Homeland Security

May 18, 2022
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an emergency directive requiring federal agencies to apply VMware updates or remove specific VMware products from use until protective updates can be applied given four possible exploitable vulnerabilities that could allow cyber marauders to cause significant harm. Credit: Shutterstock/rafapress

On May 18, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an emergency directive (ED) (ED 22-03) that requires federal agencies to apply VMware updates or remove specific VMware products from use until protective updates can be applied. The products possess four possible exploitable vulnerabilities that would allow cyber marauders to execute remote code on a system without authentication and to elevate network access privileges.

“For all affected VMware products identified as being accessible from the internet, agencies are directed to assume a compromise and immediately disconnect the product from their network and conduct threat hunt activities,” CISA stated. 

May 5, 2022
By George I. Seffers
This flag waving over JamX previously soared over Ground Zero beginning two days after September 11, 2001.  The JamX event, coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security, offers lessons learned for enhancing tactics, techniques, procedures, technologies and training to counter electronic signal jamming that could interfere with military and emergency response missions. Photo provided by the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) counter-jamming exercise known as JamX 2022, which was conducted April 25-29 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, served two purposes: to assess the effectiveness of resilient communications training for operational and technical personnel and to assess technologies designed to identify, locate and mitigate spectrum interference and measure the impact of that interference on communications networks.

April 25, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Glen VanHerck, USAF, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, pictured addressing cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy on April 20, warns that it is not the speed of adversarial hypersonic weapons that is the problem, but their maneuverability. Credit: NORTHCOM/NORAD

Once an easier endeavor, protecting the United States homeland is becoming more and more complex. As protectors, the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command has to continue to pursue all-domain awareness, information dominance, decision superiority and global integration of capabilities as a way to confront near-peer competition that brings direct threat to the United States, Canada and North America, according to Gen. Glen VanHerck, USAF, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). 

April 4, 2022
By Sandra Jontz
Mohan Tammisetti, senior vice president and COMSovereign’s chief engineer, demonstrates a prototype of the company’s portable, compact, easily deployable standalone communications system at the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Living Innovation Lab at George Mason University. The standalone 5G wireless network hardware, available as a backpack or housed within a durable Pelican case, is powerful enough to keep an entire city’s secure communication needs up and running.

A future of warfighters having instantaneous access to actionable intelligence on the battlefield, traffic jam-free highways thanks to connected driverless vehicles and energy-efficient buildings that prepare for employees’ arrivals well before they even hit the parking lot each share a common need—secure and readily accessible 5G technology and the applications that make synchronization possible.

March 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is publishing an artificial intelligence and machine learning implementation plan and building a community of interest to foster adoption of the technology across the department. Credit: sdecoret/Shutterstock

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate could release its artificial intelligence and machine learning strategy implementation plan as early as this month and is growing a community of interest to foster the adoption of the technologies across the department.

February 25, 2002
By Kimberly Underwood

The United States’ military homeland defense commands, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, are facing more complex adversarial threats and current geopolitical strife, all while trying to modernize its technological capabilities to operate more effectively.

The two commands’ top cyber, data and communications leader, Brig. Gen. Eric DeLange, USAF, who is known as the J-6, is working to meet the advanced technology needs, but strives to only employ solutions that will work without failure given the urgent 24/7 operational needs.

January 25, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer at Dulles International Airport in Virginia holds up a camera used for facial biometric process. The agency is deploying biometric identity solutions to six more international airports in the southern United States. Credit: CBP

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is adding biometric facial recognition capabilities to six more U.S. airports in five southern states, the agency announced on January 24. The Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, will add its Simplified Arrival capability to Rogers Municipal Carter Field Airport, Arkansas; Lakefront Airport, Louisiana; Alexandria International Airport, Louisiana; Gulfport Biloxi International Airport, Mississippi; Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Alabama; and Memphis International Airport, Tennessee.

December 13, 2021
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has released a request for information on body cameras that can be automatically activated when triggered by surrounding events. Credit: Lutsenko_Oleksandr/Shutterstock

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released a request for information seeking information on commercially available body cameras that automatically begin recording based on sensors triggered by surrounding events. Of particular interest is information on what external sensors are available and the specifications of the sensors and cameras.

October 4, 2021
Posted by George I. Seffers
Quantum computing advances in the coming years are expected to offer benefits while also posting a threat to national security. Guidance offered by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is designed to mitigate that threat. Credit: graphicINmotion/Shutterstock

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), released a road map to help organizations protect their data and systems and to reduce risks related to the advancement of quantum computing technology.  

August 26, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
A facial recognition tablet takes a photo of a passenger boarding an international flight during the Sept 2018 launch of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection biometric exit pilot at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. U.S. CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett

The best facial recognition systems work very well matching people of all races to their file photographs when tested in a real-world scenario, but when the volunteer subjects were wearing face masks, even the better performing systems showed increased racial disparities in performance, Department of Homeland Security officials told AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Tuesday.

August 24, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
An HSI investigator works with facial recognition software. Photo courtesy U.S. ICE

In its effort to ensure there is no hiding place in the United States for war criminals, genocidaires and other human rights abusers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has sought to harness the power of innovation, employing automated facial recognition technology and clever software algorithms to identify perpetrators who might be in, or be traveling to, America, officials told AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Tuesday.

August 5, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Cyber Command cyber warriors and a French cyber professional collaborate during a July 21 training exercise, Cyber Fort III, at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The Command, along with federal agencies such as the FBI, NSA, DOD and the Department of Justice, will be collaborating with the new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative to broaden U.S. cyber defenses. Credit: U.S. Cyber Command/Josef Cole

As the United States is more and more under siege against nefarious cyber attacks, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, has been working to educate, advise and partner to protect the nation. In its latest move, CISA has created the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative to bring defensive cyber capabilities together across the federal government, local and state entities and the private sector, according to an August 5 statement from CISA.

June 24, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (c), speaking to European Union counterparts in Portugal on June 21 during the U.S.-E.U. Ministerial Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs, has announced that the Department of Homeland Security and the EU will form a working group to examine ransomware attacks. Credit: DHS

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the European Union will create a joint working group to address the rise of ransomware attacks in the United States and Europe. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas made the announcement during a visit this week to Portugal for the biannual U.S.-EU Ministerial Meeting‌ on Justice and Home Affairs, according to a report from the DHS. 

May 26, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Atlantic Council researchers emphasize that the technological revolution, which shows no sign of stopping, will reshape societies and geopolitics “in novel and even unanticipated ways.” Credit: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

A new study from the Atlantic Council’s Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data warned that the technological revolution is continuing at such speed and enormity that it is reshaping societies and geopolitics across the globe, and “in novel and even unanticipated ways.” Researchers recommend that the United States take immediate steps to create specific strategies, governance and leadership roles; develop capabilities for a digital economy, quantum computing, supply chain resiliency, biomedical protections and space-related solutions; and strengthen partnerships with allies.

April 12, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
A prototypical radio developed by NIST researchers helps fill a gap for first responders between push-to-talk radios and cellphones. Credit: Glenn Highcove/Shutterstock

Engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities.

April 5, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has awarded a contract to Mesur.io to use its Earthstream platform to provide data on potential biological threats, including pathogens. Credit: Fotomay/Shutterstock

To develop capabilities to monitor the current COVID-19 pandemic and other future biological events, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has awarded $199,648 to Mesur.io Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data.

March 8, 2021
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
This innovative GPS capability takes into consideration the special needs of emergency vehicles, including size and required turning radius.

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has created a navigation app that addresses first responders’ vehicle requirements to help them find the best route to provide aid. The capability takes into consideration vehicle-specific factors such as size and turning radius, road hazards or special road rules applicable to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The newly commissioned National Security Cutter Midgett conducts sea trials on February 25. The U.S. Coast Guard needs to be more nimble in the Pacific region. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

The seas of the Indo-Pacific region are an increasingly complex maritime environment. To combat an increase in nefarious activity, protect U.S. economic security and thwart brazen adversaries, the U.S. Coast Guard is adding resources to its operations there, says Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, USCG, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Defense Force West and commander, Pacific Area, presented a keynote address Thursday at AFCEA’s TechNet Indo-Pacific conference.

February 16, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
Credit: Aleona/Shutterstock

When they want to catch today’s outlaws, law enforcements officers must follow the money right into cyberspace. Like the rest of society, felons are using the latest technology not only to steal cash but also to launder it to finance other illegal activities, including human trafficking, drugs and terrorism.

January 14, 2021
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/sdecoret

The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced awards for two collaborative projects. Totaling $1.5 million, the projects will develop advanced homeland security technologies in the areas of threat detection and 3D mapping. The BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).

The 2020 HLS awardees are:

January 5, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Biometrics systems tested by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate effectively identify most individuals even when they wear face masks. Credit: SergeyTinyakov/Shutterstock

A controlled scenario test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks, according to an S&T press release.

The tests were conducted as part of S&T’s 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, held this fall at the Maryland Test Facility, and could reduce the need for people to remove masks at airports or ports of entry.

December 11, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has announced the launch of a Startup Studio designed to rapidly field commercial technologies.  Photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will launch its first Homeland Security Startup Studio in January. The program is a partnership with FedTech and is aimed at commercializing federally funded breakthrough technologies to support homeland security missions, the directorate announced December 10.  

December 2, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
The TSA awarded Lavi Industries a sole-source small business contract for acrylic barriers and associated equipment at 37 airports throughout the United States in August 2020.

The Transportation Security Administration is in the market for small businesses that offer security technology. Because large companies quickly buy out a great deal of startups, the organization’s Small Business Programs office is looking at new ways to diversify this marketplace by facilitating investments.

Adequate funding is one of the biggest roadblocks for entrepreneurs who want to sell to government agencies as well as the tallest hurdle for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) program to overcome. Many small businesses just don’t have sufficient capital to keep their doors open through the lengthy process between requests for information and contract awards.

November 23, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Donald Pekoske (l), administrator, Transportation Security Administration, speaks with Federal Air Marshal’s Executive Assistant Administrator Michael Ondocin at the TSA 23rd virtual employee town hall meeting. Credit: TSA photo

Because of its overall mission and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offers industry numerous new ways to provide both standard and innovative solutions. The organization has published several documents that outline immediate and long-term plans and provide insights into where it will invest its limited resources. The information gives companies a better idea of where to devote their research and marketing dollars so they can partner with the agency.

October 23, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S. Marines assigned to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing offload equipment from the aviation logistic ship S.S. Wright during Exercise Trident Juncture 18 at Orkanger Port, Norway. The exercise enhances the U.S. and NATO Allies’ and partners’ abilities to work together collectively to conduct military operations under challenging conditions. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody J. Ohira

Ensuring the mobility of troops and support equipment in the European theater will depend on coordinated command and control. In anticipation of crises actions and needs, improvements are needed during the upfront coordination as well as to the last mile of transportation capabilities that are insufficient to meet the military’s equipment transportation needs.

October 15, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
(Clockwise from upper left) Webinar moderator James FX Payne, James P. Craft, Asha M. George, Scott Charney, David Bray and Steve Shirley discuss the findings and recommendations of the AFCEA Cyber Committee's White Paper "COVID-19 Compels Better NSEP Planning."

The United States had many plans at hand to deal with a national emergency on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the country failed to implement them properly. Part of the reason was institutional, but much was from a lack of coordination. And, the United States still is unprepared for the next disaster, whether natural or human-made.

October 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Department of Homeland Security scientists serve as the first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock

When the mysterious and deadly coronavirus invaded America’s shores in January, scientists who study deadly pathogens scurried to gather as much information as possible about the virus to help end the outbreak as soon as possible. They’ve answered some of the critical questions, but some answers are yet to come.

Some of those researchers work with a program called PANTHR for the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats, Hazards and Risks within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. The program officially kicked off in October 2019, but it was created through a consolidation of ongoing efforts.

September 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Climate change and the damage it inflicts have profound implications to national security, experts say. Credit: Shutterstock/Sepp Photography

Leaders need to be aware of how climate change is affecting the United States and other nations, how countries will handle the impacts, and how that might change the geopolitics and power balance across the world. Already, near-peer adversaries, including China and Russia, are capitalizing on climate change, experts say.

For example, because of climate change, the Arctic has melting and thinning ice. For the intelligence community, strategic analysis of shifting routes, travel and operations in the Arctic Sea region is necessary, said David Titley, professor, International Affairs and professor, Practice, Department of Meteorology, and director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Pennsylvania State University.

September 16, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Bryan Ware (top l) and Jeff Reed (bottom) discussed some of the global shifts in cybersecurity requirements. The two shared their observations during a panel moderated by Jon Check, cyber protection solutions, intelligence and space unit, Raytheon, during the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

COVID-19 has done more than increase hand-washing and mask-wearing. It has meant an entirely new way of communicating and collaborating. Those on the front lines say some of these changes are here to stay and will last much longer than the pandemic simply because they are more efficient ways to do business.

September 10, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: Golden Sikorka/Shutterstock

The future of digital identity looks bright. In the next few years we can expect state DMVs to start issuing mobile driver licenses; Apple, Google and Samsung to begin building identity capabilities; and more shared services amongst government agencies, said panelists during the Federal Identity Virtual Collaboration event, known as FedID.

Serving on the panel titled “How Can Government Deploy Citizen Identity at Scale?” the participants all agreed industry and government must work on the endeavor together.

September 9, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Golden Sikorka

States across the country are facing challenges around the ability to provide services and benefits during COVID-19. The underlying factor is how jurisdictions can verify and trust a citizen’s identity when the citizen cannot appear in person due to the pandemic, experts say.

“On the states’ side, if we think about how we as citizens establish our identity in our day-to-day lives, in most cases, we use our driver’s license,” said Tracy Hulver, senior director, Digital Identity, Idemia.

Hulver spoke about increasing trends in identity management during the Federal Identity Virtual Collaboration event on September 8.

September 8, 2020
By George I. Seffers
FBI officials indicate the bureau's next-generation iris recognition system could be fully operational by October. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

The FBI’s pilot iris recognition program initiated in 2013 will likely be fully operational this fall, possibly by October 1. The agency also is developing tools to detect fingerprints that have been deliberately mutilated and a scanner large enough to get a print of the entire palm along with all five fingerprints.

August 26, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/ozrimoz

Government and the private sector, particularly social media, are collaborating to forestall election manipulation by outside powers. These efforts aim at preventing disinformation campaigns from gaining a foothold in their steps to affect the upcoming November elections, but they also are maintaining vigilance against direct interference in the electoral process.

August 24, 2020
By George I. Seffers
New York City was one of the early hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. New York University researchers funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation have been studying human behavior near medical facilities to help inform policies on pandemics and other potential disasters. Credit: GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

New York University researchers are studying people’s behavior as they leave healthcare facilities to see how they physically interact with their immediate surroundings. The research will help develop localized disease-transmission models that can be applied to larger areas, such as cities. Potential models could be critical for predicting the continued spread of COVID-19 as well as future pandemics. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding the Three-dimensions to Enhance Response (DETER) one-year project.

August 12, 2020
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate intends to hold a virtual industry day next week seeking solutions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: U.S. Army

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking groundbreaking solutions to address current and future operational needs.

August 4, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A COVID-19 patient is treated in a quarantine room by health care workers garbed in personal protective equipment. The pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings in U.S. national security emergency preparedness, and experts state that only a national effort will remedy the problem. Credit: Shutterstock/Mongkolchon Akesin

U.S. national security emergency plans are well documented with a disciplined approach, but their lack of coordination across agencies puts the United States in peril, say a group of government and industry experts. The country must begin to view national emergencies in a countrywide context instead of a narrow local or topical view, or else it will fall prey to whatever major crisis strikes next. The best way to do that is to build a comprehensive national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) capability that draws from lessons out of the Cold War and expertise from public/private partnerships. This also would be accompanied by a grading system that holds agencies accountable to Congress.

August 4, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Response personnel at 911 call centers nationwide will benefit from research to improve the interoperability and compatibility of Next-Generation 911 systems. Credit: Photo by U.S. Department of Commerce

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

July 29, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Firefighters from 502nd Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph conduct an exercise in June 2019 to improve the base's resiliency. The San Antonio region is also preparing for any possible electromagnetic pulse events, which could be detrimental to power and operations. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell

Officials from the city of San Antonio, Joint Base San Antonio, other stakeholders and the region’s municipal energy company are moving to protect critical infrastructure against potentially damaging electromagnetic pulse attacks. The efforts include a pilot program, related analysis and a plan that addresses long-term operations in case of an electromagnetic pulse attack.

The region is pursuing the comprehensive efforts based on a March 2019 Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13865, “Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses.” The EO set policy for electromagnetic pulse preparation, directed entities to examine how to protect, respond to and recover from such an attack.

July 24, 2020
Army National Guard Chaplain Lt. Col. Henry Roberson (center) gives communion to search and rescue workers across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the site of a 1995 terrorist attack caused by a fertilizer bomb. The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is building a modeling tool that will help officials plan for and counter attacks at special events. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Marvin Krause, U.S. Air Force

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is developing a modeling tool that estimates the hazard and related human health consequences from thousands of plausible threat scenarios.

The tool is called the Homeland Explosive Consequence and Threat (HExCAT), and it helps public officials to plan for attacks at special events, such as parades, elections, sporting events and inaugurations. After validation and further development, it will be integrated into national- and regional-level risk analysis.

July 10, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Wth

Threats to global security now include the ongoing pandemic, its exploitation by international malefactors and climate change, according to an ad-hoc group of international defense and national security experts. These experts spent two days brainstorming the future online, and their findings were analyzed by the world’s most well-known artificial intelligence (AI) computer.

Titled “Securing the Post-COVID Future,” the event exchanged ideas among active duty military and civilian expertise with several international organizations. Findings during the 50-hour nonstop event were evaluated by tools from Watson, IBM’s question-answering computer that bested Jeopardy!’s top two champions in a competition a few years ago.

July 1, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Capt. Liaquat Ali, USAF, deputy director of AF Connect, speaks to airmen about the Air Force Connect mobile app at the Air National Guard training and education center. Capt. Ali's team at the Pentagon rolled out the innovation, which allows both public and restricted-access communications on personal mobile devices. Photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith, ANG

Under a joint pilot program, verifying the security of mobile application software for use within the federal government no longer needs to be time consuming or expensive. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with a partnership within the NSA, automated the process to determine if apps meet the agency’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) protection profile.

June 11, 2020
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
Unified communications benefit from mobile access and multi-use smart technologies such as smartphones and tablets to enable personnel to conduct their mission tasks. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins/Released

More than two dozen research contracts have been awarded to 23 small businesses to participate in phase one of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s

June 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency put in place a cyber situational awareness room on Tuesday to support state and local governments' voting primaries. Credit: Shutterstock/Melinda Nagy

Ten states and Washington, D.C., held primaries on June 2 as part of this year’s presidential and local election cycle. Along with other federal stakeholders, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, has the role of helping to protect American’s confidence in the voting process by providing cybersecurity and a secure voting infrastructure.

May 7, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Dana Deasy, chief information officer, U.S. Defense Department, pictured speaking at the Pentagon last August, testified before the Senate as to the risks to GPS of allowing Ligado to operate in a nearby spectrum. Credit: DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Carroll

On May 6, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing, “Department of Defense Spectrum Policy and the Impact of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) Ligado Decision on National Security,” to discuss the security risks of the FCC granting the company a license modification to commence terrestrial wireless operations. Taking that action presents a great risk to the military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) operations, now run by the U.S.

April 23, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ty Schieber, chair, CMMC Accreditation Body, promises to post "a tremendous amount of information" on his office's website over the next couple of days, while speaking at the AFCEA Virtual CCMC Symposium.

The success of the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will hinge largely on diverse types of contractors sharing information and following security standards, said a panel of experts exploring CMMC ramifications. Speaking at AFCEA’s Virtual CMMC Symposium, the government officials emphasized that the CMMC will be both an opportunity and an obligation to the defense community

May 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The coronavirus has justifiably prompted deep concerns over the security and stability of the U.S. supply chain and major portions of the critical infrastructure upon which our nation and our partner nations have become so dependent. Prompted by the shift to globalization, over time this has led to the outsourcing of many products, services and technologies that were once considered core national capabilities. Consequently, we have created dependencies and vulnerabilities that conflict with our national security. Some of these liabilities are evident in our efforts to bring the necessary resources to bear against the coronavirus. 

April 23, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Anatolii Stoiko

Ensuring the sanctity of defense information goes beyond keeping secrets from the enemy: it also brings to light vulnerabilities in the supply chain. One of the key tenets of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is to guarantee the sanctity of the supply chain in a time when data is particularly in peril.

A keynote fireside discussion group at AFCEA’s Virtual CMMC Symposium looked at the threats posed to the supply chain in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Bob Kolasky, director, National Risk Management Center, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, provided a powerful presentation in which he pulled no punches about the threat.

April 16, 2020
Posted by George Seffers
The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has released a review of systems it developed and fielded that are now contributing to the COVID-19 response. Credit: Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock

The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has released a review of systems it has developed and fielded and their contributions to countering the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes:

Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting (SABER)

SABER is a free, open-source software that enables businesses to report their operating status both during and after a disaster. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, users have leveraged SABER to:

April 10, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort heads up the Hudson River to take its position at a midtown pier to serve as a support hospital for New York City health facilities overwhelmed with COVID-19 coronavirus patients. Navy engineers worked feverishly to upgrade or repair communications systems just before it set sail. Credit: Elizabeth Natrella

U.S. Navy engineers, some working around the clock, updated the communications and networking capabilities of the two hospital ships dispatched to U.S. ports in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy originally deployed to New York City and Los Angeles, respectively, to provide hospital services to non-coronavirus patients in an effort to relieve local hospitals burdened with COVID-19 patients. Engineers with the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) tapped expertise from throughout the command as well as from counterparts with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to improve satellite communications and increase bandwidth.

April 8, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: angellodeco/Shutterstock

A joint advisory published today by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shows that a growing number of cyber criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 outbreak for their own personal gain.