Cyber

January 1, 2018
By Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, USA (Ret.), and Chris Valentino
The U.S. Army Cyber Command’s 41 Cyber Mission Force teams, including the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade operations center at Fort Meade, Maryland, achieved full operational capability more than a year ahead of schedule. Credit: Steve Stover

The U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force must keep pace with a threat landscape that is evolving at an unprecedented tempo. Cyberthreats are constantly growing in volume, velocity and sophistication, and the force needs a warfighting platform that will allow it to get ahead of attackers. That platform should enable continuous improvement through iterative development at the speed and scale of military operations.

January 1, 2018
By Ryan Brichant
One way international military and government agencies gather information about weather and oceanographic data to enhance forecasting and environmental models is through networked buoys. The Royal Danish Air Force deployed these ice-hardened buoys from a C-130 into the Arctic Ocean in September as part of the International Arctic Buoy Program. Credit: John F. Williams

No longer a curiosity, the Internet of Things has emerged as a highly sought-after technology advantage for organizations worldwide. The federal government has stepped up as an innovator within this space, generating profound advancements with seemingly unlimited promise to support national security missions. Those in doubt need look no further than research from the Center for Data Innovation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan institute, which reveals a broad range of eclectic, real-life implementations. 

January 1, 2018
By Milan Balazik and Col. Katerina Bernardova, CZA (Ret.)
The Czech army examines the dynamics within social groups using a technique called sociomapping, which helps analyze an adversary’s team member relationships and applies to offensive cybersecurity team building.

Modern information and networking technologies bring exciting functionalities to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Manufacturers, service providers and users alike welcome the advancements because they boost business opportunities and enable new and better computing capabilities that offer convenience, increase independence and save time.

Plainly, innovations are appealing, but important security aspects are being pushed into the background. Security adds complexity and limitations to functionality. It requires more resources and seems to slow innovation and increase cost. In a military environment, these hurdles can seriously affect mission success.

December 22, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Veterans, active duty military and civilians welcome wounded warriors from all over the country to Huntsville International Airport in Alabama in commemoration of Veterans Week in November. Big data corporation Splunk is partnering with nonprofit veterans’ organizations to make a difference in getting veterans back to work. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Teddy Wade.

In 2016, big data software company Splunk promised to donate a minimum of $100 million in software licenses, training, support and education to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions over the next 10 years. The company’s Splunk4Good initiative supports nonprofit organizations, academic research and social improvements.

December 21, 2017
By Thomas Jones
Federal contractors need to be able to show by January 1 they have a plan in place to meet NIST’s new cybersecurity mandate. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

There’s a new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework that’s going against the grain. The Department of Defense has mandated that contractors comply with the guidance laid out in NIST special publication 800-171, which aims to strengthen the protection of controlled unclassified information. Why focus contractors’ limited resources on protecting information that is not top secret? Even if information is not top secret it still can be sensitive. For example, social security numbers, contact information, bank account details and other personal information about U.S.

December 19, 2017
By Joe Kim
Artificial intelligence is helping to solve many problems, but humans remain a crucial element for cybersecurity. Credit: GDJ/Pixabay

In the federal government space, the machines have risen, but they’re not here to threaten us. Instead, agencies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to bolster the U.S.’s cybersecurity posture.

There are many reasons for this emergent interest. Agencies are dealing with enormous amounts of data and network traffic from many different sources, including on premises and from hosted infrastructures—and sometimes a combination of both. It’s impossible for humans to sift through this massive amount of information, which makes managing security a task that cannot be exclusively handled manually.

December 13, 2017
By Bob Gourley and Jane Melia
Due to the varying needs of each agency, the FedRAMP process was designed to find solutions that align only with broad government needs. Credit: Blackboard/Shutterstock

The cloud and data security go hand-in-hand. While cloud computing provides valuable IT architectures and solutions for government agencies, it also requires them to relinquish data security to public cloud service providers. 

December 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

A lightning strike last year delivered a new way for Marianne Bailey, the National Security Agency’s new deputy national manager for national security systems, to illuminate the cybersecurity threat.

The bolt burned Bailey’s house, and the burglar alarm was one of the last items she replaced. “The poor burglar alarm guy was telling me about all this great capability where I can get this thing on my smartphone, and I can turn it on and turn it off,” she relates.

Her response: “I want the dumb one that’s not connected to Wi-Fi.”

December 1, 2017
By Wayne Lloyd
Global information system technology is an integral part of farming. Tampering with these devices via the Internet could cause farmers to make decisions based on faulty data.

By 2025, an estimated 75 billion or more devices will be connected via the Internet. While the ability to access data on any device from any device multiplies productivity exponentially, it also creates unforeseeable vulnerabilities that organizations are only beginning to understand.

Last year’s Mirai botnet distributed denial-of-service attack, which infected millions of devices, demonstrates the multifaceted challenges federal agencies and private-sector companies face when securing their devices and networks. These challenges will only continue to grow both inside and outside of these domains.

December 1, 2017
By Maj. Gen. Earl D. Matthews, USAF (Ret.)
A civilian cyber corps could support two of U.S. Cyber Command’s three primary missions: defend Defense Department networks to ensure their data is held securely and defend critical infrastructure.

A civilian reserve cyber corps deserves strong consideration as a way to add more capacity to the cyber work force, which the nation has struggled to do for a number of years. The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) could serve as a model for the corps and ultimately help the U.S. government and the Defense Department shore up their shortfall of cyber resources.

November 27, 2017
By Tony Bardo
The new generation of network solutions associated with the EIS contract vehicle will benefit all involved—the agencies, the vendors and the taxpayers. Credit: chombosan/Shutterstock

After analyzing lessons learned from a delay-riddled transition to Networx, where a 33-month long process resulted in a costly overrun of about $395 million, the General Services Administration (GSA) came well prepared to make the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract transition a much smoother process.

November 9, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Mark A. Milley, USA, chief of staff of the Army, speaks at CyConUS 2017.

The worldwide cyber conflict is only going to increase and the risks and devastating economic impacts will continue to mount. The United States and other "like-minded" countries must spring into action, increase their cyber warfare capabilities, put in place national cyber policies and promulgate stronger international cyber laws to fend off aggressive cyber actors, warned experts at the CyConUS 2017 conference in Washington, D.C., on November 7. The event was co-hosted by the Army Cyber Institute, West Point and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), Tallinn, Estonia.

November 9, 2017
By Tom Jenkins
Software-defined networking offers an array of network modernization benefits.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Operational Test and Evaluation Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report indicates that while there has been significant cybersecurity progress over the past few years, network defense as a warfighting function continues to be undervalued.

Despite the department’s concerted and progressive network modernization efforts, many networks are built on outdated legacy architectures that were never designed to address the challenges posed by continually evolving threat vectors. Neither agile nor flexible enough to be able to adjust, they are vulnerable to the security risks posed by increasingly intelligent, nimble and enterprising hackers.

November 8, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) Office of Inspector General (OIG) says the department needs to improve how it facilitates cyberthreat information sharing between federal government agencies and the private sector. Although the OIG acknowledges DHS’ progress in enabling sharing among government entities, the department’s system still focuses on volume, velocity and timeliness of information but does not provide the quality, contextual data needed for the private sector to effectively defend against ever-evolving threats.  

November 6, 2017
By Joe Kim
Five basic steps can help agencies build an advanced and solid security posture.

The government’s effort to balance cybersecurity with continued innovation was underscored last year with the publication of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity’s Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy. The report included key recommendations for cybersecurity enhancements, while also serving as a sobering reminder that “many organizations and individuals still fail to do the basics” when it comes to security.

November 1, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division engage ISIS militants in artillery fire to support Iraqi and Peshmerga fighters in Mosul, Iraq. U.S. success on the physical battlefield may drive fighting to the cybersphere.

The United States should not underestimate the ability of terrorist organizations such as ISIS to mount cyber attacks against the homeland, says John Mulligan, former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. As the nation works to shrink territorial control of the caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the battlefront extends virtually to the cyber domain, and America must be prepared.

November 2, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Panelists discuss the need for cybersecurity internationally during TechNet Asia-Pacific.

It is essential to learn from cyber attacks conducted by state and nonstate actors to define resilience for cybersecurity or cyber terrorism. "We need to develop a threat model for cyber resilience. We have to be prudent to distinguish between cyber warfare and cyber terrorism," said Anita T. Abbott, Ph.D., director, adjunct professor, Global Partnership and Development Ltd., during the TechNet Asia-Pacific conference.

October 31, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Terry Halvorsen of Samsung Electronics addresses the crowd at TechNet Asia-Pacific.

Data, in the world of Terry Halvorsen, is more like milk than wine. It does not get better with age, and if you leave it out too long, it will spoil. Halvorsen is chief information officer and executive vice president IT and Mobile Communication B2B Business, Samsung Electronics. “We are keeping and storing vast amounts of data that does not do anything for us," he explained during his keynote address at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific.

You often hear that storage is cheap, but all that stored data has an impact on the speed of the data you want. It makes it harder to find the data you want or to aggregate it in a meaningful way. 

November 1, 2017
 
CSRA will manage millions of cybersecurity endpoints for the U.S. Defense Department under a newly awarded $163 million task order.

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has awarded a $163 million task order to SRA International, a subsidiary of CSRA Inc. The award directs CSRA to support DISA’s endpoint security solution integrator support effort under the General Services Administration’s Alliant Government-wide Acquisition Contract, the company announced.

November 1, 2017
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Electronic warfare (EW) is one of the most complex, least understood and difficult operating environments we face. U.S. forces in Southwest Asia did not encounter a consistently serious EW challenge, and in some ways, EW has become a forgotten capability. Since the end of the Cold War, when we concentrated on defending and waging EW against the Soviets, attention has turned elsewhere. Now the Soviet heirs in Russia, as well as other adversaries, have refined and sharpened their EW skills. If we engage in a higher level of conflict than we have faced in the recent past, then we will likely confront a foe wielding a vastly improved EW capability that could threaten the success of our operations.

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