Cyber

May 20, 2014
By George I. Seffers

People with access to privileged data—such as health care records, sensitive company information, intellectual property or personal records—frequently put their organization’s sensitive information at risk, according to a new report by Raytheon Company. The survey report, “Privileged User Abuse & The Insider Threat,” finds that many individuals often are granted access to data and areas of the network not necessary for their roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, 65 percent of survey respondents indicated that curiosity—not job necessity—drives them to access sensitive or confidential data.

Key findings include:

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A key tenet of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) will be the ability of users to have access to the same information system capabilities regardless of physical location, according to Defense Information System Agency (DISA) officials. Speaking on the final day of AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14, the panel of officials described the importance of mobile capability as well as connectivity.

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Joint Information Environment (JIE) seeks to network the entire defense community, but its ability to address customer requirements could run afoul of its original purpose. Many military users have specific needs that must be addressed, so the JIE must meet those requirements without jeopardizing its desired interoperability.

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Joint Information Environment (JIE) will be relying on virtual capabilities to a greater degree as part of several thrusts within the network. Enabling technologies include the cloud and software modernization as planners strive to ensure interoperability and access wherever users may be located.

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) moves more information than it does any physical commodity, and this development has redefined the command’s security requirements. These requirements are complicated by the presence of commercial providers whose presence poses potential cyberspace vulnerabilities.

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is charging full speed into an infocentric environment that will include mobile technologies, changing the way the agency operates. Part of this effort includes the agency’s own version of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), which will help improve interoperability.

Kathy Cutler, director of information operations (J-6) and chief information officer at the DLA, explained these activities at a panel discussion on the second day of AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. This process began 10 years ago and is moving into a new phase with an increased emphasis on mobile technologies.

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is taking an unconventional approach to equipping its forces for an information environment that does not follow conventional guidelines. The command must provide networking for a theater force that can range from one person up through thousands of people, and it faces diverse mission needs that can require large communications pipes.

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The battle against cybermarauders begins with individual home computers, according to a high-ranking official with the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Rear Adm. Hank Bond, USN, J-6, NORTHCOM, and deputy J-3 for cyberspace operations at NORAD, discussed national cybersecurity in a panel presentation on the second day of AFCEA's three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14.

“Where does homeland security end and homeland defense begin?” he asked. “The contested environment is in the dot com; it's in your computer at home.”

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Fresh off supporting two overseas wars, the National Guard is planning for a larger role in military activities on the home front. Cyber is one area where the Guard may be serving a key role, officials say.

Some of these points were outlined in a panel discussion on the second day of AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. Rear Adm. Hank Bond, USN, J-6, U.S. Northern Command, and deputy J-3 for cyberspace operations at NORAD, said, “Our way forward in cyberspace is to properly develop the force structure around the Guard. The commercial space is the contested space.”

May 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The defense community must move away from email and fully into social media, says the director of the Defense Information System Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, told the audience at AFCEA’s Joint Information Environment Mission Partner Symposium in Baltimore that the defense community must break with the past in digital information technology.

“The wave of the future is in collaboration and social networking, and we have to get there,” Gen. Hawkins declared. “The people who are coming into DOD [the Defense Department] don’t do email. We have to get off of it.”

May 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is changing its own internal methods of operation to reflect the direction it is giving the services in the move toward the Joint Information Environment, said its director. Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, told the audience at AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment Mission Partner Symposium in Baltimore that the agency recognizes the need to follow its own direction.

“We ought to be able to eat our own dog food,” Gen. Hawkins declared. “We must do what we are telling the services to do.”

May 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The architecture of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) will help the Defense Department deal with the growing insider threat, according to the head of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, told the audience at AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment Mission Partner Symposium in Baltimore that the move to the cloud will enable better security and prevent the traditional insider threat from menacing valuable data.

April 23, 2014
By Matthew Smith

Whether a well-established company or one just getting started with cybersecurity risk management programs, those in the industry often can use a little help navigating the cumbersome and technical systems. This snapshot features pointers to clarify existing guidance and help organizations manage cybersecurity risk.

April 14, 2014
By Rita Boland

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released guidance to help citizens protect themselves from the recent Heartbleed cyberthreat. This bug makes websites that use OpenSSL vulnerable to attacks that could be used to obtain names, passwords and credit card numbers. Steps the department recommends for the public are: change passwords every few weeks; set strong passwords, ideally with letter, number and symbol combinations; use different passwords for different websites; and never share a password.

April 7, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Once the Joint Information Environment (JIE) is in place, the U.S. Defense Department may be able to deploy secure mobile apps much more quickly than it can with today’s cumbersome process, according to Teri Takai, Defense Department chief information officer.

April 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

High school students from six schools across the nation will split $50,000 in scholarships after competing in the CyberPatriot VI competition, a culminating tournament in which participants tested strategies to defend computers and networks against cyber attacks. CyberPatriot kicked off in November, with roughly 1,600 students from all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Defense Departments Dependents Schools in Europe and the Pacific vying for a chance to prove their concepts the best at the National Finals Competition, which wrapped up March 29, 2014.

The 2014 winning teams are:

Open Division:

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Chief information security officials from various agencies voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is designed to fortify computer networks across the federal government. The officials spoke out in support of the program while serving on a panel during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, Washington, D.C. Panel moderator John Streufert, director of Federal Network Resilience at the Department of Homeland Security, took the opportunity to put some rumors to rest.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The real challenge to keeping the homeland secure is dealing with the world's increasing complexity, Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday during his luncheon keynote address.

February 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The realm of cyberspace, created by the United States, could be the undoing of its next major military operation unless the country regains control of its own creation. The virtual realm was let loose on the world where it was embraced by all manner of users, and some of them are counting on their expertise in it to overcome the overwhelming power of the U.S. military.

February 12, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy’s focus on information dominance is increasing along with its reach. Having organized the force along its lines, the Navy now is applying new operational tasks to its menu.

Vice Adm. Ted Branch, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance and director of naval intelligence, declared at a West 2014 keynote panel that information dominance is a warfighting domain just like air, sea, land and space. And, being successful in information dominance is as important as being successful in those four other warfighting domains. Cyber is just a component of information dominance, the admiral pointed out.

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