Event Coverage

December 1, 2016
By Mandy Rizzo
Panelists discussing cyber issues at TechNet Europe 2016 include (l-r) Dr. Phil Jones, Airbus Defense and Space; Dennis Pieterse, CGI; Peter Rost, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity GmbH; Christoph Erdmann, Secusmart GmbH; and Brig. Gen. Hans Folmer, NEA, Netherlands Defense Cyber Command.

AFCEA Europe’s second-largest flagship event, TechNet Europe, featured the latest topics in cybersecurity and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). This year’s conference, held October 3-5 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was organized under the patronage of the Netherlands Ministry of Defense in cooperation with AFCEA’s The Hague Chapter and welcomed more than 200 attendees from 17 countries.

December 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander, Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks, addresses cyber-based network issues at MILCOM 2016 in Baltimore. Photos by Mike Carpenter

Even as the U.S. Defense Department’s designated Cyber Mission Force reached the key milestone of initial operating capability in October, operators still are struggling to figure out “fighting in the cyber domain,” said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Leaders are looking to strike the perfect balance between the competing priorities of speed, security and cost.

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
The rapid evolution of technology complicates analysts’ work in gauging how developments will affect national security, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says at the Intelligence & National Security Summit.

The United States has strengthened its homeland security in the 15 years since terrorists attacked the nation, and significant work to reform the intelligence community means the critical agencies now communicate better with each other than ever before. Yet the world remains a perilous place, and security likely will worsen in the near future. U.S.

October 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Students check in for the one-day West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference 2016, held in March at George Mason University's Arlington, Virginia, campus.

High school students should begin now to voice interest to participate in an annual ethics and leadership program that seeks to equip students with skills to process and handle difficult life situations.

Each year, the West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference (WPLEC) draws roughly 200 juniors in the Washington, D.C., area for a day of learning, camaraderie, solving ethical dilemmas and even having some fun, program founders say. Faculty members from 46 area high schools also attend, with some earning continuing education credit for participation.

October 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Participating in the panel session “Building and Securing the Cyber Mission Force” at AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta 2016 are (l-r) Brig. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, deputy commander, Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network; Brig. Gen. Maria B. Barrett, USA, deputy commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters–Cyber; Brig. Gen. Welton Chase Jr., USA, commanding general, 7th Signal Command (Theater); and moderator Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, USA (Ret.), senior vice president, CGI.

U.S. military officials in recent years have preached the need for a convergence of capabilities, including cyber and electronic warfare, into fully integrated operations. That need gains urgency as it becomes increasingly clear that Russia already has made significant progress toward that goal.

At the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016 conference August 2-4 in Augusta, Georgia, Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, then-commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, reported Russian Federation forces are employing a “full range of information warfare capabilities to effectively find and fix their opponents.”

September 9, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
James Clapper, director of national intelligence, leads off a day of discussion at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Intelligence and National Security Summit 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 1

Quote of the Day:

“I look forward to the day when we talk about winning in the information space.”—Brig. Gen. Michael Groen, USMC, director of intelligence, U.S. Marine Corps

 

The U.S. intelligence community is striving to increase public trust concurrent with improving national security domestically and overseas. While those two tasks might seem complementary, achieving them may require contradictory activities. Looming over these challenges is the greater need for effective cyber operations, both offensive and defensive.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, moderates a panel featuring Rep. Devin Nunes (R, CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman and ranking member respectively of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as they open Day 2 of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Intelligence and National Security Summit 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“It’s time we held government accountable.”—Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies

 

The U.S. intelligence community must bring its complementary skills to bear against adversaries that are changing the playing field and the rules of confrontation. These foes range from criminals to terrorists and nation-states, and their goals run the gamut from profit to destruction of the Free World.

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (l), talks about NATO’s enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks during a panel discussion at NITEC 2016 cyber conference held in Tallinn, Estonia, in June.

As NATO grapples with mounting security threats—both conventional and irregular—the concerned alliance is tussling to deliver a unified strategy for information warfare and dominance in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberspace technologies exploiting its vulnerabilities.

The enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks dominated discussions and presentations in June at the annual NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is on a mission to adopt innovation in an array of areas, including technology and acquisition. Officials hammered home that point during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21-22. Creativity feeds the maturation process, and in some ways, pits innovation against tradition.

July 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Much attention has been focused on recent achievements by women who crack or break traditional glass ceilings. In its recent series on Women in STEM, SIGNAL has highlighted many of these achievements.

We’re keeping this momentum of women in power going—and next week in Georgia, AFCEA International will host its first Women in STEM panel at TechNet Augusta.

July 1, 2016
By Beverly Mowery Cooper and Sandra Jontz
Vint Cerf, touted as one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’ and now vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, speaks at the AFCEA International/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium held in May.

Innovative acquisition is the oxymoron that should drive needed change in government buying circles. Value and relevance to meet critical needs drives innovation and the ambition to be out in front of the threat, not behind it. But innovation also demands risk, and to gain ground, experts must tweak the notoriously risk-adverse government’s acquisition process that plays a central role in making technological progress possible. A key issue is where the right amount of risk can intersect with the rewards of innovation.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The rapidly changing nature of cyberspace is driving government and industry further into each other’s arms, but even that newfound relationship may not be sufficient to ensure U.S. force supremacy and protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from attack. Both sides must retool their approaches to doing business with each other if the military is to achieve its aims.

May 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. James Holmes, USAF, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements for the Air Force, talks about the rise of Russian and Chinese military and technological advancements that threaten U.S. superiority in both air and cyberspace during AFCEA’s TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

In time, the capacity and capability of the U.S. Air Force’s cyber mission force will evolve to the point where the service might delay, disrupt and even destroy adversaries’ systems through non-kinetic means. But that day has not quite arrived, said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, USAF, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations for the U.S. Air Force.

April 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and former NATO supreme allied commander Europe (r), hosts a luncheon town hall with (2nd from r-l) Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; Adm. Richardson; and Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel, USCG, vice commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.

Possible foes are advancing in capability at the same time that the U.S. Navy, facing shrinking resources, needs to increase its reach. The disturbing trend for the sea services is that they are losing their technological edge just when they are being asked to do more with less. This harsh reality has the Navy and the Marine Corps looking to innovation to help them restore their advantage against increasingly diverse and deadly threats.

March 1, 2016
By Jürgen K.G. Rosenthal
Discussing key issues at the conference are (l-r) Dr.-Ing Karsten Schulz, Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB); Dr. Jürgen Geisler, Fraunhofer IOSB; Michael Mundt, Geosecure Informatik GmbH; and Stefan Hefter, IBM Deutschland. Photography by Jürgen K.G. Rosenthal

Urbanization, migration and disaster relief are topics that are ubiquitous in the 21st-century news media. Frequently, critical or crisis-related aspects are in the foreground. These include megacities out of control, migration flows triggered by economic and violent conflicts, and inadequate or delayed disaster relief.

However, most crises in the context of conurbations, migration and environmental disasters are not short-term developments, but evolve over the long or medium term. Governments and nongovernmental organizations must deal with these phenomena promptly and permanently, address them publicly and face up to the challenges resulting from them.

November 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
The six directors of the individual U.S. intelligence agencies outline vital issues at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

A family of threats ranging from nation-states to individuals acting on behalf of a terrorist group challenges the U.S. intelligence community as it tries to prevent kinetic and digital attacks on the homeland. Traditional arenas such as terrestrial battlespaces have been joined by cyberspace as both targets and media for adversaries bent on damaging or destroying allied military forces or civilian infrastructures.

October 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, takes to the whiteboard to illustrate dysfunctional stovepipes that keep military disciplines from sharing information and missions.

The U.S. military’s struggle to carry out effective cybersecurity measures sets the stage for a massive cultural shift that leaders say will better protect critical networks against cyber adversaries who are only getting better and smarter.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The exponential growth of network connectivity, evidenced by cloud computing and the Internet of Things, has its counterpart in cyberthreats. These new capabilities will provide myriad opportunities for cybermarauders to wreak untold damage for profit or international gain. And, the government is falling further behind as it does not even meet the security criteria it recommends for the commercial sector.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Republicans and Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are divided on party lines over the Iran nuclear arms deal. Even though both parties have access to the same data, they view it through their own prisms and interpret it differently, according to the chairman and ranking member of the committee.

September 9, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. intelligence community must commit to greater transparency if it is to regain the public trust that is vital for its continued support, said the director of national intelligence (DNI). James Clapper, opening the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held in Washington, D.C., September 9-10, told the packed audience that the community "must show it is worthy of America’s trust." The U.S. public expects it, he stated.

Not that this approach is without risk, he added. "Our adversaries also have learned a lot from our transparency, but it’s worth the cost,” the DNI emphasized.

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