 2016
By George I. Seffers

Ultra Electronics, 3eTI, will soon see its CyberFence solution being integrated into programmable logic controllers, which often are used for automation of critical infrastructure—telling a power generator when to turn on and off, for example. CyberFence enables facility operators to monitor and address issues securely and remotely within the grid, saving time, energy and resources.

May 10, 2016
By Ray Rothrock

Let’s face it—we have a lot to learn about cybersecurity. For weeks, the FBI and Apple squared off in an epic and public battle over encryption—the Holy Grail for cybersecurity warriors. “Help us break the iPhone,” said the FBI. “The risk is too great, too many will be harmed,” Apple retorted. But the battle was over before the parties fully engaged. The FBI found someone to hack the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters and said, “Never mind, problem solved.”

Does this make you feel secure? With attacks launched every day, I don’t think so.

May 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division conduct fast rope insertion extraction techniques with their Marine Corps and Air Force counterparts. Elements of the 25th participated in the Army’s recent Cyber Blitz exercise, which will help define the future of cyber and spectrum warfare.

The U.S. Army last week completed an exercise designed to further define how the service adapts operationally to modern threats, including cyber attacks and electromagnetic warfare. During the exercise, the Army tested the cyber-electromagnetic activities (CEMA) cell concept within a brigade combat team and introduced new, yet-to-be-fielded technologies.

May 5, 2016
By Robert B. Dix Jr.

Many people involved in the discussion about cyber information sharing fail to grasp the fact that the sharing is only part of what is required to achieve the true objective, which is to attain the timely and actionable situational awareness necessary to inform cyber risk management decision making. Without the attendant analysis and collaboration, information sharing is just that. Some seem to believe that is enough. It is not.

May 2, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

In World War I, the U.S. Army used lumbering GMC trucks for the first time in combat—revolutionary for its time. Today, these vehicles would be considered slow, cumbersome and archaic in comparison to today's fast, powerful and, most of all, constantly connected warfighting machines.

In fact, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), just about everything that can be connected—from tanks to smartwatches—is connected. The Defense Department’s whole work force depends on thousands of devices that work off of disparate operating systems. The net result is a security risk nightmare for those who must secure government IT networks.

April 24, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, USN, commander, Fleet Cyber Command and 10th Fleet, reviews cyberthreats during the AFCEA 2016 AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 3 and Final Wrap-up

Quote of the Day:
“The longer cyber attackers are in, the harder they are to get out.”—Marty Roesch, vice president and chief architect, Cisco Security Business Group

May 1, 2016
By James P. Craft

Acquisition reform has been a topic of discussion among individuals in government, industry and academia for several decades. A regular outpouring of well-written studies has occurred year after year, such as the 1986 Packard Commission report, the 1992 U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) report on weapons acquisition, the 1993 report of the Defense Department Acquisition Law Advisory Panel and the more recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report “Measuring the Outcomes of Acquisition Reform by Major DoD Components.” These studies have made recommendations and measured progress. In some cases, the same recommendations are repeated from study to study. 

May 1, 2016
By Senior Airman Ryan René Rosado, USAF

The advent of cyberspace has opened up many possibilities and now paves the way for a long overdue change in the way voters elect officials. It is time to purge outdated voting methods and use cyber platforms, which can improve voter turnout and the nation’s confidence in returns.

Despite landmark constitutional changes that give the right to vote to most adults, U.S. voter turnout is notoriously low—embarrassingly so. In 2012, 53.6 percent of an estimated voting-age population of nearly 241 million people cast ballots in the U.S. presidential election, according to Pew Research Center. 

April 26, 2016

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has renamed the Continental United States Field Command to reflect the organization’s evolution as a global service provider. The organization, which will soon consolidate the majority of its personnel into a new facility at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is now called the DISA Global Operations Command (DGOC).

The organization, which was informally known as DISA CONUS, was one of four regional field commands and Defense Network Operations Centers operated by DISA. It was originally established in 2003. Unlike DISA’s Central, European and Pacific field commands, DISA CONUS was not directly aligned or co-located with a combatant command headquarters. 

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