Cyber

September 13, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Experts from government, industry and academia participated on a variety of cyber focused panels as part of the first day of AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference.

Half of all Americans and 100 percent of the work force had their personal information compromised in the Equifax hack this summer. While critical data, such as what was stolen in the hack, requires better data protection, enhancing its protection is no longer enough. Resiliency has to be a critical capability too.

September 7, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Technical Sgt. Brandon Middleton, USAF, tosses a smoke grenade from an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during training at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, in June. Increased real-time battlefield data, improved processing capabilities and the need for rapid action call for the increased use of agile software development.

The increasing nature of computing capabilities, the number of technologies that are interconnected to the cyber world, the amount of data generated, and the speed at which data is reported are all reshaping everyday life. To harness this new dynamic, the commercial computer industry has already switched to a more agile way of developing software. More and more, the military is moving to advance the development of cyber-based infrastructure under this changing environment.

September 1, 2017
by Jesse Rothstein and Edward Wu

Facing mounting threats, cyber hunt teams—aka security operations teams—are turning to machine learning technologies to sift through heaps of data and detect malicious activity faster than ever. People excel at making decisions with the right information, and machines excel at analyzing and retrieving actionable intelligence from large amounts of data. This duo is much more dynamic when working together than apart. Consider Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit versus the fictional character HAL 9000 from the Space Odyssey series.

August 31, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
The Institutional Computing Environment contract with ManTech allows JPL to focus on its space-related missions.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), responsible for space robotics and Earth science, among other planetary things, will lean on cloud-based computer services to keep its data secure but accessible to its scientists.  

JPL hopes to save costs in its cyber-related operations under its new Institutional Computing Environment (ICE) services contract with ManTech International Corporation. 

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed by the California Institute of Technology (known as Caltech). The NASA laboratory outsources all of its information technology (IT) needs. 

August 28, 2017
By David Young

The U.S. General Services Administration’s latest endeavor to help government agencies increase their buying power offers a portfolio of providers to simplify the way they acquire and implement telecommunications and IT infrastructure services. According to administration officials, the 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, awarded this summer, will help agencies establish a solid foundation to modernize the government’s IT infrastructure, implement advanced cybersecurity solutions and improve service to the public.

August 22, 2017
By Joe Kim
The Internet of Things is a rising tide presenting major cybersecurity challenges.

The U.S. Defense Department is diving in and investing heavily to leverage the benefits provided by the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) environment.

August 18, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Active-duty, Reserve and National Guard service members participate in exercises sponsored by U.S. Cyber Command. On Friday, President Donald Trump elevated the command to a unified combatant command. Photo: Chief Petty Officer Dennis J. Herring, USN

After months of uncertainty, President Donald Trump announced today that he has elevated the U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command. In addition, Cyber Command ultimately may be separated from the National Security Agency (NSA).

“This new unified combatant command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation’s defense,” Trump said. “The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries.”

August 18, 2017
Kimberly Underwood
Cyber attacks in the United States usually pass though universities or susceptible third-party infrastructure, explains Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, a cybersecurity company.

The governments of Iran, North Korea, Russia and China are responsible for 90 percent of attacks on U.S. government agencies and private companies, said a leading cybersecurity expert at a recent conference. Most attacks come in the form of spear-phishing or email-related breaches.

August 11, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Members of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army Reserve and civilian agencies prepare to engage in cyber attacks as part of the recent Cyber Shield 17 exercise at Camp Williams, Utah. The cyberthreat’s borderless nature is bringing together experts from several nations at this year's Department of Defense Intelligence Information System (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference in St. Louis.

The menacing threat of cyberwarfare is pulling together international military leaders in an effort to combat global electronic attacks.

Commanders from key military intelligence posts—including allied commanders from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom—will tackle the seemingly unconstrained risks from cyber criminals at an upcoming forum hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The DIA’s Department of Defense Intelligence Information System (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference will be held August 14-16 in St. Louis.

August 10, 2017
 

Cybersecurity solutions company Comodo has launched a new research service called Comodemia for university, government and nonprofit educators and researchers. It gives users access to the Comodo Threat Intelligence Laboratory's cybersecurity data repository, one of the largest in the world.

Comodo's threat data comes from millions of endpoints in more than 220 countries. In the first quarter of this year, the lab detected and cataloged more than 25 million malware incidents. By the second quarter, the total grew to 97 million incidents as the company expanded its research program.

August 10, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. (P) Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army’s chief information officer/G-6, speaks at TechNet Augusta.

The network the Army has is not the network it needs to confront the changing face of warfare, says Maj. Gen. (P) Bruce Crawford, USA, who took over as the service’s chief information officer/G-6 nine days ago.

Gen. Crawford told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta audience the service confronts a confluence of strategic circumstances, with several major efforts all coming together at the same time. Those circumstances include the evolution of the threat, global instability that creates greater demand for ground forces, the rapid pace of technology evolution, the speed at which decisions must be made on the battlefield and emerging doctrines.

August 10, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss network modernization at TechNet Augusta 2017.

U.S. Army officials who play various roles in modernizing the network say doing so offers multiple benefits, including saving money, improving cybersecurity and offering greater flexibility on behalf of warfighters.

The officials made the comments while serving on a network modernization panel on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2017 conference.

August 8, 2017
By George I. Seffers

The Army’s first doctrine for fighting in the cyberspace and electronic warfare domains already is changing the way the service operates, said Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., USA, commander, Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta audience in Augusta, Georgia.

August 4, 2017
By David E. Meadows
Money comes in many forms. Are paper bills or checks the safest way to pay? (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong)

In 2005, NBC News reported that the use of checks to pay bills was declining and that the majority of people writing them were old geezers such as me. That year, the Federal Reserve reported that an estimated 36 billion checks were written, with more than half of those paper checks written by consumers.

I’m a consumer and a baby boomer—an individual born between mid-1946 and mid-1964. Writing a check is something we boomers do. I was taught in 1965 in high school how to write checks, balance a checkbook and keep track of my bank account. It was a classroom activity.

August 2, 2017
 
The DHS Science & Technology Directorate has announced the transition of a new malware analysis tool to the commercial marketplace.

REnigma, a program designed to analyze malicious software, has spun off from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to create startup Deterministic Security LLC. The Oregon-based company was founded to further mature the technology into a commercially available product and work with early adopters, focusing on incident response for government organizations and large enterprises.

August 1, 2017
 
U.S. Air Force students use a tablet for training and education. The Defense Information Systems Agency is supplying tablets to senior leaders under the one-year pilot program.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding its offerings under the Department of Defense Mobility Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) Program through a new pilot program that puts 8-inch tablet computers into the hands of designated senior leaders across the department.

The pilot expands the DMCC-S' support for smartphones and acknowledges the need to enable leaders to work with classified data in a mobile environment just as they would in an office. 

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

Possessing the ultimate weapon, the infantryman, the U.S. Army now is marching foursquare into cyberspace and electronic warfare operations. It is doing so not as a latecomer to the digital fight, but as one of the thought-leading pioneers in a rapidly expanding, cohesive domain.

The ground service, along with the other services, is integrating cyber, electronic warfare (EW) and other elements of information warfare into combat operations to more effectively assimilate information age technology. The effects of cyber and EW can move at the speed of light. They can enable or inhibit each other depending on how they are used, so it is only natural that these aspects of warfighting are tightly bound.

August 1, 2017
By Don Maclean

Cybersecurity is a human problem. Bad people use good technology for the worst purposes. Good people sometimes simply make mistakes or take inappropriate shortcuts. In the unfolding, complex cyber ecosystem, nowhere does human meet machine more directly than with identity and access management, or IAM.

Yet this direct connection is fraught with risk. Everyone must log in, but no one wants a lengthy process. Consequently, the more that IAM is automated, the more that people—who pose the weakest link in the cyber realm—are removed from the equation. Herein lies the problem: The easier processes become for users, the more complicated processes become for systems themselves.

August 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A soldier with the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade sets up cyber tools at the National Training Center as part of the U.S. Army’s cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) initiative led by Army Cyber Command. The service is consolidating electronic warfare and cyber training and operations at Fort Gordon, Georgia, facilities to integrate all aspects of the disciplines.

The U.S. Army is consolidating major electronics disciplines in an approach that brings education and operations under a single umbrella. This confluence extends to physical plants as well as organizational charts. For example, the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, is co-located with its operational counterpart to meld the identities of theory and practice.

July 27, 2017
By Richard Thieme

The mind of society is the battlefield in the current global struggle for geopolitical domination. The uses of soft power dominate in this battle and information warfare is the name of the game—not “cyber war” in all the ways it has been described but the influence and ultimately control of individual minds that, like cells in a body, make up the Mind of Society. Then control is used as leverage to achieve objectives that are often hidden.

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