Cyber

November 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
A B-2 Spirit lands at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The B-2 Defense Management System Modernization program includes upgrades to electronic warfare systems.

William Conley has a long to-do list.

He serves on the U.S. Defense Department’s Electronic Warfare (EW) Executive Committee, which helped draft the department’s EW strategy, signed earlier this year. Now, the deputy director of electronic warfare in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics is helping to put together an implementation plan for that strategy, which he expects to be signed in the spring.

November 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department researchers are testing cognitive electronic warfare technologies that within the next decade could autonomously counter adversary systems without preprogramming. The capability may allow the military to eclipse its adversaries in the electronic warfare domain.

Three closely related Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programs apply artificial intelligence to the electromagnetic spectrum and will likely result in electronic warfare (EW) systems with unprecedented autonomy. The first two—Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) and Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE) are considered sister programs. Both apply artificial intelligence, or AI, to EW systems.

October 30, 2017
By Maria Horton
DevOps methodologies can help federal and commercial organizations offset risks without compromising their mission.

Today, government agency leaders have been tasked to identify and follow multiple modernization initiatives with the possibility of driving private-sector customizations and delivery practices and the associated business efficiencies into the public sector.

October 27, 2017
By Davis Johnson
The President’s cyber executive order lays out a series of deadlines for federal agencies to meet.

Spanning from the policies circulating through Congress to initiatives set forth by the Trump administration, it’s clear that the federal government has big changes in store when it comes to integrating new forms of innovative technology.

October 24, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Panelists discuss cyber defense at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore.

The threat of cyberwarfare from adversaries is only expected to increase, and the U.S. must boost its cyber defenses, including its training and certification. The military is still considering how best to conduct defensive cyberspace operations education.

October 17, 2017
By Rear Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, USCG
Turning cybersecurity awareness into action requires commanders to own cybersecurity as part of unit operational readiness and service members to own the responsibility for guarding their field of fire on the network. 

Cyberspace is an operational domain, and cybersecurity is essential to the operational readiness of military units to achieve the mission, defeat the adversary and win wars. Our increasing reliance on cyberspace for command and control and operations in all domains, the explosion of networked digital technologies within combat and support systems, and the growing capabilities of adversaries to threaten the United States and its allies in cyberspace mean greater risks to our mission and to national security.

October 12, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Army Staff Sgt. Nate Sanchez runs to assist a competitor during the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, on October 4. The Army is currently outlining plans to make its computer network more of a competitor on the battlefield. Army photo by Pfc. Miguel Pena

To say that the Army’s network needs an update is an understatement. The 1.1 million user-network has, among other things, 17 mission command systems—all “stovepiped,” designed never to interact together. Some of the systems were used in the early 2000s to fight a static war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

October 12, 2017
By John Gilligan

The lines between nation-state and criminal cyber attacks are blurring, and the pace of their onslaughts is increasing geometrically as everyone from private citizens to secure government organizations is targeted. Most importantly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to either cybersecurity or threat intelligence. Each aspect must be tailored to the threat and the threatened.

Many of these points were brought forward in an AFCEA classified cyber forum earlier this year. Addressing the theme of “Evolving Cyber Threat Intelligence, Means, Methods and Motives,” the forum generated some valuable unclassified observations and conclusions relevant to dealing with today’s cyberthreat.

October 10, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Ukraine's defense industry is strengthening its forces, including its cyber capabilities.

Having confronted a need to modernize and fight against aggression during the last four years, Ukraine is positioning itself for strength in the long term in its weaponry and cyberwarfare. The country is developing its domestic defense industry base, which includes cyber capabilities.

“Ukraine clearly understands what needs to be done to keep the world’s democracy safe,” said Director General Roman Romanov of the Ukrainian Defense Industry, known as UkrOboronProm.  “Ukraine has gained practical experience in resistance to a new type of aggression, which the whole world has never faced before. We believe we are to share this experience with all the democratic world.”

October 3, 2017
By Theresa Payton
Nearly every business has an app, and if the app is not secure, neither is the business.

Apps are one of the main channels consumers use to interact with your business, and nearly every business has one. Because of this, apps are an evident touch point of vulnerability. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated over the past few years, making app hacks difficult to spot. In fact, most organizations find out too late they’ve been hacked and are left to deal with damage control.

But how can you tell if your company’s app has been compromised? Keep an eye out for these three clues in your everyday operation:

The app isn’t acting by design.

October 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

A group of U.S. government researchers focused on fortifying homeland security has cybersecurity technology development down to a science.

Those researchers work for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), within the Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T’s) Cyber Security Division. The division, like the entire department, supports a wide range of missions, including science and technology research along with protecting critical infrastructure, securing government systems, assisting law enforcement and developing, training and educating the cyber work force.

October 1, 2017
By Lt. Col. Mark A. Russo, USA (Ret.)

Cybersecurity is not about shortcuts. There is no quick route to address increasingly sophisticated attacks or to undo years of neglect wrought by security managers avoiding the problem.

Many experts had hoped that the colossal breach of the Office of Personnel Management several years ago might have heralded much-needed focus, energy and funding to defeat the bad guys. That has proved to be an empty hope, and officials have continued to abrogate their authority to lead in cyberspace.

October 1, 2017
By John Dawson

In a constantly evolving cyberthreat landscape where firewalls and antiviruses have become old hat, organizations must adopt more technologically advanced ways to protect crucial data. Advanced machine learning algorithms can learn the routine patterns of life for every user and device in a network to detect anomalies and adapt accordingly. The most pressing need for this augmented intelligence is in security operations centers, where teams of analysts search for threats by poring over hundreds of thousands of security events every day.

October 1, 2017
By Gen. Artur Pina Monteiro, POA
Experts at a Portuguese cyber defense center monitor network activity as they guard against intrusions. Portugal leads the Multinational Cyber Defence Education and Training (MNCDE&T) project, which is designed to help bring together NATO and allied nations to combat cyber attacks.

Cyberspace is often described as the fifth domain of military operations, as equally critical to national and international defense as the domains of land, sea, air and space. The success of military missions increasingly depends on the availability of cyberspace and freedom of action in it. Robust and resilient cyber defense capabilities are now required to support military structures, missions and operations. Although many nations have recently made great progress in developing their cyber defense capabilities, a consensus is growing that there is much room for improvement.

September 27, 2017
By Thomas Jones
With the clock ticking toward a new fiscal year, agency leaders are putting the finishing touches on their cybersecurity wish lists.

It’s that time of year. With the government fiscal year ending, agency leaders are pushing through their last-minute budget wish lists. A core part of those wishes either does or should relate to cybersecurity.

September 20, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
The winning computer in the DOD’s 2016 Cyber Grand Challenge, "Innovations in Defense: Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Cybersecurity,” highlights the department’s advanced cybersecurity abilities as a federal agency. A recent survey from SolarWinds found that DOD agencies are more prepared for cyber attacks as compared to civilian agencies. 

More and more, U.S. federal agencies are seeing inappropriate Internet access breaches, rogue devices and denial of service attacks. A key reason why: federal agencies are hindered by budget constraints that prevent information technology (IT) improvements. Agencies also have to juggle competing priorities, complex internal environments and poor top-level decision-making when it comes to cyber management, asserts a recent study from Herndon, Virginia-based SolarWinds Worldwide. The company conducted a survey of 200 federal government IT professionals in July to assess their cybersecurity challenges during the past 12 months.

September 21, 2017
By Mike Murray
In order to be effective, Internet of Things security should focus on the number one thing in IoT: the mobile device.

In reaction to the large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that made headlines last year, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation establishing minimum security requirements for government-purchased Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

September 20, 2017
By Bob Gourley and Jane Melia
U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists have demonstrated they can 3-D print drones tailored for specific missions. As unmanned systems proliferate on the battlefield, the military may need to consider a new law of robotics regarding cybersecurity. U.S. Army photo by Angie DePuydt

Science fiction fans recognize Asimov’s prescient thoughts on robot programming, captured in his three laws of robotics. In Asimov’s sci-fi world, robots were all programmed to protect their humans (the first law), to obey their humans (the second law) and to protect themselves (the third law). These laws laid the foundation for many fantastic, futuristic stories and have long provided actionable concepts for today’s robots, including those we launch over our modern battlefields. As the stories advanced, he later added another law, called the “zeroth” law, which had priority over all the others, “A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.”

September 20, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Army Research Laboratory researchers examined network activity data to determine likelihood of cyber attacks.

A team at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory has created four generalized linear models to predict the number of cyber intrusions a company or government will experience on its network. To design the models, the team used empirical data about successful cyber intrusions committed against a number of different organizations obtained from a cyber defense services provider that defended the organizations’ networks.

September 19, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Continuous cybersecurity training enables organizations to better use the expertise within their staffs. (Photo by Shutterstock)

A survey of thousands of information technology professionals reveals that a majority of organizations have too few security workers and nearly half do not provide adequate resources for security training. According to the “IT Professionals Are a Critically Underutilized Resource for Cybersecurity” study, 51 percent of the respondents said their systems are less able to defend against a cyber attack compared to a year ago.

Pages