Cyber

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Effective cybersecurity ultimately will depend on the ability of nations with shared interests to form coalitions that influence the development of international rules and regulations, according to Internet security experts. A lively Wednesday panel on cyberspace at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, explored the broad ramifications of cyberspace security on a global scale.

Scott Dewar, the Australian consulate general in Honolulu, warned of letting others define the Internet. Australia believes the openness of the Internet is “a libertarian force for good,” he said, adding “we need to be building like-minded coalitions” to obtain results that work in cybersecurity.

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The biggest impediment to effective cybersecurity may be the national laws that underpin freedom in the most technologically advanced democracies. These laws not only provide cybermarauders with hiding places, they also prevent global law enforcement from pursuing them as they prey on unknowing victims around the world.

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

International experts seeking to cooperate in cybersecurity measures often do not even realize how cultural issues are hampering their efforts, according to a top cybersecurity expert. Even when negotiating with friends, they often do not understand the thought processes brought to the table by their foreign partners.

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

South Korea has developed a national policy and program that brings government and the private sector together in a coordinated effort. This thrust, which emerged from two serious cyber attacks earlier this year, aims to have several key measures in place by 2017.

Walter Paik, Republic of Korea consul general in Honolulu, told a panel audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that major cyber attacks in March and June had significant effects in the television sector and in commercial and government sites. Millions of citizens had data stolen, so the Korean government set out on a new approach.

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 Online Show Daily: Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“You may have to make the job fun. What motivated me to get where I am today is not necessarily what will motivate the leaders of tomorrow.”­­­­—Cindy Moran, director, network services, Defense Information Systems Agency

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The revolutionary nature of cyberspace pales in comparison to the dynamic differences that characterize its work force. Not only do younger workers have different professional goals than their progenitors, but also same-generation technology-savvy workers may have varying outlooks on how to innovate and exploit new capabilities.

A Wednesday panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, wrestled with the challenges facing leaders in cyber fields. Senior Master Sgt. Torry Hickson, USAF, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Pacific, stated that an organization dealing with cyber needs a mix of young and old people. This will combine leadership built of wisdom with an innovative spirit with technology knowledge.

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

An evolving mission network connecting U.S. and Australian forces is being expanded to include other trusted allies with an eye toward adding coalition partner nations. The network is built around a risk-managed approach for sensitive information sharing.

Known as Pegasus, the network expands on the two nations’ Improved Connectivity Initiative (ICI). Maj. Gen. Mike J. Milford, Australia Military, chief technology officer, Chief Information Officer Group of the Australian Department of Defence, outlined details of the network to the Wednesday breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Now that allied forces have accepted coalitions as a requisite for future military operations, they must undergo a cultural sea change for cybersecurity. Accepting nontraditional partners demands a new way of viewing cybersecurity that entails greater flexibility at its most philosophical level.

“We have realized the value of fighting on a single network instead of multiple networks,” said Maj. Gen. Mike J. Milford, Australia Military, chief technology officer, Chief Information Officer Group of the Australian Department of Defence, at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. “Now, we are moving from a risk averse approach to a risk management approach.”

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Australia has implemented a cybersecurity policy that brings together government and industry to secure the domain nationally. The country recently elevated cybersecurity as a major priority for national security, and in 2009, it established a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC).

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 1

Quote of the Day:
"If you allow the United States to operate out of sanctuary, we will beat the crap out of you." - Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, USAF, vice commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, addressing potential adversaries
.

The recent U.S. strategic pivot toward the Pacific has placed that region at the forefront of change in the military. Where in the recent past activities in the area of responsibility (AOR) for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) defined military needs, now the requirements for the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) are emerging as the leading edge of the defense technology sword.

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Pacific Air Forces will benefit greatly from combining its A-3 and A-6, said its director of communications and chief information officer. Col. Michael Finn II, USAF, told the audience at the opening panel discussion at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the Pacific Air Forces would have “a lot of synergy combining the -3 with the -6.”

The concept of cyber readiness has a different perspective from the operations side and the cyber side. This consolidation helps provide warfighting integration across the entire network, Col. Finn said.

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Pacific Command military leaders agree that any future operation will be conducted amid a coalition, and partner countries must be networked. However, that networking opens the possibility for greatly increased network vulnerabilities as less-secure nations provide weak links for network security.

This vital issue was discussed by a panel featuring the U.S. Pacific Command’s -6s at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Col. Michael Finn II, USAF, director of communications and chief information officer, headquarters, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, noted, “all of our partners are hungry for this [cyber] domain.” Japan and South Korea in particular are primary information sharing partners.

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. forces may be over relying on cyber to meet challenges in the Asia-Pacific region at a time when potential adversaries view it as a key to disrupting U.S. operations, according to the top leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, deputy commander of PACOM, offered that U.S. forces must expect to operate without at least some of their cyber assets in a time of conflict.

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States must weigh its command and control (C2) capabilities before it embarks on a military plan instead of the other way around, according to the vice commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces. Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, USAF, told the opening luncheon audience in TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that vulnerabilities have increased the importance of C2 in planning and execution.

“Oldthink in the U.S. military—which is how we do things today—is, you figure out your military plan, and then you sprinkle your command and control on it,” the general offered. “Instead, you have to understand your limitations in C2 in step one—not what we do today.”

November 21, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The rapid adoption of commercial firmware and software for cybersystems serving the critical infrastructure is increasing vulnerabilities that potentially could lead to devastating system failures, according to a report issued by a cybersecurity organization. In some cases, these diverse systems also are threatened by their legacy nature, which is a barrier to implementing necessary cybersecurity measures.

December 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

Two pictures have taken up residence in my mind over the past few weeks. They highlight the growing disconnect between the U.S. Defense Department and the broader strategic environment—not just in terms of geopolitics but also in the way the rest of the world lives, works and interacts.

The first image captures how the Defense Department views the world. It is a simple map with neat lines delineating the different joint combatant commands. While the boundaries make sense in a conventional way, they are drawn merely for geographic convenience. Implicitly, those lines preclude interaction between constituent elements.

November 14, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seeking participants for the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP), which is expected to open to beta users in January. The ultimate goal for the marketplace is to help protect the nation’s critical infrastructure by improving software used for essential functions, such as electrical power, gas and oil, and banking and finance. Potential participants are invited to register at the continuous assurance website.

October 29, 2013
By Max Cacas

The new head of the U.S. Army Cyber Command cites the importance of looking carefully at what cyberwarriors do to determine how best to manage the men and women tasked with protecting the service’s information technology networks. This focus on personnel addresses challenges ranging from retaining talent to ensuring that cyber operations have the best resources—human and technological—for their mission.

November 1, 2013
By 1st Lt. 
Robert M. 
Lee, USAF

The U.S. Air Force cyber community is failing for a single fundamental reason: the community does not exist. In 2010, the communications community began to be identified as the cyber community. An operational cyberspace badge was created, and those who previously had been communications professionals now were seen as cyberwarriors. This change did not effectively take into account that cyber and communications are two distinct fields and should be entirely separate communities.

October 10, 2013
By Dr. Scott A. Wells

Facebook now has 1.15 billion users who share 4.75 billion content items such as comments, photos and status updates and send more than 10 billion messages each day. When added to other social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, the number of users is staggering. With so many people disclosing personal details and often unknowingly leaking confidential organizational information, social media has become the main platform for hackers to execute social media engineering attacks, phishing attacks and identity theft; social networking is now the main vehicle for spreading malware.

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