A new smart phone application is illustrating the devastation that war has on the smallest citizens of the world. Introduced last week by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Committee of the Red Cross, the application, called Enter the Room, uses augmented reality to create an immersive experience for users to see how conflicts impact children. The organization claims that it is the first use of augmented reality in humanitarian aid.
After the success of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s bold step in 2013 to build an on-premise cloud platform called the milCloud 1.0 Cloud Service Offering based on commercial technology, the agency went for more with milCloud version 2.0, driven by extraordinary customer interest, cloud computing’s advantages and cost savings. Unlike milCloud 1.0, for which mission partners paid a monthly fee regardless of usage, version 2.0 is utility-based, and customers only pay for what they use. This allows military customers to scale usage up or down depending on operational requirements.
U.S. Army officials are applying a streamlined acquisition process known as an IT box to offensive cyber technologies.
The IT box acquisition concept includes four sides: developing the capabilities requirement, determining development costs, analyzing sustainment and operations costs, and providing oversight and management of the product.
Maj. Gen. John George, USA, force development director, Office of the Army Chief of Staff G-8, told the the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia, that the Army is focusing on the IT box concept pretty heavily.
As enterprises mobilize business processes, more and more sensitive information passes through and resides on mobile devices. BlackBerry, a virtual grandfather in the handheld devices world, offers chief information officers (CIOs) an idea of what they’re up against when attempting to ensure the security of data flying through cyberspace.
Where some see challenges, others see opportunities. It sounds like a motivational poster, but that is exactly how researchers at the National Security Agency view the Internet of Things, or the IoT.
“We approach IoT a little differently than everybody else. Everybody’s talking about all the security problems. That’s certainly fair, but we look at IoT as an opportunity in terms of the security goals we can accomplish,” says George Coker, chief, Information Assurance Research Group, National Security Agency (NSA).
The military tackles many challenges in its cyber ecosystem—a diverse group of human users, processes and technologies and their interactions—by striving for uniformity across its hardware, software and operating systems. But standardization also can create large holes in the cyber environment, weakening defenses and contributing to successful cyber attacks. Coming at cybersecurity from a different angle could leverage differences in favor of network defenders.
Without a doubt, system consistency has its benefits. Using the same operating systems, applications, switches, routers and other components across networks reduces complexity and lowers the cost of equipment maintenance as well as defense.
Artificial intelligence is one of the most influential forces in information technology. It can help drive cars, fly unmanned aircraft and protect networks. But artificial intelligence also can be a dark force, one that adversaries use to learn new ways to hack systems, shut down networks and deny access to crucial information.
Many cybersecurity methods and products are available to protect wireless networks from intrusion, but security concerns go well beyond the risks to Wi-Fi. The combination of legacy wireless systems and Internet of Things vulnerabilities number in the hundreds, and all radio frequency protocols are at risk.
The billions of bits and bytes that make government services, information sharing and even shopping easier also open the doors for adversaries to gather intelligence that aids their nefarious pursuits. AFCEA International’s Cyber Committee has published a white paper that describes several ways big data analytics can help cybersecurity analysts close those doors or at least shrink the gap and reduce vulnerabilities.
Five cyber technology firms will vie for top honors as a six-month series of shark tank competitions reaches its climax on February 27 in Arlington, Virginia. These efforts are part of an ongoing attempt by AFCEA to apply the principle of the popular venture capital television show to bring new technologies to the attention of government organizations seeking vital solutions. Following the cyber technology shark tank, AFCEA will host another shark tank at its Small Business Innovation Summit on May 1.
Mobile devices used by federal employees continue to be susceptible to malicious cyber attacks. Email accounts, stored documents, microphones and cameras on the devices still present avenues of entry for bad actors.
Complicating the matter are conflicting governmental compliance policies, misconceptions of security measures and naivety about the exact risks, a recent survey concluded. Many agencies are still ill equipped to handle these incidents. Moreover, even if policies are in place, employees do not always follow them, and intrusions still happen, according to the report, "Policies and Misconceptions: How Government Agencies are Handling Mobile Security in the Age of Breaches," prepared by San Francisco-based Lookout Inc.
Russia, Iran and North Korea are testing more aggressive cyber attacks against the United States and partner nations, according to the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community delivered to Congress today by Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.
“The use of cyber attacks as a foreign policy tool outside of military conflict has been mostly limited to sporadic lower-level attacks. Russia, Iran and North Korea, however, are testing more aggressive cyber attacks that pose growing threats to the United States and U.S. partners,” the report states.
Advances in automated cyber weapons are fueling the fires of war in cyberspace and enabling criminals and malicious nation-states to launch devastating attacks against thinly stretched human defenses. Allied forces must collaborate and deploy best-of-breed evaluation, validation and remediation technologies just to remain even in an escalating cyber arms race.
In the U.S. Cyber Command, the part of the cyber force that defends Defense Department networks, systems and vital information is fully up and running, the DOD reported.
The Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) reached readiness after three years of building its capacity and capabilities to secure, operate and defend the DODIN, according to a DOD statement. To achieve full operational capability, JFHQ-DODIN participated in a number combatant command exercises and managed daily network operations to address and counter “significant” cyber threats, DOD said. The unit also deployed its six cyber protection teams to support high-priority military operations.
Although GPS-enabled activity-tracking applications like Strava may help warfighters keep fit, the applications may also reveal important information about military bases or soldier locations. One application revealed a concentration of U.S military personnel at a base overseas when shared as social media postings.
Given the rising concerns, officials at the Pentagon announced at a January 29 press conference the DOD would be looking into the issue, according to a report from Jim Garamone of DOD News.
Understanding the cyber kill chain and disrupting it could effectively defend against the most recent generation of cyber attacks. By scrutinizing the time and effort hackers invest in scoping out potential targets, network defenders can take advantage of several opportunities to block system access or, at the very least, drive up the cost, making attempts unappealing.
Undersea fiber optic communications cables are minimally protected and have locations that are public knowledge. This puts these vital communication links at risk of nation-state and terrorist attacks that could cause immense harm.
“The only way our nation is going to succeed in cyber is through public-private partnerships,” stated Major Gen. John B. Morrison, USA, commanding general, Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, during an informal question and answer session over lunch at AFCEA’s Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium.
Educators and industry leaders echoed the sentiment during afternoon panels on the second day of the conference.
A cyber training environment is essential to collective training proficiency and educational agility in the face of rapidly evolving threats. During a morning workshop focused on research and development supporting the cyber training environment and tools, attendees at the Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS) explored possible solutions in this environment, and offered thoughts and insights on the work ahead.
Only half of federal civilian agencies are complying with federal regulations addressing email security, including email spoofing, according to a recent report from Sunnyvale, California-based Proofpoint.
In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued its domain-based message authentication reporting and conformance (DMARC) standard, Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 18-01, to improve the security of digital messages sent by federal agencies or from federal websites, explained Robert Holmes, author of the report.