U.S. Army officials struggled during AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 in Augusta, Georgia, to discuss the future of cyber operations when much of that future is currently unknowable, in large part because no one knows the full effects or challenges of emerging technologies.
The cyber era requires partnerships and information sharing across the agencies, industries and nations, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, during a keynote address at the AFCEA TechNet 2014 Augusta conference, Augusta, Georgia.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden single-handedly shocked the U.S. intelligence community by leaking reams of information to the news media, but the insider threat is much more widespread, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“Who would imagine one person could have as much impact on this nation as he did,” Gen. Fogarty said, referring to Snowden. “And we were not prepared for that. We were not looking for that. That’s an asymmetric attack that occurred, and it’s happening every single day.”
The U.S. Army is building a Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and it will not come cheap, warned Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the center’s new commanding general.
The U.S. Army is standing up a cyber brigade and considering a cyber branch, which has some questioning the future of the service's Signal Corps, but the Signal Corps will survive, Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, USA, the service’s chief information officer, said during a luncheon keynote speech at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference, Augusta, Georgia. “The Signal Corps will be enduring. It will not be going away,” Gen. Ferrell said. “You’re still going to be required to build, operate and defend the network.
The U.S. Army may at some point need to allow soldiers to conduct offensive cyberwarfare at the brigade combat team level, according to a panel of chief warrant officers speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014, Augusta, Georgia.
All too often, the topic of cyber presents a negative view of vulnerabilities and attacks, but cyber has a positive role to play in national defense, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command.
U.S. Army officials are laboring to define what the force will look like in 2025. But technologically speaking, it is hard to define anything beyond the next two or three years, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, during AFCEA TechNet Augusta held Sept. 9-11, Augusta, Georgia.
Major changes in defense acquisition no longer are desirable—they are essential if the United States is to maintain an effective military in a time of increasing threats and decreasing resources. Already the United States is trailing several allies technologically, and potential adversaries are hard at work developing technologies that threaten U.S. force superiority. Patterns of technology development have changed, but sclerotic acquisition practices work counter to efforts to reap the benefits of innovation.
More specific requirements and better incentives could produce better products at reduced costs, said a leading U.S. Defense Department official. Frank Kendall III, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the keynote audience at AFCEA’s Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium 2014 that adjusting the contracting process could produce at least some desired results in acquisition.
The AFCEA Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium held August 5-6 in Washington, D.C., covers "Better Buying Power: Do We Have It Right?"
The inaugural Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium, hosted by AFCEA International, highlights “Better Buying Power” as it applies to government, industry and academia. The event boasts leaders from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition along with industry leaders to provide attendees with myriad solutions, updates and exchanges.
The growing call for an independent U.S. cyber service along the lines of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps is not likely to gain followers among policy makers, say a number of service cyber officers. The growing importance of cyber as a warfighting domain has spurred suggestions that the discipline might follow in the footsteps of the U.S. Air Force, which became an independent service shortly after World War II. However, panelists on the second day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium June 24-25 in Baltimore dashed that concept.
U.S. Defense Department data will be invading the commercial world as the department moves its unclassified information out of its own hands. Terry Halvorsen, acting Defense Department chief information officer, described the upcoming move at the Wednesday luncheon of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore.
The acting chief information officer (CIO) for the U.S. Defense Department is promoting a diversity movement for information technology. He wants to see a younger work force that includes people who have come of age in the digital era.
Terry Halvorsen, acting department CIO, told the Wednesday luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department is striving to recruit the right skill sets it needs for information technology. But, having skill sets alone is not enough.
“We need to attract a younger work force,” he said. “We’re filling jobs, but we’re not getting the right mix. Diversity is needed.”
Estonia has established a dedicated cyberdefense infrastructure and implemented new policies that are serving as models for other allied nations gearing up for potential cyber attacks. The Estonian measures come in the wake of the Baltic nation undergoing a severe cyber attack in 2007, which ultimately led to Estonia hosting the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.
U.S. Defense Department networks will need to operate with the minimum security available as connectivity and the threat picture evolve, said a top defense official. Terry Halvorsen, acting Defense Department chief information officer, minced no words as he described how tight budgets are limiting options across the board.
“I want for all these networks, the minimum level of security to get the mission done,” Halvorsen declared. “If we try to do the best security everywhere, we will not get to what we want. We don’t have the money; we don’t have the time.”
Even with the rising tide of nation-sponsored cyber attacks, NATO does not yet have a policy—let alone a definition—of what constitutes a cyber attack that would mandate a response under Article 5 of the alliance’s Washington Treaty, according to NATO officials. Article 5 defines an attack on a NATO member as “an attack on all,” requiring a response by all members against an aggressor.
Defenders of cyberspace need to concentrate on the critical services provided by the critical infrastructure, not the infrastructure itself, according to a leading cyber expert. Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies and former acting senior director for cyberspace with the National Security Council, said that the future of the West is held hostage by the fact that its security and resilience are threatened.