One key to securing cyberspace may be to simplify its processes and architectures. The newly formed U.S. Cyber Command is taking that approach in configuring its own information systems. Rear Adm. David Glenn, USCG, U.S. Cyber Command J-6, told the Thursday breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010 that all elements of cyber are potential attack surfaces. He characterized these elements as the geographic layer; the physical network layer; the logical network layer (where the 1s and 0s reside); the cyber persona layer; and the persona layer. "We need to simplify GIG [Global Information Grid] architecture, reduce and simplify our networks, and reduce the hundreds of security enclaves down to one," he said. Adm.
The United States can attain supremacy in cyberspace despite the advantages seemingly held by malevolent organizations and nations, noted an expert in a TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010 panel on warfighters. Randall Cieslak, chief information officer, U.S. Pacific Command, told the afternoon panel audience that adversaries are neither 10 feet tall nor invincible. The United States can achieve cyber supremacy in the same manner that it has air supremacy if it adopts the correct approaches to cyberspace. "We can achieve supremacy in cyberspace. We have it in SIPRNET [secret Internet protocol router network]," Cieslak stated.
A devastating terror attack that would cripple the United States could happen as soon as tomorrow. However, unlike the events of 9/11, this attack would take place in cyberspace and involve accounting figures, not any physical plant. That gloomy assessment was offered by Adm. Mike McConnell, USN (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former director of national intelligence (DNI). Giving the Wednesday plenary address at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010, Adm. McConnell shared with the audience how his concerns over the vulnerability of the banking sector date back to when he was named DNI by then-President George W. Bush. Putting the threat in perspective, Adm.
Cyberspace is the key to successful military operations, and leaders are not focusing on the right aspects to secure it from adversaries, according to a U.S. Navy fleet commander. Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, USN, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, stated that a denial of U.S. military cyber capabilities would cripple U.S. forces to the extent that they would not be able to conduct operations effectively. Speaking before a luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Adm. Hunt emphasized the importance of cyber in the U.S. military. "Cyber is the key spot in virtually every warfighting discussion and planning I've been in since I got to Third Fleet," he declared.
The medium literally is the message in Pacific Command operations, as network situational awareness may be the determining factor in the success of future operations. Adm. Robert F. Willard, USN, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, warned that U.S. military capabilities in this area are strongly lacking. "In command and control, you can't control what you can't see, and you must be able to control everything in these domains," Adm. Willard said. Speaking at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2010, Adm. Willard related that recent Pacific rim exercises illustrated the problem. The cyber element was set up weeks in advance, and it was supported to an unprecedented level by personnel from the newly established U.S.
Policy and governance remain the biggest hurdles to interoperability among military services and their various allies and partners according to the joint/coalition panel held this morning at LandWarNet. Representatives from the British Armed Forces, U.S. Marine Corps, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense sat on a panel moderated by a U.S. Navy admiral from the joint staff to discuss the issues inherent in information sharing in coalition and disaster response missions.
Joint is the name of the game on the battlefield and at LandWarNet, as Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer for the U.S Air Force gave the final address of the conference this afternoon. The general said that he believes all future operations will be joint because the services are too small now to operate on their own. Everyone needs the synergy of the combined force to carry out their operations. To enable these partners, the military must continue to improve cyberspace operations. An Air Force study titled "A Day Without Space" examined what would happen if capabilities from space such as GPS and ISR were disabled. Gen.
The Army needs to fix its acquisition process and move good ideas to top leaders, according to Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, vice chief of staff, U.S. Army. Gen. Chiarelli delivered the morning address of LandWarNet today via teleconference, stating that he wants the ideas people have to make Army tools better. He also emphasized repeatedly the need to change acquisitions to keep up with technology changes and the enemy. The general said that because many of the United States' current enemies have no uniform or state sponsorship, people can underestimate their strength. "We don't talk enough about how very, very good the enemy is," he stated.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, addressed media members at LandWarNet today during a roundtable focused on the recent Apps for the Army competition. Various competition winners also attended to share their experiences. Gen. Sorenson reiterated comments he made yesterday saying that this quick-development contest could serve as a precursor for rapid deployment in the future. He sees the process applying even to larger systems. The general also mentioned that in the future there could be a contest involving industry participation in which they are given guidelines but not many specific requirements.
The feel and focus of LandWarNet took on a slightly different feel this afternoon as retired IBM Chief Executive Officer Louis V. Gerstner took the stage to discuss institutional transformation. Rather than address military-specific needs, Gerstner explained how he worked to turn around IBM by changing the entire culture of the organization. He told listeners to take the lessons he imparted and apply them as appropriate to military needs. According to Gerstner, at some point successful organizations will face a time when outside influences demand a complete institutional transformation. Unfortunately, many will not be able to make the necessary adjustments and will ultimately fail.
The U.S. Defense Department must secure the cyber domain to protect and defend its own information and U.S. citizens, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, USA, commander of U.S. Cyber Command said today during the opening address of LandWarNet 2010. Gen. Alexander also serves as the director of the National Security Agency. "Every link and system has vulnerabilities that we have to defend," he stated. Gen. Alexander organized his speech by comparing warfare in the past with the movie WarGames and cyberwarfare to the movie The Matrix. In the former movie, as in nuclear warfare, there is no good engagement option because of assured mutual destruction.
Increased situational awareness continued as the focus of importance here at LandWarNet. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, gave a high-level view of the current path of the Army enterprise, emphasizing that everything done comes down the requirement for shared situational awareness. All other pieces must support the effort to provide the warfighters with the information they need. To support soldiers and joint troops, the Army is working to test, field and deploy systems faster. Army leadership is standardizing processes, technologies and guidelines so industry can provide exactly what the military requires. The general also stated that industry is increasingly focusing on applications.
The solutions to the Army's network problems have no easy answers, according to opinions from the first panel here at LandWarNet. Leaders in industry addressed five questions about how to improve or address various facets of the Army enterprise, but rarely did any of the responses provide straightforward solutions. For example, employing plug-and-play capabilities can benefit the Army, but using this business model can result in "lowest common denominator" technology and stifle innovation, according to Barry R. Hensley, vice president of the Counter Threat Unit at SecureWorks. Elizabeth A. Hight, vice president, U.S.
Yesterday's blog coverage was just too short to include the depth of advice the experts at the Small Business Intelligence Forum shared, so here are a few more ideas: -Savvy SIGNAL Scape reader Ross Andrews, ARC Program Manager, Contractor - BVTI, beat this reporter to the punch on a very important item that should be on every small company's list if it wants to do business with the intelligence community: register with the Acquisition Resource Center. See his full comment at http://bit.ly/bXmzFM.
It's sometimes difficult to figure out what's the bigger secret - intelligence or the acquisition processes of the organizations that gather it. CIA, NSA, DIA plus 13 more agencies are collectively known as the intelligence community (IC), but that's where most of the similarity ends when it comes to these information hunters and gathers when it comes to purchasing goods, services or "carbon units." One fact is absolutely true and as open source as is possible: small businesses have advocates in IC agencies that fight tooth and nail in their interest. Some of these experts presented valuable secrets as well as common sense about how to capture the IC's business at the AFCEA International Small Business Intelligence Forum.
Federal government agencies produce reams of documentation, not all of which is classified, but much of which is sensitive. For decades, agencies applied their own individual markings to categorize sensitive data. However, these notations conflict with other agency marking, which opens the possibility of infomration being withheld or potentially being released. These issues were pondered by the Wednesday morning panel at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS conference. Controlled unclassified information (CUI) is data that requires some protection. However, because of the conflicting agency rules for CUI, the government has recently issued an order to implement a CUI famework to stanardize the documentation across the government.
Accreditation and certification of software is a vital but time-consuming process. On Tuesday afternoon, panelists at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS symposium discussed the challenge and ongoing attempts to streamline the process. Brig. Gen. Peter F. Hoene, USAF, DISA's program executive officer for the Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J), stated that there was a need to speed accreditation and certification because the current procedure takes too much time. He noted that some units had even resorted to writing their own software, completely aware of the risks involved in using uncertified programs, because they needed the operational capability.
The AFCEA SOLUTIONS conference at George Mason University's C4I Center, "Critical Issues in C4I," kicked off this morning with a keynote address by Lt. Gen. Dennis Via, USA, director of C4 systems, the Joint Staff. The general discussed his mission responsibilities, which he described as leading the joint community and helping to pull together and organize initiatives to share information. As part of this responsibility, he sees the J6 bringing together the services, government organizations, industry and academia. "We don't tend to slow down to talk about the challenges that we have," the general said. Gen.
Gen. Craig R. McKinley, USAF, chief of the National Guard Bureau, opened the final day of Joint Warfighting Conference 2010 describing how the Army and Air National Guard has been seamlessly integrated into active duty forces. This melding between full-time and what used to be disparagingly called "weekend warriors" is the result of both dedicated leadership and willing U.S. citizens. The number of guardsmen involved in current military operations overseas is a prime example of this integration: between 55,000 and 60,000 of the troops in the Middle East today belong to the National Guard. This has allowed active duty personnel to spend more dwell time at home.
The final panel of the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference focused on two topics that have been discussed consistently for more than a decade: lack of interoperability and convoluted acquisition. Though the panelists agreed on the problems, their opinions about solutions differed slightly. Vago Muradian, panel moderater, opened the discussion stating that the need to improve interoperability has been at the heart of the last two administrations and remains a priority in the Obama administration. One topic of particular interest to members of industry in the audience concerned changing import/export rules. Muradian believes that changes to these policies would help ensure interoperability.