Other

October 19, 2021
 

SIGNAL Media will cover TechNet Cyber 2021, taking place October 27-28. Follow #AFCEACyber on Twitter for live coverage.

October 8, 2021
 

Control room ergonomics are a matter of health and safety and an issue of efficiency and overall productivity.

Well-designed control room balance fits the demands of the job to the capability of the operators. An important aspect of any successful ergonomic control room upgrade is the console. Acting as a central nervous system, the console in any control room connects the operator to the technology, with significant impact on ergonomics.

The cost vs. benefits of incorporating an ergonomically designed console in a control room is analyzed from regulatory compliance, health and safety, and operator efficiency.

Regulatory Compliance

September 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Out of the ashes of terrorism, the new One World Trade Center building rises 1776 feet above Lower Manhattan as a symbol of national resilience. Spinel/Shutterstock

Twenty years have passed since a group of suicidal fanatics highjacked several aircraft and committed horrific acts of mass murder in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The 9/11 terror attacks stunned a nation that thought itself relatively invulnerable to large-scale attack and shocked the world with the audacity and global reach of the zealots who committed the crime. The world changed that day, and few could have imagined all that would follow.

August 11, 2021
By Richard Breakiron, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Commvault

What comes to mind when you think of simplicity? Something that is readily apparent and understandable with little additional guidance? A simple algorithm or a simple mathematical solution? Or rather a simple solution to all problems? When we think of simplicity, we think of Edsger Dijkstra’s words: “Simplicity is the prerequisite for reliability.” Essentially, we’re talking about a solution that is simple, reliable, secure, and that meets all ends at any given stage in a single complicated journey.

May 25, 2021
 

SIGNAL editorial staff will provide live coverage from West 2021, taking place virtually June 29-30. Watch this space and follow #WEST2021 on Twitter during the event. The premier naval conference and exposition world-wide, West is now in its 31st year of bringing military and industry leaders together. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, West is the only event in which the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies can network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions.

November 1, 2020
By Jennifer Miller

Misinformation is the spreading of wrongful information without intentionally doing so. It can be a simple matter of getting the facts wrong, misremembering some details or sharing a meme.

Disinformation, on the other hand, is deliberate and without regard for second or third-order effects. Russia spreading conspiracy theories on social media to sow discord in other countries is one example; fraud scams are another. Intent makes all the difference. Malice or nefarious intent generally accompanies disinformation while misinformation stems from a generally innocent source.

Disinformation, like misinformation, is everywhere. Plain and simple. It is plentiful in all communities—especially intelligence—and across the globe.

October 27, 2020
 

Information management is an integral part of any military operation, and in today’s operations, technology is a common tool used to facilitate a shared understanding of intel. A growing trend for military bases is to install large format direct-view LED video walls in locations like command centers, control rooms and briefing rooms to show an integrated big picture of data feeds and video feeds critical to decision-making during the mission. As global cyber threats increase and the Department of Defense ramps up expectations for cybersecurity, the manufacturing location for any technology systems which send and receive signals is a forefront concern for equipment installations for the military and government.

October 13, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: SailPoint

Many agencies today lack a way to effectively and securely govern access across multicloud environments. Though the use of multiple cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google give agencies the freedom to match the requirements of each use case to the unique strengths of each cloud platform, it also leaves businesses vulnerable to the risks and costs of noncompliance, cyber attacks and human error.

Lack of governance can also stifle productivity and growth—if users can’t get the access they need when they need it, work doesn’t get done. Managing who has access to what and with which privileges is a major challenge in the cloud due to rapid change and its large scale.

October 1, 2020
 

Leading government agencies have discovered that always-on network packet capture is critical to their cyber defense stack.  By integrating network history with leading cybersecurity tools (SIEMs, Firewalls, IDSs, and AI Analytics), security analysts can accelerate incident response times with rapid in-context drill-down to relevant packet evidence.  Unalterable forensic data allows for accurate, fast, and conclusive resolution to cyber threats. See how easy network history can integrate with your tools or visit www.endace.com.
 

August 6, 2020
By Rachel Lilly
Election season is the most exciting time for policy influence organizations, says Duane Blackburn of MITRE.

With the election looming, policymakers both inside and outside the government are working overtime to prepare for what’s ahead. “No matter who wins this election, whether Trump gets a second term or we get a different president, there’s going to be an awful lot of changes,” said Duane Blackburn, S&T policy analyst for The MITRE Corporation, during an interview with AFCEA Asks.

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

When global positioning system (GPS) devices entered the consumer marketplace, they were big, clunky and not user friendly. To reach a location, users had to input waypoints and then be sure to stay on the line connecting each one. Despite their difficulties, early GPS receivers represented a typically incremental pathway for innovation: evolving from an early military application to becoming extremely useful on a commercial basis when connected to digital maps.

Now, GPS connectivity is standard in cars, smart phones and fitness devices, and the innovation continues with applications for autonomous farming equipment, online cargo tracking and smart munitions.

July 9, 2020
By John McDonald, Sales Director, Federal DOD, CommScope

As the Department of Defense (DOD) continues its digital transformation efforts with systems upgrades and emerging technology, it needs to consider the foundational piece—the network infrastructure. Network infrastructure—including fiber and copper cabling, antennas, wireless access points and switches—is the backbone for all current and future devices that run on the network.

May 4, 2020
 

 

For decades, Type 1 has been the National Security Agency’s most prized cybersecurity designation, describing technology that can effectively keep the nation’s most classified information under lock and key.

Recent years, however, have seen the growth of NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program, which offers an alternative to Type 1 products.

With these two competing options, it is important to understand what the difference between Type 1 and CSfC really is and which one is best for your use case. 

Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about both NSA Type 1 and the CSfC program.

What Is NSA Type 1 Equipment?

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

High on the list of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is productivity, with multiple sectors of the economy having slowed. As industries and workers find their path forward, many are taking a renewed look at telework, and for good reason.

Some industries, such as hospitality or healthcare, require at least some face-to-face contact with customers, and they must take the necessary precautions to keep employees safe and functioning where possible. However, for other industries, this crisis presents an opportunity to rethink remote work and how well it can fulfill organizational goals and missions.

April 29, 2020
By Chris Collura, VP Federal Sales at CommScope
Credit: Shutterstock/Fit Ztudio

There’s no question that 2020 is going to be a big year for technology transformation in the Defense Department. The National Defense Authorization Act gives DoD a $738 billion budget – a $20 billion increase over last year – with an emphasis on fielding the technology necessary for a faster, more agile force, while improving operations and efficiency across the enterprise. That means having fast, low-latency cellular and Wi-Fi connections at every access point and refreshing its legacy infrastructure.

February 1, 2020
By Maj. Ryan Kenny, USA

Over the past few months, I have participated in a forum to help competitive graduates find quality internships and jobs after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious engineering and computer science programs. Listening to the next generation of technologists, innovators and leaders has helped me understand their concerns and desires in the hiring process. I have also gained new perspectives on what applicants think employers do right and wrong.

The following tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) are meant to help those in the government and defense sectors attract tech talent today.

November 1, 2019
 

Defense Industrial Base (DIB) supply chain cyber attacks are more widespread than ever due to multiple vulnerabilities. Government agencies require complete assurance that all entry points to their networks are fully secured. Meanwhile, supply chain vendors struggle with the quandary of how to ensure robust security without large investment dollars and without compromising daily operations.

The DoD Agency Secures Its Supply Chain case study is your comprehensive resource for identifying weaknesses within the supply chain and selecting the best solutions to keep your organization’s data secure.

August 2, 2019
 
Credit: Shutterstock/jijomathaidesigners

There was massive technological growth in 2018; things like artificial intelligence and blockchain have gained much support recently. IT departments often enable improved efficiency and security in their organizations by adopting emerging technologies, but that's only if they have the freedom to do so. A few years ago, IT had very less influence over business decisions, but now times are changing: IT is gaining an increased role in business decisions with implementation of cloud computing, data centres and enterprise mobility.

May 13, 2019
 

Hypersonic flight introduces fundamental changes to the way today’s missiles operate. Cruise missiles fly and maneuver within the atmosphere across a range of altitudes, but at speeds barely reaching Mach 1. Ballistic missiles have speeds of up to Mach 9 during re-entry from space but their trajectory is fixed. Vastly faster than cruise missiles, yet following an unpredictable and adjustable flight path, hypersonic missiles are a unique threat.
 

May 1, 2019
 

For military intelligent sensor systems constrained by size, weight and power (SWaP), custom microelectronic processing devices using advanced 3D packaging and thermal management are the only solution for success.

May 1, 2019
 

Deception changes the asymmetry against attackers with attractive traps and lures designed to deceive and detect attackers. Providing an active defense for early detection, forensics, and automated incident response to in-network threats is a must. The ThreatDefend™ Platform provides accurate threat detection within user networks, data centers, clouds, and specialized attack surfaces. The portfolio includes expansive network, endpoint, application, and data deceptions that misdirect and reveal attacks from all threat vectors. Advanced machine-learning makes deployment and operations simple to operate for organizations of all sizes.

May 1, 2019
By Shaun Waterman

When the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) went looking for technology to enable alliance officials to use smartphones without being eavesdropped on by hackers or spies, they immediately came up against a problem.

“There were a very limited number of solutions that had been accredited by member-nation security agencies to protect sensitive but unclassified voice [and text] communications,” NCIA General Manager Kevin Scheid said.

May 1, 2019
By Henry S. Kenyon

As conflicts become faster and more complex with multiple platforms and data streams feeding information to warfighters, there is a growing need to manage this process to improve operational efficiency. The Department of Defense (DOD) is investing in cloud and machine learning tools and systems to help improve situational awareness and connectivity at the last tactical mile.

The military is striving to maintain tactical dominance in two ways: (1) ubiquitous edge computing and processing on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, and (2) cloud-based services and tools that can reach small tactical units to provide them with vital information even in contested electromagnetic environments.

May 1, 2019
By Henry S. Kenyon

From the end of the Cold War to the present era, there has been a growing need for military platforms to coordinate for operations and to share information. The Link 16 family of data links has been central to providing critical battlefield information to the U.S. and its allies since the 1980s.

But Link 16 has primarily been used for theater-wide operations, connecting fast jets and large platforms like ships. One area where the data link has not seen much use was in tactical missions on the ground connecting helicopters, ground vehicles and dismounted troops.

May 1, 2019
By Shaun Waterman

Talk about taking on a big job: Red Hat wants to bring agile software production practices — and the company’s OpenShift application development platform — into the Department of Defense with their decades of constraints, habits and bureaucracy.

And the task is made more daunting still, because making an organization agile isn’t just a matter of buying stuff.

“Agile is not bought, it’s taught,” said Red Hat Public Sector Lead Transformation Specialist Chuck Svoboda, “And it needs to be taught by seasoned practitioners.”

Svoboda dismisses the idea that an organization can become agile simply by buying the right technology—like the lightweight and easily replicable software called containers.

November 1, 2018
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

In a rapidly changing and dynamic world, we are lacking a most important ingredient for policy making: honest, constructive political debate. Civil discourse, in which responsible and thoughtful people discuss proposed policies and events based on facts, logic and reason in an atmosphere of mutual respect, has all but disappeared. It is being replaced by one-sided, confrontational politics wrapped in narrowly focused biases that give no quarter to opposing views. Emotion and deception have ousted integrity and truth. Moderate voices are being driven to the sidelines or silenced altogether.

October 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Photo Credit: Peshkova

With technologies entering the market at a blistering pace and autonomous systems expected to make a larger contribution, the work force of the future may not resemble past efforts.

Eager to try and make sense of the coming environment, Deloitte's recent study, Government jobs of the future: What will government work look like in 2025 and beyond?, delves into predictions.

November 3, 2017
 

Mission assurance and resilience can be interpreted differently, but having the tools, capabilities, partnerships and skilled work force that can respond to a variety of scenarios in a flexible manner is the ultimate goal. 

The solutions possible in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region are as varied as the challenges, and the speakers at TechNet-Asia Pacific were cautiously optimistic because of the tools they have. But they also emphasized that the United States needs to rely on much more than technical prowess. The human factor is equally important.

October 16, 2017
By Rick McElroy

Your endpoints don’t just live within the safety of your corporate network—they’re out in the wild exposed to millions of new threats every day. With non-malware attacks on the rise that are even harder to detect than traditional malware, security professionals are realizing it is no longer a matter of if they will be breached, but when.

September 15, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Chip Fulghum, deputy under secretary for management, DHS, addresses attendees at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is evolving from its early component focus to today’s mission focus, and its unity of effort and management reform initiatives serve as a foundation for continued transformation.

“One of the key things in unity of effort is we have to get it right up front," explained Chip Fulghum, deputy under secretary for management, DHS, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference. DHS must build strategy that turns into operational plans, he said, but he allowed that the Department has a ways to go. “Requirements are being built from the ground up, and we want to eliminate redundancy.”  

February 1, 2017
By Senior Airman Ryan René Rosado, USAF

In this era of e-commerce, a person can pay for a coffee by simply using a cellphone. Clearly, we have come a long way from trading goats and pelts for goods, but the global method of exchanging currency has advanced little. The world largely relies on the paper money system started by the Chinese Tang Dynasty, despite the enormous expense to maintain physical currency.

January 1, 2017
By Farisa Dastvar

It is about time federal contractor employees received benefits equal to their in-house peers. 

In November, the long-awaited final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor mandated that federal contractors provide paid sick leave to certain employees. The regulation covers both new federal contracts and replacements to expired contracts.

Although some cities and states require that employers offer paid sick leave, no federal law mandates the employment benefit across the board. The United States is the only industrialized nation without paid leave. 

September 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The third annual Intelligence and National Security Summit (INSS) kicks off tomorrow in Washington, D.C., a premier gathering of senior decision makers from government, military, industry and academia who will tackle some of the most difficult intelligence quandaries baffling world leaders.

September 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Mike Basla, USAF (Ret.)

Much debate has taken place recently on the topic of American “greatness.” While I believe this country remains great today, I also believe it has lost some of its momentum for a number of reasons, including a struggling economy. Wages are not climbing, consumer spending is stagnant, and the national debt keeps growing. We need to reinvigorate the middle class with more opportunities for higher-paying jobs so that Americans feel confident and prosperous again. Those opportunities exist, but unlike the last century, more will come from small businesses than big businesses.

June 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Mike Basla, USAF (Ret.)

My wife and I once passed through three different airports on a trip to visit friends. As I observed each passenger terminal, I was struck by the behavior of the employees. 

While the mission of those airports was quite similar—process passengers, route bags, maintain safety and keep to the flight schedule—every airport left me with a distinctly different impression. Some were more efficient, had happier employees, were cleaner and demonstrated qualitative disparities compared with others. What accounted for these differences? Airport leadership. 

April 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Mike Basla, USAF (Ret.)

I recently had the honor of speaking with the men and women of the National Capital Region’s Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The question they asked most often was, “What’s it like to take off the uniform?” I thought about that question and realized that for many of these service members, the transition would be markedly different than it was for me. Not only are some of them leaving the only profession they have ever known, but also they are leaving it with new physical and/or psychological challenges.

March 22, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Ryan Proscia (center in dark blue) and his wife Jennifer (l) receive keys to a new home in Florida donated by Military Warriors Support Foundation, Bank of America and sponsored by Diligent Consulting.

Ryan Proscia and his family now have a home. 

That wasn't always the case. The 28-year-old wounded Army corporal and his wife of seven years, Jennifer Proscia, used to rely on the generosity of family and friends for a roof over their heads—even if just temporarily. When their luck ran out, they said they just did not know what they were going to do.

Military Warriors Support Foundation ensured they wouldn't have to find out.

Through the organization's efforts Proscia, Jennifer and their two young daughters on Tuesday received keys to their very own home in Spring Hill, Florida.

February 9, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

Silos are products of the inherent lack of ability for teams to communicate with one another. Not because they don't want to, but because they can't. They don't have the communication skills, the soft skills, the same user experiences, the same motivations, experts report.

January 14, 2016
By Marilyn Crouther

As we enter 2016, public sector IT infrastructure remains in the throes of an unprecedented era of transformation. Business transformation is the new normal. Evolving missions, policy reforms, emerging threats, changing work force demographics, the move to mobility and the volatile federal budgeting process all demand public sector IT solutions be both increasingly nimble and evermore efficient.

October 21, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Even the White House joined the fray to celebrate Back to the Future Day.

But be warned, the endeavor can be time consuming and today's a working day, after all. 

All day Wednesday, the White House blog hosted a series of conversations with scientists and innovators as administration staffers (some boasting a witty sense of humor) solicited input on what the nation thinks the future will look like in 30 years, capitalizing on the fact that October 21, 2015, marked the date in which Marty McFly traveled into the "future" in the movie Back to the Future Part II released 30 years ago.

October 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Government Accountability Office

The tally is in and the news is mostly good: The federal government saved about $3.6 billion over a three-year period by implementing information technology reforms set in motion by the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB.

Between fiscal 2011 and 2014, agencies netted about $2 billion of the total from data center consolidation and optimization efforts alone, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.

“Notably, of the $3.6 billion total, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and the Social Security Administration accounted for about $2.5 billion,” reads a portion of the report.

September 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

We are so conditioned these days to the exciting advances in the world of cyber: Information technology leaps ahead relentlessly, Moore’s law tells us these changes will accelerate endlessly, the consumer world reflects the shared excitement when the new Apple Watch appears, and we all warily watch the explosion of the aptly named Internet of Things, with more than 20 billion devices predicted to be attached to the Web by 2020.

Yet the big revolution of the 21st century will not be in information and cyber. It will be in biology, and it will profoundly affect both day-to-day life and national security.

August 4, 2015
By Rachel Lilly

The new mobile shopping app snach.it aims to combine the deep discounts of Groupon with the instant gratification of Snapchat. It simplifies the shopping experience by offering curated daily deals from top brands, but you only have 30 seconds to purchase, or the offer is gone.

June 19, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Friday its final guidelines for federal agencies to follow when they provide controlled unclassified information for use on nonfederal systems, such as information on systems used by contractors or universities that work with the government.

The guidance aims to ensure sensitive information remains confidential. The government established the controlled unclassified information (CUI) program to standardize how the executive branch handles unclassified information requiring protection, such as personally identifiable information.

June 9, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor

Technology is a wonderful way to stay in touch, but it’s summer and time to put gadgets away for a bit. Whether you live in a region with year-round sunshine or brutal winters, taking those paid vacation days benefits not just you and your family but also the economy.

Do it for your health. An annual vacation can reduce the risk of having a heart attack by 50 percent. Vacationers also report getting three times more deep sleep after returning home. Getting away from the office decreases stress and increases recuperative powers, reducing the number of sick days used annually.

May 1, 2015
By Dr. R. Norris Keeler
This chart plots the location of Southeast Asia airline crashes. Note the proximity to the equator. Because the AF447 flight was lost in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, its location is shown as an insert in the upper right hand portion of the chart. The equator is correctly located for all events.

A spate of commercial airliner crashes along the equator in Southeast Asian waters has taken the lives of several hundred passengers and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft equipment. A lack of concrete evidence of mechanical causes often results in a default decision of pilot error.

Yet, the aircraft may have been done in by an unavoidable freak atmospheric effect unique to the equatorial region. The airline flights involved include: Air France AF447, lost June 1, 2009, over the Atlantic near the equator; Adam Air DHI 574, January 1, 2007; Malaysia Airlines MH370, March 7, 2014; and most recently, AirAsia Flight QZ 8501, December 28, 2014.

May 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Col. Greg Julian, USA, public affairs officer for the U.S. Forces Afghanistan, leads an investigation team to meet with villagers in Tagab, Afghanistan. The team worked with the Afghan ministries of Defense and Information to explore allegations of possible civilian casualties after a mission to capture Taliban leaders.

Terrorists, their supporters and other adversarial groups and individuals are finding new and creative ways to use the law against their enemies. The tactics create hesitation on the battlefield, cast doubt on the legality of military operations and ultimately can change the way nations fight. Recent cases, though, indicate the courts may be catching on.

May 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

So often these days, as I sail along in my second year of retirement, people—very nicely—say to me, “Thank you for your service.” I appreciate that deeply, and I think every veteran does. Some veterans have served just a year or two, of course, and some grizzled folks like me stayed in for well over three decades. But regardless of the length of service, we all enjoy that momentary sense of being part of something far larger than just ourselves—Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and so on.

But lately, I have been thinking about the many ways people serve their nation.

April 14, 2015

The Electronic Security Association (ESA), a professional trade association that represents the electronic life safety and security industry, launched a website geared at connecting people interested in careers in the security with companies that are hiring. GetIntoSecurity.com includes a resources section for job hunters, a resources section for career and guidance counselors, and descriptions of the types of security industry jobs available to students, military veterans and retirees. 

March 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

National Public Radio (NPR) released a humorous, touching and all-around awesome video today, capturing tweets and photographs by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, who launched to the International Space Station in May 2014 for a six-month space mission.