Cyber

January 1, 2020
By Jim Barrineau, Jamie Dos Santos and Steve Shirley
A company considering a cyber insurance purchase must determine the risk to its organization and if a single policy will cover the type of loss it may experience.

Cyber insurance can protect organizations from losing more than data, but choosing a cyber insurer and policy comes with its own caveats. The purchase decision maker must consider an individual company’s circumstances, such as revenue, risk tolerance, board guidance and regulatory environment relative to protected categories of information. In addition, every purchase decision must be critically reviewed, particularly regarding the extent of coverage exclusions in each policy.

January 1, 2020
By Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

Long before the federal government charged two defendants in 2018 for ransomware attacks on municipal computer systems—including Atlanta’s—cities found ways to make do during these outages. Police wrote reports by hand, traffic tickets were paid in person and social media kept everyone informed in a way that showcased a city’s resiliency.

December 31, 2019
 

As 2019 comes to a close, SIGNAL looks back at the top 10 most viewed articles of the year.

1. Army Cyber To Become an Information Warfare Command
March 14, 2019
The shift reflects the importance of integrated capabilities, above and beyond cyber.

2. China Drops All Camouflage About Its Aggression
November 20, 2019
Intelligence officers cite both hard and soft power on the march toward a global takeover.

December 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Army C5ISR Center employee Donovan Sweet conducts research for the C4ISR Modular Autonomy project at Camp Grayling, Michigan, in October. The Army wants to build a fast, agile and lethal Remote Combat Vehicle capable of avoiding electronic warfare and cyber attacks. Credit: Dan LaFontaine, Army public affairs official

The U.S. Army envisions future robotic vehicles that are easy for soldiers to operate while proving difficult for enemy forces to detect, jam or hack. Researchers at one of the service’s premier research and development centers are racing to build the sensors, communications links and software needed to make that vision a reality.

December 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Undersea fiber constitutes the backbone of international e-commerce for the world’s richest nations. However, issues regarding territorial access and oversight remain unresolved. Credit: Shutterstock/Christoph Burgstedt

Fiber is booming as telecommunications customers seek more services both in the cloud and at the network’s edge. The most important part of society’s information infrastructure, it is relatively secure in the face of attempts to wreak devastating harm to the nation, experts say. But that security is not absolute, and potential vulnerabilities could open up optical fiber to damaging attacks. Damage to this infrastructure, which serves as the backbone of the Internet and all the e-commerce that travels over it, could bring about an unprecedented economic upheaval.

November 26, 2019
By George I. Seffers
A new report developed under a joint program between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department develops a draft framework for organizations to assess the threat of unintended consequences in the cyber realm. Credit: issaro prakalung/Shutterstock

A new report on the commoditization of cyber weapons suggests that the easy availability of inexpensive offensive cyber tools is reshaping the cyber threat landscape. The report is being briefed to officials across the federal government, including elements of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, Senate Cyber Caucus and the Secret Service.

December 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Positioning, navigation and timing is critical to an array of critical infrastructure areas, including the electrical power grid, finance and transportation. The U.S. government is working to harden so-called PNT systems against jamming, spoofing and other vulnerabilities, in part by developing a resiliency framework. Credit: Shutterstock/NicoElNino

Over the next year, U.S. government officials intend to develop an initial conformance framework to ultimately improve resilience for systems that provide positioning, navigation and timing for a wide variety of users. That initial framework will focus on timing, and lessons learned will be used to develop more comprehensive versions.

December 1, 2019
 
At the Cyber Education, Research, and Training Symposium 2019, Brig. Gen. Dennis A. Crall, USMC, (now a Maj. Gen.) principal deputy cyber adviser, Office of the Secretary of Defense, said warfighter education and training must focus on mission preparation.

The top five U.S. cybersecurity workforce positions in demand today are information systems security developer, information systems security manager, systems developer, research and development specialist, and software developer. To fill these posts, entry-level positions must be developed in the areas of systems administrators, network operations and cyber operator specialists. All of this demand requires a steady supply of training.

November 21, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
A panel of -6s from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command organizations discuss the importance of the space and cyber domains. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

Widespread changes among the military services are leading to a return to core missions complemented by a greater emphasis on new technology realms. As a result, back to basics is flavored by space and cyber domains that pose challenges of their own.

A panel of -6s from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) organizations outlined these challenges on the third day of TechNet Indo-Pacific 2019, held November 19-21 in Honolulu. Led by the INDOPACOM J-6, Maj. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, the panelists addressed a number of challenges facing their organizations and the U.S. military at large.

November 20, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Cyber experts from government, industry and academia explore cybersecurity solutions during a Women in AFCEA panel. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

All the involved parties concerned about cybersecurity must find new ways of cooperation to meet the changing threat picture, experts say. These efforts ought to begin in elementary school, where children should be introduced to cyber and encouraged to stay out of trouble that would prevent them from pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

November 20, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) provides information warfare capabilities to all of the U.S. Air Force’s air components and several U.S. Combatant Commands, as well as cyber representation to the U.S. Cyber Command, explains Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF, commander, 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) at the AFCEA Alamo Chapter’s ACE event.

Less than two months on the job, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF, commander of the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), is already shaping the structure of the service’s new information warfare Numbered Air Force (NAF). Stood up in October, the NAF combines the service’s cyber operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; electronic warfare and information operations, including capabilities folded in from the 24th and 25th Air Forces.

November 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Robert Bauman of Trusted Systems warns of a physical security gap that empowers the insider threat.

Greater concentration on separate physical security and cybersecurity has led to a major loophole characterized by the insider threat. Combining the two disciplines holds the key to protecting against devastating data breaches.

November 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Phil Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, speaks at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

China has no ambiguities about its concept of the global future. The rising superpower wants to replace the current system of international laws and guaranteed freedoms with one built around Chinese control of geography, commerce and information.

Thus defined, this challenge formed the basis of the keynote luncheon speech on the first day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, held November 19-21 in Honolulu. The speaker was Adm. Phil Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), and he pulled no punches in describing how China has dropped all illusions of peaceful coexistence in its drive toward global domination.

November 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Cyber experts (l-r) Ray Letteer, Will Bush, Jean-Paul Bergeaux and Lisa Lee, discuss the risks of Internet of Things devices during AFCEA Quantico-Potomac’s Annual Cyber Security Panel event on October 31 at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

With the increase of available equipment that connects to the Internet, the military needs to address the associated cybersecurity risks. The Defense Department is lacking a comprehensive strategy of how to harness these so-called IoT devices, which could be based on existing cybersecurity frameworks, advised experts at an October 31 AFCEA Quantico-Potomac Chapter luncheon.

October 1, 2019
By Shaun Waterman

When executives from Iron Bow Technologies sit down with officials from potential customer agencies, the goal is to understand the needs of the client rather than to close a deal, according to James Ebeler, the company’s CTO for Department of Defense (DOD) business.

October 30, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DISA’s Cloud Based Internet Isolation prototyping initiative eliminates potential threats from unclassified networks by showing Internet browsers a movie-like representation of the the websites they view. The agency plans to select one of two prototypes in the spring. Credit: Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Cloud Based Internet Isolation prototyping effort is already eliminating cyber threats every day, says Angela Landress, who manages the program commonly known as CBII.

The program uses a little technological sleight of hand to keep non-secure Internet browsing in the secure Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud rather than on the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). “What comes back from the cloud is actually just a video-like representation of the webpage. There’s nothing executable in it,” Landress explains.

November 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The 348th Engineer Battalion prepares for mobilization at the Total Force Training Center, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, in late May. Experts share that sensors and other Internet of Things devices will be able to be placed everywhere—in concrete, glass or fabrics, for example. Credit: Russell Gamache

As the number of electronic devices connected to the Internet grows, so does the security risk and the chance of data exfiltration by adversaries. Warfighters’ use of Internet of Things devices makes the military increasingly vulnerable, experts say. In addition, as the concentration of smart sensors and connected tools widens, the military may not be able to conduct unexpected operations.

October 29, 2019
By Rod Musser
Recent events indicate the government is serious about enforcing supply chain cybersecurity. Credit: Kalabi Yau/Shutterstock

Supply chain security has been of concern to government leaders for decades, but with attacks now originating in industrial control systems (ICS) from supply chain vulnerabilities and with an increasing reliance on the Internet of Things (IoT), Congress is stepping up its involvement. For example, legislators have promised that more stringent standards will soon be enforced.

October 30, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DISA is beginning to implement plans to build a common network infrastructure for 14 defense agencies known as the “fourth estate.” The effort could save hundreds of millions of dollars over the long term. Credit: ktsdesign/Shutterstock

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has begun the implementation phase for the Fourth Estate Network Optimization Initiative and will now begin building the network for 14 defense agencies. The endeavor will standardize equipment, enhance cybersecurity, improve interoperability and save significant money, DISA officials say.

February 21, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Photo Illustration. Credit: Shutterstock/Dmitri Ma

Five cyber technology firms will vie for top honors as a six-month series of Innovation Showcase 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 Innovation Showcase, AFCEA will host another Innovation Showcase at its Small Business Innovation Summit on May 1.

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