Cyber

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

You might think that homomorphic cryptography, obfuscation techniques and privacy concerns have nothing in common. You would be mistaken. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Defense Department that creates breakthrough technologies, is advancing these complex but intrinsically connected concepts in a series of efforts that could alter the art of making and breaking code. 

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. adversaries know they can exploit cyber vulnerabilities and are getting away with it with ease and on the cheap. This reality is as befuddling to officials as it is enraging, and it has some experts calling on the federal government to embrace a new defense approach: Put up or shut up.

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

The need to secure data never has been greater, and that need is growing. Encrypting data is one of the main methods of securing information at the source, in storage and in transit. With data breaches becoming more common and more serious, organizations and individuals increasingly are encrypting information. This trend ultimately could lead to significant changes in the data security realm.

Fraud, theft and information corruption have become a way of life in cyberspace. Vital information such as health care data has joined financial and personal data as a prime target of hackers. 

May 1, 2017
By Sarah Christensen

Entitled. Self-centered. Disaffected. These are just a few of the divisive and disparaging words used to describe millennials. The largest generation in U.S. history—an emerging consumer powerhouse—is making significant cultural changes centered around revolutionary, life-enhancing technologies. Tomorrow’s successes are sure to stem from millennials who are pushing the limits.

Perhaps fewer ecosystems can benefit more from this work force’s M.O. than cyberspace, experts shared during the recent debut of a Young AFCEAN panel at West 2017.

May 1, 2017
By Maj. Gen. Earl D. Matthews, USAF (Ret.)

I’ve heard a lot of talk about cyberthreats over the past 15 years, yet I haven’t seen anyone offer a holistic way to address them. As I reflect on my own experiences and challenges in information and operational technology, the last problem of this magnitude that we had to face was the feared millennium bug, or Y2K. A mere 17 years later, the information technology landscape looks eerily the same. For many chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs), the size and scope of the millennium bug is about the same as today’s major security challenge: the cyber bug.

April 25, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Daryl Haegley, with the U.S. Defense Department, discusses how a number of military networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks because of outdated and under-protected operating systems in the critical infrastructure domain.

Though the U.S. Defense Department has spent much time and money to protect high-value network assets such as emails from cyber intruders, the systems remain vulnerable to attacks. So imagine the weaknesses to systems that haven’t garnered as much defense attention or reinforcements, a senior official said.

“We have spent a lot of time—and have been very successful at—protecting our email information,” said Daryl Haegley, program manager for Business Enterprise Integration (BEI) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment. “But what about the control systems, manufacturing systems, facilities networks, medical devices? What we’re finding is ‘not so much.’ 

April 28, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the transition of Hyperion, a malware detection technology, to the commercial marketplace.

April 24, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A panel discussion examines innovation as a security imperative at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa.

Needing innovation for cybersecurity more than ever, NATO and its member nations still do not have a concrete plan to speed new capabilities into alliance and national systems. Intricate procurement processes compound the absence of cooperation among firms while cyber adversaries continue to improve their methods and broaden their capabilities.

April 21, 2017

Adversaries, and cyber criminal organizations in particular, are building tools and using techniques that are becoming so difficult to detect organizations are having a hard time knowing that intrusions are taking place. Passive techniques of watching for signs of intrusion are less and less effective. Environments are complicated, and no technology can find 100 percent of malicious activity, so humans have to “go on the hunt.”

April 19, 2017
By Joe Kim

Through its significant investment in networked systems and smart devices, the U.S. Defense Department has created an enormously effective—yet highly vulnerable—approach to national security. The department has begun investing more in the Internet of Things (IoT), which has gone a long way toward making ships, planes, tanks and other weapon systems far more lethal and effective. Unfortunately, the IoT's pervasive connectivity also has increased the vulnerability of defense networks and the potential for cyber attacks.

April 13, 2017
By Jane Melia

While we are all still in the early stages of a networked, always-on Internet of Things world, this is the precise time to develop crucial and effective cybersecurity solutions to combat growing threats. The developing ecosystem needs new ideas for bold government actions, particularly to reduce the risks of quantum computers.

Quantum Threats Looming

April 11, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Just as free world militaries are moving toward a convergence of cyberspace, electronic warfare and signals intelligence, the dividing lines that define cyberthreats are disappearing as U.S. adversaries join forces against common targets. Nation-states now are cooperating with cyber criminals and hackers to pursue similar goals. Being motivated by either politics or profit is no drawback to the unholy alliance forming worldwide in cyberspace.

April 11, 2017
By Leon Adato

SDN, BYOA, VDI. This alphabet soup of technologies and approaches has complicated U.S. Defense Department networks.

Trends such as bring your own device (BYOD), bring your own application (BYOA), software-defined networking (SDN) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) have dramatically increased network vulnerabilities, where failures, slowdowns or breaches can cause great damage. For the military, specifically, such occurrences can be serious and mission altering, exposing incredibly sensitive data.

April 10, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Millions of student, staff and faculty email addresses and passwords from 300 of the largest universities in the United States have been stolen and are being circulated by cyber criminals on the dark web, according to a recent report. 

Hacktivists, scam artists and even terrorists intend to sell, trade or just give away the addresses and passwords, said the Digital Citizens Alliance report. 

April 7, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
The proposed update to the NIST cybersecurity framework further develops voluntary guidelines for organizations to reduce their risk.

The comment deadline is Monday for changes introduced to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) draft update to its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

The proposed update aims to further develop voluntary guidelines for organizations to reduce cybersecurity risks. It provides details on managing cyber supply chain risks, clarifies key terms and introduces measurement methods for cybersecurity, the agency states. 

April 7, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Northrop Grumman Foundation awarded $50,000 in scholarships to high school teams that excelled at the CyberPatriot IX National Finals Competition this week in Baltimore.

The CyberPatriot IX finals featured 28 high school and middle school teams that defended virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The competition drew a record 4,404 teams, a 30 percent increase over last year, according to a press release. 

April 6, 2017
By Ali Cybulski
The number of women in cybersecurity has remained stagnant over the past few years, a new report says.

Women comprise just 11 percent of the information security work force, and despite being more educated than men in the field, hold fewer senior-level positions and earn less money, new research shows. Female representation in the industry also has remained unchanged since 2013, according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education’s Women in Cybersecurity report.

April 5, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

As the Internet of Things, or IoT, steadily migrates from fantasy to reality, the accompanying cybersecurity challenges posed by billions of connected devices have become not only evident, but a leading concern for federal technologists.

The lack of IoT security tops a list of critical concerns for surveyed professionals wrestling to address the challenges increasingly front and center as the sheer number of connected devices and sensors grows, according to results of a recent Brocade survey.

April 4, 2017
By Robert Kim
U.S. officials hold a press conference in March announcing indictments of Russian FSB officers and hacking conspirators for breach of Yahoo accounts.

The U.S. government took a vital tangible step toward clearly defining rules of cyber war when the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment on March 15 accusing two operatives of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and two hired computer hackers of being behind last year's massive cyber breach of Yahoo.

April 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Students in the Joint Cyber Analysis Course work together at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida. As the U.S. Navy increasingly partners with the other services on cyber operations, it also is dealing with the type of advanced threats facing the cyber realm at large.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cognitive computing soon could be setting sail to aid the U.S. Navy in its battle to conquer cyberspace. Such capabilities could hold the key to improving cyber defense, while other approaches are making their way into offensive cyber operations, says the Navy’s top cyber officer.

Some technologies the Navy seeks are dual-use in the sense that they can be employed by defenders as well as attackers. Automation, for example, is being used by nation-states to probe and prey upon large blocks of Internet protocol (IP) space in both the military and commercial realms. Yet defenders also may rely on automation to help detect and respond to cyberthreats early in an attack.

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