Event Coverage

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Encountering many variables as it strives to achieve effective cybersecurity, NATO is focusing on two long-standing constants to move forward: training and partnerships with industry. The Atlantic alliance is seeking industry help in pursuing solutions, and it is adopting many traditional methods and institutions to train personnel in vital cyberskills.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new management trend may impel corporations to implement better cybersecurity: lead or get out of the way. Either corporate leaders take the initiative for improving their companies' cybersecurity, or shareholders will demand their ouster following a damaging attack that puts corporate futures in doubt.

Those points were offered by the Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Four experts agreed that companies of all sizes are imperiled by cyberthreats, and leadership must institute a culture that values cybersecurity as a foundation of doing business.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

With cyber losses running in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the private sector must establish its own standards for cybersecurity or face government regulations that would be painful for some firms. Either way, regulatory guidance is necessary for the private sector to avoid potentially fatal hemorrhaging of assets and information to cybermarauders.

These points were offered by the Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Four experts examining the issue from both sides agreed that self-regulation was the desirable outcome.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) faces a unique set of challenges as it tries to engage industry and academia in the cybersecurity effort, according to its commander. One of these challenges involves overcoming long-held and recent reluctance on the part of these two groups to cooperating with the government.

"How do we bring together expertise from the private sector and academia with government?" asked Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, commander of CYBERCOM, at the Tuesday luncheon during the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. “How do we do that when one of the partners is not fully trusted?”

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Many U.S. companies are losing business because of cyber issues expressed by foreign firms. These concerns can range from fears of U.S. vulnerabilities to worries that intelligence agencies will have access to information held by U.S. contractors.

That issue arose in both a panel discussion and an address on the first day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. Panelists were discussing how companies need to realize that cybersecurity is in their best interest when the issue of foreign rejection arose.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Businesses that neglect their cybersecurity needs risk being put out of business by even the simplest of attacks, according to cybersecurity experts. While all companies face the threat of a devastating financial cyber robbery, even a simple attack that steals information could be the end for a small- or medium-size business.

The Tuesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, warned that many firms just do not treat lax cybersecurity as a serious economic threat.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Situational awareness, automated decision making and a new way to refresh work force skills rank high on the U.S. Cyber Command's (CYBERCOM's) list of needs from industry, according to its commander. Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, CYBERCOM commander, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service, described those three items as top priorities to the luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) views the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as a key partner in its effort to secure defense cyberspace. This includes the agency having an operational mission in which it plays a critical role in defending defense cyberspace, according to the commander of CYBERCOM.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, CYBERCOM’s commander, told the luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that his command already is planning a command and control construct in which DISA can carry out this new mission. The admiral sees DISA playing a key role as defense networking becomes more centralized.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity that focuses on preventing or mitigating the effects of a cyber intrusion on the critical infrastructure, according to a department undersecretary. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said continuity of operation is the key to resisting cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The public/private partnership that influences many government efforts is a core effort as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) strives to protect the homeland from cyber attacks. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, told the audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department has several efforts underway to engage the private sector in the fight against cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Innovation may be the key to ensuring that the national critical infrastructure is protected from new cyberthreats, said an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said that the private sector must step in to help prevent future attacks.

“We need to break through in terms of innovation,” Spaulding told the opening keynote audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. She noted that most cyberdefenses concentrate on stopping known threats; instead, planners must anticipate what may be coming.

June 24, 2014
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

Too much time spent chasing the obvious takes away from the ability to find the less obvious risks when it comes to stopping cyberthreats. Attacks from foreign adversaries, insider threats and advanced persistent threats all look the same, so it is essential to understand what is normal and to take immediate action when an anomaly is detected.

Analytic functions, such as review of data logs, should be automated, and then analysts must determine the right "squelch settings" to avoid too much "noise," said Mark Nehmer, associate deputy director, counterintelligence (cyber), Defense Security Service, speaking at the AFCEA Cyber Symposium in Baltimore Tuesday.

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. 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 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.

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