When your personal applications are slow, there’s no doubt it’s frustrating. The news clip buffers, the song won’t download, a game takes ages to start up, etc. But when apps perform slowly for military, intelligence or other critical government entities, national security might, in fact, be at risk.
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) views cyberspace as one of the bureau’s top priorities across its entire mission set. Not only is economic national security threatened from cyberspace, it also may hold clues to deterring and preventing crimes—if the bureau can exploit it effectively.
“Cyber touches everything I’m responsible for,” said FBI director James Comey. “It’s not a thing, it’s a way.” Comey described the important of cyberspace at the final plenary session of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.
Among the many perils faced by the United States, space and cyberspace pose some of the greatest challenges. And, there is no public wave of awareness or demand for action looming on the horizon, to the detriment of the nation.
The U.S. Defense Department is developing new strategic approaches to deal with new threats that have novel aspects, and these approaches are being reflected in defense intelligence capabilities. These capability changes will need to take place concurrent with ongoing operations to address these challenges, according to a high-ranking Defense Department official.
The Internet of Things promises to change everyday life—and intelligence operations—but it remains far from reality, according to government and industry experts. Aspects ranging from security to architectures remain to be determined as changing technologies alter outlooks.
The key to exploiting cyber intelligence is to understand your own organization in a threat context, said panelists at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Government and industry must understand their cyberthreats at both the tactical and strategic levels, panelists offered.
The Internet of Things that will connect virtually all electronic devices in a surge of ubiquitous networking will be a target-rich environment to terrorists, saboteurs, criminals and other cybermarauders, according to a panel focusing on that aspect of future cyberspace.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to replace its Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT, in the next two to four years, an official with the department says. IDENT is DHS's central system for storing and processing biometric and associated biographic information for various homeland security purposes.
Technique Solutions Inc., Stafford, Virginia, was awarded a $25 million indefinite- delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for the entire spectrum of equipment and services associated with the Cyber Network Defense mission and information assurance support. Funding and work location will be determined with each order, with a completion date of Sept. 14, 2019. Army Contracting Command, Key West, Florida, is the contracting activity (W912PX-14-D-0002).
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has transitioned the first technology in its Transition to Practice (TTP) program to commercial market two years ahead of schedule. The effort involves Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Quantum Secured Communication, which was picked up by the company Allied Minds. That private-sector entity exclusively licensed the technology in August 2013 and formed Whitewood Encryption Systems Incorporated to bring it to market. The product is a next-generation encryption system that leverages the quantum properties of light.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is seeking information from small businesses as potential sources to provide cyber-related support services; to conduct activities; and to create products to improve the U.S. Defense Department's cyber systems. Specifically, the agency's omnibus indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract will support the U.S. Cyber Command's ability to operate resilient, reliable information and communication networks; counter cyberspace threats; and assure access to cyberspace.
The Online Show Daily: Day 3
The final day of AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 kicked off with a solemn remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that rocked the nation. The conference then, necessarily, moved on to the future.
Although the U.S. Defense Department and the military industry are feeling the effects of constrained budgets, they have not yet been forced to find truly innovative solutions, Mark Bigham, chief innovation officer for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Services, told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 audience.
Bigham quoted Winston Churchill as saying that Americans will always do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all other alternatives. He also cited another Churchill quote: "Gentlemen, we have run out of money, now we have to think."
Mission success in the cyber arena, especially in a constrained budget environment, requires both cooperation and innovation, but military and industry officials speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 say they are not yet seeing enough of either.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, initiated the discussion, saying that cyber is “inherently joint,” and warning against stovepiped systems and information for different mission areas, such as cyber, signal and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Army, he said, has to cooperate with the other services, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, industry and multinational partners.
Senior military leaders will try next week to hash out differences on the command and control (C2) of the Joint Information Enterprise, or JIE, said Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Bowman made the remarks while addressing the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference, Augusta, Georgia.
In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase "military industrial complex" to describe the relationships between the military, Congress and industry. That complex no longer exists, according to Tom Davis, a former vice president for General Dynamics. Davis made the comments during an industry panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference in Augusta, Georgia.
The U.S. Army may at some point need to allow soldiers to conduct offensive cyberwarfare at the brigade combat team level, according to a panel of chief warrant officers speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014, Augusta, Georgia.
U.S. Army officials struggled during AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 in Augusta, Georgia, to discuss the future of cyber operations when much of that future is currently unknowable, in large part because no one knows the full effects or challenges of emerging technologies.
The cyber era requires partnerships and information sharing across the agencies, industries and nations, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, during a keynote address at the AFCEA TechNet 2014 Augusta conference, Augusta, Georgia.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden single-handedly shocked the U.S. intelligence community by leaking reams of information to the news media, but the insider threat is much more widespread, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“Who would imagine one person could have as much impact on this nation as he did,” Gen. Fogarty said, referring to Snowden. “And we were not prepared for that. We were not looking for that. That’s an asymmetric attack that occurred, and it’s happening every single day.”