5G wireless technology is poised to take the world by storm, offering fast and effective network connectivity at data throughput speeds once reserved for dedicated fiberoptic landlines. This increased speed will also fuel new developments in wireless applications and connected devices to vastly increase the size, depth and interconnectivity of networks of all kinds.
Link 16 is a secure system protocol that allows different military users to share data over the same network.
But like any good thing, everybody wants a piece of the action. As the popularity of Link 16 grows to include more platforms (ships, aircraft, vehicles, drones, etc.) and individual users, it will be important to expand Link 16 capabilities to help U.S. and coalition military forces adjust to new mission needs, enhance situational awareness, adapt to new technologies and improve warfighter safety.
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.
Developed during the Cold War to direct U.S. and NATO fighter aircraft against the threat of incoming Soviet aircraft over Western Europe, the Link 16 datalink system is now becoming a ubiquitous situational awareness and command and control tool capable of providing all echelons and services with both theater and tactical battlespace data.
The days of holding onto legacy IT systems are over. Last year’s Executive Order has made data center and IT modernization an issue of “how” and “when,” not “if.” Despite the mandate to modernize, federal government agencies often struggle to transition from legacy facilities and legacy mindsets, largely because of three myths.
Myth #1: “Our legacy systems are working just fine.”
The slow speed of modernization is partly due to the idea that decades-old systems still seem to be working. You may see this mindset in your own agency: If it has served us well for this long, why would we change?
Meta: We examined the simulated phishing data of our federal customers and identified three tips program administrators and decision-makers in these organizations can use to strengthen their security awareness training efforts.
U.S. federal government agencies face ongoing scrutiny from virtually all angles, but cybersecurity has leapt to the forefront in recent years. From safeguarding elections to defending against nation-state attacks, federal organizations (and their workers) face many sophisticated and high-profile threats—in addition to day-to-day issues that impact data and system security.
Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor is one of the most advanced fighter jets on the planet—not to mention one of the fastest. But over the past few years, as other nations began to test-fly and deploy their own fifth-generation fighters, Lockheed Martin realized that its software development practices were holding it back, delivering new capabilities to the Raptor too slowly to maintain its dominance.
Social engineering and its impacts on organizations worldwide are hot topics in infosec circles—for good reason. It’s no secret that cybercriminals use email-based phishing prolifically, in both broad and targeted attacks. But what are infosec teams—the boots on ground in the cyber war—experiencing in terms of impacts, and are they effectively managing risk?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The major challenges faced by federal agencies and DoD components in managing their cybersecurity and other risks include personnel shortages, daunting compliance requirements and the need for consistent data reporting and management across multiple elements of a diverse and geographically dispersed enterprise.
The RSA Archer Suite helps by automating the drudge work, providing context for incident reports, and other data flows and ensuring a common taxonomy, workflow and metrics across the enterprise. RSA Archer leaves human security personnel free to look at the bigger picture—and make decisions based on real-time, accurate information, intuitively displayed.
A more flexible acquisition process is gradually coming into use throughout the Department of Defense that is especially well suited for technology-based projects such as software systems development. This process meshes well with software design methodologies such as agile development because it allows agencies to rapidly modify a project or a design well before its final stages, saving both time and money, and ensuring the solution meets end user needs.
Close air support, or “CAS,” refers to air action that assists friendly forces on the ground. It may sound hard to believe, but the technology behind CAS hasn’t changed that much since World War II, when ground forces used smoke to show pilots their location.
The story of CAS revolves around two key players: the warfighter on the ground and the pilot flying a mission. The warfighter on the ground, often known as the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), is charged with directing the pilot to a specified mission target. Ed Priest, a member of the Viasat team, served as a JTAC in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years. He now works on supplying JTACs and pilots a better communications tool to coordinate mission strikes.