DCOS 2017

June 27, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of DISA and commander of the JFHQ-DODIN, speaks at AFCEA’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in June. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Conquering cyberthreats that pose a national security risk means acquiring cutting-edge technology and leading-edge talent and pairing them, according to U.S. Defense Department experts.

The department’s technology wish list, discussed during the annual Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), touches on a number of disruptive areas, including machine learning, biometrics, the cloud, what officials are dubbing “software-defined everything,” and solutions to improve mobility and identity protections. Experts shared the challenges and solutions of leveraging technology and talent at the AFCEA International event June 13-15 in Baltimore.

June 13, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of DISA and commander of the JFHQ-DODIN, speaks at AFCEA’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore.

How many software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. It’s a hardware problem. That joke, though, soon might be on its way to becoming wrong with the speed of technology, joked Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander of the Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN).

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
John Zangardi, acting DOD CIO, closes out AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The swiftly changing cyber domain demands a dynamic and dedicated partnership between the U.S. Defense Department and industry—a critical relationship for the development of both technologies and the work force needed to help the United States maintain a superior edge over adversaries, said John Zangardi, the department's acting chief information officer.

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
A panel discusses the cyber work force during AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The U.S. government’s primary competition for cyber work force talent is not with Silicon Valley—it’s with the struggling critical infrastructure sector woefully behind shoring up its cyber defenses, said Karen Evans, national director for the U.S. Cyber Challenge.

June 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Stephen Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena, speaks at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

The constant acceleration of technology is pushing for radical changes in the networking arena, tapping systems to continuously scale capacity and connectivity. 

The assessment might sound like a daunting problem. It's not, offered the morning keynote speaker on the final day of AFCEA International's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, or DCOS. “If you’re in the networking space, get ready: It’s going to be an interesting ride,” said Stephen Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena

June 14, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Acting federal Chief Information Officer Margie Graves and Alfred Rivera, director of DISA's Development and the Business center, discuss cyber at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

New technologies are just about obsolete by the time they actually hit federal work stations and are put to use, a disruption that could threaten the future of federal information technology investments. Acquisition at times precariously hinges on the government striking a sustainable balance between agility and innovation on one side, and security on the other, according to acting federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Margie Graves.

June 14, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Steven Walker, acting director of DARPA, speaks at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

It might be true that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) invented the Internet. And so, in some way, the agency could be considered at fault for the burgeoning ecosystem of cyberthreats, the agency's acting director joked Wednesday. But DARPA also shoulders some of the responsibility for finding protective solutions for the vulnerable space.

June 13, 2017
by Sandra Jontz
Military panelists discuss the government's cyber mission during AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

In cyber, the U.S. Defense Department might have its SWAT team, but it is missing the beat cop. 

And cyber operations really need that beat cop, said Brig Gen. Mark WeatheringtonUSAF, director of cyberspace operations at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

June 13, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss cybersecurity at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Cyber is one domain that could benefit from lessons taught in kindergarten: learn to share and build trust.

Those two could provide for a strong foundation toward securing the cyberspace, according to a panel of experts who spoke Tuesday at AFCEA International’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), taking place this week in Baltimore. The event runs June 13-15.