Cyber

July 16, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Joining Michael Hodge, vice president, Federal, Avocado Systems (2nd from r) are the three July 11 Shark Tank judges (l-r) Dan Wolley, founder and managing partner, Ponderosa Management Group; Maria Horton, CEO, EmeSec; and Christina Monaco, chief ventures officer, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Photo by Elizabeth Moon

A small business providing advanced data security is the third and final firm selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, Avocado of San Jose, California, won against six other firms with its distributed and deterministic layer-7 application security platform.

July 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is working to improve the resiliency of smartphones and other mobile technologies through directed research and development initiatives. Not as secure as office computers, mobile devices are becoming the preferred target for malicious actions by cyber adversaries. In many cases, smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices simply do not have the same protections available for more traditional computing technologies, experts say. The level of attacks also is moving “deeper down the mobile device stack,” from the application and mobile operating system layers to the hardware and infrastructure layers, according to the department.

July 3, 2018
By Bob Nilsson
Government network automation paves the way for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Credit: Shutterstock

It has become increasingly evident that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are poised to impact government technology. Just last year, the General Services Administration launched programs to enable federal adoption of AI, and the White House encouraged federal agencies to explore all of the possibilities AI could offer. The benefits are substantial, but before the federal government can fully take advantage of advancements like AI, federal agencies must prepare their IT infrastructure to securely handle the additional bandwidth.

July 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The KC-135 Stratotanker was originally used to support bombers of the Strategic Air Command. The midair refueling capabilities of the KC-135 allow fighters to spend hours instead of minutes on the front lines. The Stratotanker is one of the first weapon systems to be evaluated for cyber resiliency under the Air Force’s new methodology. Credit: Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is developing a methodology for assessing the cyber resiliency of weapon systems and examining how to standardize that methodology across the service. The effort could improve the security of hundreds of weapon systems, including aerial refueling planes, fighter jets and inertial navigation systems.

July 1, 2018
By Justin Sherman and Inés Jordan-Zoob
The Uran-9 unmanned ground combat vehicle took part in the 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade on Red Square earlier this year. Credit: Dianov Boris/Shutterstock.com

The cyber realm has redefined the meaning of warfare itself. Conflict in cyberspace is constant, low-cost and uninhibited by traditional definitions of territory and country. Now, governments, militaries and private research groups from America to South Korea are taking cyber capabilities one step further, using developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to create autonomous weapons that will soon be deployed into battle.

Machine learning already has been used in both cyber and kinetic weapons, from autonomously firing gun turrets to human-superior social engineering attacks. While these advances are noteworthy, these machines are neither entirely intelligent nor autonomous.

July 1, 2018
By Margaret S. Marangione
The millennial generation came of age when the ability to share information via technology was just beginning. Without guidelines, many began to share everything without regard of the consequences to themselves or others. Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

The recent dissemination of classified information through media outlets and social media indicate that contemporary insider threat management has entered a new phase. Unlike previous generations that adhered to a strict code of silence, some millennials in charge of keeping U.S. secrets safe have the urge to share information they deem the public has the right to know. Rather than going through official channels to reveal actions they believe are wrong, people like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Reality Winner leak classified material through media and are just the first indication of information management processes that must change with the times.

July 1, 2018
By Maj. Gen. Jim Keffer, USAF (Ret.), Col. David Hathaway, USAF (Ret.), and Lt. Col. David Weissmiller, USAF (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Timothy White, USN, commander, Cyber National Mission Force, U.S. Cyber Command, shares feedback with students attending the Joint Cyber Analysis course at the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC), Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida. The Unified Platform will assist members of all services in securing networks by enabling cyber warriors to prosecute full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Credit: Glenn Sircy/Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs

The U.S. Defense Department is leaning forward by investing in capabilities that equip U.S. cyber forces with a warfighting platform to achieve, maintain and defend cyberspace superiority. The Unified Platform will be critical to realizing U.S. Cyber Command’s vision to maneuver globally and seamlessly between defense and offense across the cyberspace domain and defend far forward into an adversary’s cyber space.

June 29, 2018
By Paul Parker
Edge computing and the Internet of Things have the potential to enhance government agility and efficiency. Shutterstock

Wary that the Internet of Things (IoT) could be used to introduce unwanted and unchecked security risks into government networks, senators last year created a piece of legislation that placed minimum security standards around IoT devices sold to and purchased by government agencies.  The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 specifically cites the need for regulation of “federal procurement of connected devices,” including edge computing devices, which are part of the IoT ecosystem.

June 27, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, alongside Iraqi security forces, fire artillery at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The annual Cyber Quest experiment, which focused this year on cyber situational understanding, is designed to evaluate prototypical technologies and deliver systems to warfighters sooner. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army officials conducting the third annual Cyber Quest experiment, which ends today, will issue a report in about 30 days that will determine which of the systems involved will transfer to programs of record. The exercise consists of an array of systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, that help provide situational understanding of the cyber and electronic warfare realms.

June 26, 2018
By Jesse Price
As cyber attacks increase, the combination of big data capabilities and network analytics will allow network monitoring agents to shift from defense to offense. Credit: Shutterstock

Traffic on optical transport networks is growing exponentially, leaving cyber intelligence agencies in charge of monitoring these networks with the unenviable task of trying to sift through ever-increasing amounts of data to search for cyber threats. However, new technologies capable of filtering exploding volumes of real-time traffic are being embedded within emerging network monitoring applications supporting big data and analytics capabilities.

June 20, 2018
By Jane Melia
Cybersecurity trends so far this year include a stern reminder that the threat of nation-sponsored cyber attacks cannot be ignored. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

With the arrival of June, we’re at the halfway point of an already busy year for the cybersecurity industry. With each passing year, our sector continues to demonstrate its evolving approach to fighting cyber threats, as cyber crime itself continues to evolve.

As both business and government move forward with digital transformation initiatives to improve processes and efficiency, the overall security attack surface continues to expand with more potential points of access for criminals to exploit. However, our industry is tackling these challenges head-on, with numerous innovative solutions continuing to come to market.

June 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers

When National Science Foundation officials announced in February that three major providers of cloud computing were donating up to $9 million collectively for big data research, they already were looking for ways to broaden the effort to include a wider variety of topics, including cybersecurity. The expansion is intended to benefit both research and education initiatives and is necessary, in part, because the cloud providers now acquire cutting-edge hardware before it is made available to researchers.

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
While the U.S. Army is working on significantly upgrading its situational awareness system Blue Force Tracking, in use on more than 98,000 platforms, its cyber situational awareness needs improvement, especially in red and gray zones. Army photo

The U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as CERDEC, is gearing up to face increasing asymmetrical threats in cyberspace. The center looks to improve cyber operations, information warfare, electronic countermeasures and information security, among other areas. Its efforts are prompted as the military finds itself fighting or preparing to fight more and more in cyberspace, in conjunction with the traditional domains of sea, air, land and space.

June 1, 2018
By Jane Melia
Credit: Den Schrodinger/Shutterstock

The potential geopolitical consequences of quantum communications will result in clear asymmetries in both knowledge and confidentiality of information. Countries whose data can be protected through quantum communication techniques will have a significant information advantage, a situation that would have important, albeit hard to predict, effects on geopolitical developments.

May 8, 2018
By Seli Agbolosu-Amison
Four policies give government agencies they flexibility and authority to limit cyber risks. Credit: katielwhite91/Pixabay

As a result of recent federal legislative and administrative activity, government agencies are expected to launch significant modernizations of their cybersecurity systems, get offensive with hackers and take a more strategic approach to risk. Combined, these policy directives promise to transform our government into a robust digital society, gaining greater resiliency to cyber threats by leveraging opportunities while reinforcing standards and procedures.

Here’s a breakdown of the key components of the four policies:

May 31, 2018
By Paul Parker
After enjoying a period without peers, the U.S. now find itself facing a variety of threats, including Russia, China and terrorist groups. Credit: TheDigitialArtist/Pixabay

The days of the United States’ stature as a force without equal appear to be over. The threat of near-peer competition with increasingly sophisticated adversaries is growing. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis says in the National Defense Strategy, "America has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield."

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Sailors assist with the landing of a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter on the deck of the U.S. Navy’s USS Wasp assault ship as part of an April certification exercise in the Philippine Sea. In its role of steering the Navy toward the best information technology for the 21st century, the Space and Naval Warfare  Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic is looking at cloud computing systems to support the warfighter. Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Levingston Lewis, USN

This month is a crucial time for the U.S. Navy, as far as information technology goes. Its Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems is developing the request for proposal for its Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete contract that will provide information technology services, including cloud services, for more than 700,000 Navy and Marine Corps users.

May 23, 2018
By Julianne Simpson
“Russia is not a resurgent power. Russia is a remonstrate power,” said Gen. Michael Hayden, USAF (Ret.), principal, the Chertoff Group, during his morning keynote at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Gen. Michael Hayden, USAF (Ret.), principal, the Chertoff Group, shifted the weight of the conversation at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium from the direction of cyber narrowly defined to information broadly defined. Throughout his morning keynote he touched on Russian manipulation of the 2016 election, the U.S. moving into a post-truth culture and what cyber leaders can do in the future to help secure the nation.

May 30, 2018
By Don Maclean
Although hacking back against cyber criminals may seem morally justifiable, it can quickly spiral out of control. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Whether a Social Security number from an individual, or financial information from a company, hackers continue to find ways to steal data from millions of Americans. To combat these crimes, the idea of active cyber defense has arisen on Capitol Hill with the introduction of the Active Cyber Defense Certainty (ACDC) Act.

In January, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen voiced measured support for empowering companies to be more active in their approach to cybersecurity. These active measures would allow companies to access other computer networks in order to thwart cyber attacks, monitor the hackers, collect evidence or destroy stolen files.

May 22, 2018
By Julianne Simpson
During her morning keynote, Stempfley stressed the importance of using analytics to create situational awareness in cybersecurity.

Situational awareness is key to cybersecurity and using analytics can help create the situational awareness needed to defend the nation from adversaries. “Never before have we had the tools that we have today to understand the environment we’re in,” said Roberta “Bobbie” Stempfley, director, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, CERT Division, during her morning keynote at the AFCEA-GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

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