February 21, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), former NATO commander and dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, kicked off the premier naval West 2017 conference on Tuesday, delivering a keynote that touched on a litany of threats. Adm. Stavridis, pictured in the upper right corner, delivered remarks and slides by video teleconference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Of all the threats facing U.S. military forces, the greatest worry for Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), is the dynamic, manmade world of cyber. 

February 14, 2017
By Tony Ferguson
Florida-based students participated in the third annual CyberThon challenge in January.

The third annual CyberThon event, held at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, provided hands-on cybersecurity defense training to students of many ages who worked to defeat simulated cybersecurity threats to an online banking network.

More than 140 Florida-based students from dozens of schools across the northwest participated in CyberThon 2017, a challenge event hosted by AFCEA’s Pensacola “Blue Angels” Chapter. After two days of spirited competition, teams from the University of West Florida (UWF) and J.M. Tate High School took first place in the college and high school divisions, respectively.

February 13, 2017
By Ali Cybulski

Cybersecurity does not keep most Americans awake at night, even though many expect major cyber attacks to be a way of life in the near future and place little trust in modern institutions to protect their personal data, reports the Pew Research Center. The center’s national survey of more than 1,000 adults last spring showed that even as confidence in data security declined, Americans failed to follow digital security best practices.

February 13, 2017
The U.S. Army is rolling out a direct commissioning program for the cyber career field that would allow qualified civilians to bypass prerequisites to become an officer.

The U.S. Army is rolling out a new cybersecurity career management program that could let qualified civilians bypass prerequisites​ and be commissioned directly into the service with a rank up to colonel.

The Defense Department has directed all military services to research the idea and submit findings by 2020 to determine if a pilot program should be implemented across the department. But Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, USA, director of cyber for the Army’s G-3/5/7, explains that the Army decided to respond to the high demand for cyber experts more quickly. “We’ll see if the other services do something similar,” she states.

February 7, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Today marks the 14th annual Safer Internet Day, a global campaign to make the cyber domain a littler safer, especially for children. This year’s theme, Be the change: Unite for a better Internet,” highlights how all of society has a role to play in cybersecurity, and that working together creates a safer Internet, according to a campaign statement.

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
An aviation electronics technician first class performs maintenance on a mission computer aboard an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on an aircraft carrier. The U.S. Navy seeks better computer and information systems for faster upgrades and less vulnerability to cybermarauders.

Cleaner, more modular software that can be updated with less fuss tops the U.S. Navy’s wish list as it girds its fleet for warfighting in cyberspace. These advances would not only help the service stay atop the wave of information system innovation but also contribute to better security amid growing and changing threats.

The Navy wants industry to develop operating systems and software from the start with fewer bugs. These software products should have fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an adversary, which compound the service’s efforts at cybersecurity.

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines in Afghanistan stand watch in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) is considering factors such as security and reliability as it carefully weighs which types of data it will move to the cloud.

As the U.S. federal government overcomes the challenges of moving data to the cloud, disruptive changes in research, development and operations may emerge. Military and civil government organizations are seeking similar outcomes as they attempt to migrate their data services to the cloud. The federal government, specifically, is counting on the cloud to help clear up the fog of acquisition and the morass of inefficiency. Experts believe that growing data storage on the cloud can be achieved without complex and costly procurements, and new capabilities and security measures can be deployed much faster when needed. 

January 5, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, director of the NSA and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, testifies during a Senate hearing on Thursday on foreign cyberthreats to the United States.

The U.S. government has no cohesive or detailed retaliatory response to the increasing number of cyber attacks against national interests and security, a shortcoming that top U.S. intelligence leaders said disrupts the development of a deterrence framework.

The government struggles to effectively derail nation-states and cyber intruders that repeatedly have highlighted U.S. vulnerabilities in a string of notorious incidents, officials testified Thursday at a Senate committee hearing on foreign cyberthreats to the United States.

January 17, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

The Army Cyber Center of Excellence is requesting research papers that address specific areas that answer learning demands or capability gaps that inhibit operational force effectiveness or efficiency. Among other things, the research papers will be used to evaluate emerging concepts against documented Army Signal, cyberspace and electronic warfare capability requirements.

Ideally, writers will have an interest in addressing signal, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum critical capability needs and may come from government solution providers, commercial vendors or academic institutions.

January 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
The Secret Service’s chief information officer (CIO) says his highest priority is to provide the technology support to allow agents and uniformed division officers to complete their mission. That includes moving toward a more mobile environment.

The U.S. Secret Service is putting into place its first-ever cyber and information technology strategic plan, which provides a path forward through 2021. Among other goals, the plan calls for the agency to build a world-class network operations security center and to continue the march toward greater mobility for special agents and uniformed officers. 

January 6, 2017
As many as 40 percent of federal agency employees disregard mobile device policy.

According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 participants at 20 different agencies, federal employee behaviors on mobile devices are putting sensitive government data at risk. Whether agencies realize it or not, federal employees are taking their work home with them—even if an agency does not allow the practice.

As many as 50 percent of federal employees access work email from their personal device, and another 49 percent use their personal device for downloading work documents. There is a significant amount of data movement between personal and work accounts. Any organization, federal or not, should strive for visibility and control over where its data goes.

January 1, 2017
By Bill Lemons
Juniper Networks operates Proof of Concept labs, testing facilities that provide open environments to ensure that customers can access the best demonstration resources possible.

What will you be doing in 20 years? Have you planned that far ahead? As anyone who thought floppy disks or landlines would stand the test of time knows, predicting that far out is a challenge, especially when it comes to technology. But the U.S. Army has done just that, outlining its vision for an effective, modern enterprise network in the strategic document “Shaping the Army Network: 2025-2040.” 

January 1, 2017
By Stephanie Domas and Dr. Nancy McMillan

Advances in genomics, medical sensors and data-driven health care increasingly are enabling doctors and patients to make personalized and targeted care decisions. But the effectiveness of these precision medicine capabilities depends on critical cybersecurity components to protect patient privacy and the integrity of patient data.  

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

Happy New Year! While I prepared this column well in advance of its publishing date, I unfortunately can predict with reasonable certainty (though I wish I could do this with the stock market) that another major cybersecurity event occurred last week or will occur next week.

January 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), speaks at West 2016, the West Coast’s premier naval conference and exposition. Adm. Stavridis, dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, will speak again at this year’s conference on the topic “Are We Organized and Aligned to Fight the Cyber War?” West 2017 takes place February 21-23 at the San Diego Convention Center.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States endures hundreds of millions of digital attacks every day, from cases of cyber terrorism by nation-states to identity and trade secret theft by digital criminals. The nation has been fending off an unprecedented range of digital threats, escalating both in intensity and sophistication. In spite of hardened networks protected by some of the most advanced programs, the U.S. government increasingly is a prime target.

December 20, 2016
By Capt. Kenneth Parks, USN (Ret.)

There’s no disputing technology’s role in the rapidly changing face of modern warfare. The convergence of commercial services with military applications, such as delivery of real-time data from anywhere using various devices, has changed the physical nature and understanding of what constitutes a combat environment. The U.S. military seeks to define a strategic approach to these converged operations.

December 15, 2016
By David E. Meadows

I first met Richard Hale, the recently retired Defense Department chief information security officer and deputy chief information officer for cyber security, in 2000. I had arrived for duty on the Joint Staff that August where I became the J-6K, relieving Capt. Nick Harris, USAF. The J-6K position held the duties and policy responsibilities for information assurance (IA) under the director for command, control, communications, and computers. The word cyber was starting to be heard in the background and would eventually overshadow the term “information assurance” as a field of network security.

December 13, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced that ZeroPoint, an exploit detection and analytics tool, has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics.

December 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Global security readiness received an overall score of 70 percent, or a C- rating, on the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, a decline of six points from last year and lower than the U.S. tally of 78 percent, according to recently released survey results. 

The survey, created by Tenable Network Security and conducted by CyberEdge Group, solicited insights from 700 security practitioners in nine countries and across seven like-industries to calculate the global index score. It measures practitioners’ attitudes and perceptions rather than actual cybersecurity system effectiveness and seeks to determine whether cyber defenses meet expectations.

November 16, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel discusses challenges in cyber domain at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Hawaii. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Operating in a relatively new operations domain, cyber fighters are coping with a wide range of challenges, including lack of training and still-to-be-defined policies, doctrines and authorities.