cyber

April 9, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A communications tower for military 5G rises above a forest. Several challenges loom as the U.S. Defense Department strives to implement 5G into the force. Credit: M.Moira/Shutterstock

The revolutionary advantages offered by defense use of 5G technology could be undone if the United States doesn’t begin now to meet and overcome a set of challenges, said an expert from the National Security Agency (NSA). These challenges range from developing effective security measures to ensuring the supply chain is not contaminated by parts made by foreign adversaries.

April 6, 2021
 

Enlighten IT Consulting LLC, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $66,294,372 firm-fixed-price contract to provide Enterprise Logging Ingest and Cyber Situational Awareness Refinery (ELICSAR) Big Data Platform (BDP) to provide Air Force enterprise data analytics and further development and deployment of ELICSAR in the unclassified, secret, and top secret domains. ELICSAR BDP is a government-owned, cloud-based platform that collects data and enables complex analytics to identify advanced cyber threats. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed March 31, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition using AFWERX Commercial Solutions Opening authority.

April 6, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
A newly formed industry advisory council will allow small and large businesses to provide feedback on the CMMC. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB), the sole authoritative source for operationalizing CMMC assessments and training by the U.S. Defense Department, has announced the formation of a cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC).

The CMMC-AB IAC mission is to provide a unified voice as representatives of organizations seeking certification to provide to the Defense Department and the accreditation board feedback, input and recommendations for implementing the CMMC.

April 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
With the National Institute of Standards and Technology expected next year to select quantum-resistant algorithms for encryption and for digital signatures, an NSA official warns that departments and agencies should begin preparing now to protect national security systems in the quantum era. Credit: sakkmesterke/Shutterstock

The national security community needs to prepare now for the possibility that U.S. adversaries could develop and deploy quantum computers, which would render useless most conventional encryption algorithms, says Adrian Stanger, senior cryptographic authority, Cybersecurity Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA).

April 1, 2021
By Matt Toth and Richard Chitamitre
Training sessions, such as Cyber Shield 19, provide cybersecurity analysts opportunities to train, exchange best practices and test their cyber mettle. Credit: Army Staff Sgt. George B. Davis

The nature of military permanent change of station assignments can create gaps in the U.S. Defense Department’s protected posture to cyber assets. The current approach allows valuable institutional knowledge literally to walk out the door, often being replaced with inadequately prepared personnel walking in. This practice runs contrary to the Pentagon’s stated strategic goals that aim at building and maintaining a skilled workforce rather than solely acquiring new tools.

April 1, 2021
By Miroslav Nečas
The NATO Ministers of Defence meet in February to prepare for its summit later this year. Among the topics socially distanced attendees discussed were progress on burden sharing and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Credit: NATO

NATO is at risk of losing its technology edge because of emerging and disruptive technologies increasingly developed within the civil sector. The growth of peer competitors’ determination, especially China, and the decline of technology education in Western countries are eroding the advantage they once skillfully held.

To address this state of affairs, the organization’s defense ministers are examining a number of activities. As a part of this initiative, the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) conducted a study to provide the industry view of the implications of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs) and Chinese advances in defense operations and military capability development.

February 1, 2021
By Mark S. Sincevich
Senior Airman Rose Li, USAF (l), and Airman 1st Class Eric Gardella, USAF, 86th Communications Squadron wing cyber readiness technicians, monitor malicious network activity during exercise Tacet Venari at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in 2020 to prepare local cyber defenders in safeguarding critical technological infrastructures. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer

The federal government has been taking zero trust more seriously. Although a significant part of it has yet to be implemented, some initial work has been completed with zero trust network access, yet the outside-in approach to zero trust and complexity remains. But the more important aspect of zero trust relates to application and workload connections, which is what attackers care about and is not being protected today.

This “other side” of zero trust and a host-based micro-segmentation approach will lead to greater security and will stop the lateral movement of malware. Constituting multiple pilot projects is the best way forward in the inside-out approach to zero trust.

March 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019. The Army is releasing a flurry of documents, including a pending posture statement, outlining its modernization plans for 2035. Credit: Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

U.S. Army officials expect soon to release a multidomain operations (MDO) posture statement that will complement both the new MDO vision document released by the Army Chief of Staff and the posture statement from U.S. Cyber Command.

The MDO posture statement will detail how the Army intends to achieve its MDO vision for 2035. It will be released soon, possibly as early as April, according to Army officials conducting a March 26 telephonic media roundtable.

March 25, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Adversaries are no longer merely launching attacks from their part of the world, says Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, testifying before Congress on March 25. “They can come in the United States and use our infrastructure, and there is a blind spot for us not being able to see them,” he warns.

The last year presented “unique challenges” to the military combatant command in charge of defending U.S. related interests in cyberspace. The three-year old U.S. Cyber Command, which plans and executes global cyberspace operations, activities and missions in regard to defending and advancing national interests, has spent the last year defending and mitigating against the continuing cyber threats from China, Russia, Iran and nonstate actors and criminals, reported Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commander, U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM); director, National Security Agency (NSA); and chief, Central Security Service (CSS); in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

March 23, 2021
 

With ransomware and malware attacks on the rise across the globe, leaders need to be positioned for incident response before a breach occurs. Most businesses are not prepared for the earth-splitting impact a ransomware attack will present to their organization. Many organizations are deploying the “HOPE” strategy against ransomware. They hope every day that they aren’t targeted, because they know a ransomware attack will present a monumental financial and organizational challenge. Commercial businesses have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to black hat hackers for the rights to the decryption key to restore their network. Ransomware can shut down computers and lock out users until they pay hackers a ransom.

February 8, 2021
 

Federal agencies and especially the DOD are quickly embracing cloud computing for many IT requirements. Traditional computing paradigms are giving way to distributed computing that is fundamental to the dynamic and ephemeral cloud environment. At the same time, the user base is also becoming much more distributed, particularly in this era of increased remote work. Teams of globally dispersed personnel from the DOD, partner organizations and even supporting contractors are now regularly leveraging the cloud to share information critical to mission fulfillment.

March 10, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, USAF, looks on in a demonstration of how to fix code in minutes as part of the Air Force's Kessel Run. The Air Force is building an information enterprise that will enable both users and shapers of data systems to access needed information from a single source. Credit: U.S Air Force

The U.S. Air Force will be flying in a different sort of cloud as it matures its information technology systems. Its Cloud One system will be at the heart of equipping everyone in the Air Force and the Space Force with access to vital information as it embraces multidomain operations.

Lauren Knausenberger, chief information officer, U.S. Air Force, described the future Air Force information environment at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium being held March 8-11 both virtually and at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She reported that many elements will need to come to pass, including better cyber training, for this new enterprise information system to realize its full potential.

March 9, 2021
By Sebastian Krueger
The Internet of Things can make operations run smoothly in any organization but only through constant monitoring of the devices that make up the IoT network. Credit: SerGRAY/Shutterstock

In the ever-growing and complexifying ecosystem of the Internet of Things (IoT), demand for connectivity is stronger than ever and only bound to intensify. Statista predicts that by 2025, there will be 38.6 billion devices connected to the internet, which will put even more pressure on organizations to monitor their infrastructures.

For system administrators, there are several obstacles to keeping pathways clear and the flow of data smooth. Here are a few of the most common roadblocks when it comes to IoT monitoring, as well as a few ways to overcome them.

Roadblock #1: Managing different interfaces for different devices

March 3, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A double rainbow looms over the NSA/CSS Center in Oahu, Hawaii. The building is named after Capt. Joseph T. Rochefort, USN, whose team provided the key intelligence that helped win the 1942 Battle of Midway. The agency is looking to industry and academia for innovations vital to its changing mission. Credit: NSA/CSS

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS)-Hawaii is looking toward innovation, both in technology and in service, as it ramps up to meet the challenges posed in the region covered by the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). And these challenges have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, notes the head of the office.

Capt. Kurtis Mole, USN, commander, NSA/CSS Hawaii, addressed the opportunities NSA/CSS is seizing during his keynote address on the third day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, running virtually March 1-3. Capt. Mole defined the agency’s challenges against the backdrop of the vast Indo-Pacific region while noting its applicability worldwide.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders discuss cyber workforce disparities during the AFCEATechNet Indo-Pacific conference on March 3.

The 35th annual AFCEA TechNet Indo-Pacific conference featured a panel with top female leaders addressing cybersecurity workforce issues. Having ever-present cybersecurity training, reaching a younger audience on their level and leveraging women who may be seeking a second career are all ways to close the cybersecurity workforce gaps, the leaders said.

March 1, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
China’s consolidated control its political mechanisms enables a unity of effort difficult to achieve in democracies. Credit: Shutterstock/Poring Studio

The rise of the People’s Republic China as a peer competitor vying for superpower status has emerged as an important challenge for the United States. To confront this competition, policy and decision makers must preserve and extend U.S. global interests to deter China if necessary and work in the international system in which the United States plays a vital role.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: DHS

The entire nation must engage in an informed debate about cybersecurity and how to stop the damage being inflicted by adversaries through cyberspace, says the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the U.S. Cyber Command, says this debate must explore whether the roles played in cyber defense stay the way they are or change.

March 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The DARPA OPS-5G program has set some ambitious goals, including adoption of the technology by a mobile carrier near a military base and machine translation of open source standards. Credit: ZinetroN/Shutterstock

If all goes as planned, a major mobile cellphone carrier will ultimately adopt technology developed under the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Agency’s Open, Programmable, Secure 5G program. Doing so will allow the open-source, secure technology to proliferate as so-called Internet of Things technologies become more ubiquitous.

March 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A signal support system specialist prepares a radio system used to allow soldiers and airmen to keep in constant communications with one another during their missions. Graphic illustration by Regina Ali, U.S. Defense Department

The U.S. Defense Department already is looking beyond its massive $600 million investment in 5G experiments announced in October. Plans include a second round of experiments and the potential for expanding efforts with other government agencies and with international partners.

March 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
One of the key challenges about 6G will be operating in ultra-high frequencies—in terahertz—and AT&T has started internal corporate development and external research at 60 U.S. universities to shape solutions for the next generation of wireless communication. Credit: Shutterstock/Den Rise

The telecommunications industry is currently rolling out the fifth-generation wireless network known as 5G, which is bringing more bandwidth, lower latency, high-speed throughput, improved reliability and increased connectivity to mobile communications. Off of that advancing communications point will come 6G, the sixth iteration of the wireless network.

March 1, 2021
By Jörg Eschweiler
Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise 2019 (CWIX 2019) hosted at the NATO Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, showcased military interoperability between NATO personnel, processes and technologies. Credit: Dawn Stankus, NATO

As a lead nation, Germany has been successfully designing and implementing the Federated Service Management and Control capability as part of the development of the NATO Federated Mission Network. Throughout the joint approach, NATO member states, partner nations Austria and Switzerland, the NATO Communications and Information Agency, the Allied Command Transformation and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, which are both NATO strategic commands, as well as Allied Command Operations have been continuously involved in its design and incremental implementation.

February 25, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, USAF (l), promotes Robert Skinner, USAF (r), to lieutenant general in advanced of Skinner’s move to lead the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander, Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Networks.

Today, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s new leader, Lt. Gen. Skinner, USAF, was promoted, and tomorrow, he will take on his new role. Gen. Skinner returns to the agency, known as DISA, this time at the helm. He is taking over from Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, the current director of DISA and the commander of the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN) as she retires after three years in the role.

February 17, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Army soldiers support the U.S. Cyber Command. Army cyber activities are ramping up to reach across the Defense Department with improved capabilities. Credit: Steven Stover, 780th Military Intelligence Brigade

The U.S. Army is applying its cyber expertise across the defense spectrum as it blends tactical and strategic capabilities while helping the departmentwide cyber mission. This ranges from operational activities to training, and the effort spans both defensive and offensive cyber missions.

Some of these points were explained in day 2 of the first episode in the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series, airing February 16-17. Col. John Transue Jr., USA, director, Army Capability Manager (ACM) Cyber, described how the separation between tactical and strategic capabilities is blurring as the Army applies elements of one to the other.

February 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
With the advent of smart cities, the Chinese have become very adept at aggregating data to find U.S. special forces operating in the Far East, “as well as all the way back here at home,” warns Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, Commanding General, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps, but with technologies tailored to its unique missions, said Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, commanding general, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The command is the largest divisional element in the Army, with soldiers that serve in special forces, psychological operations groups and battalions, civil affairs groups and information warfare groups and for the national mission force that operates mostly with the Joint Special Operations Command units.

February 16, 2021
By Alex Chapin
Securing all of the entryways into U.S. Defense Department networks with zero trust is a multistep process, says Alex Chapin, vice president, McAfee Federal. Credit: mkfilm/Shutterstock

Ask someone in federal IT what zero trust means and you’re likely to hear that it’s about access control: never granting access to any system, app or network without first authenticating the user or device, even if the user is an insider. The term “Never trust; always verify” has become a common way to express the concept of zero trust, and the phrase is first on the list of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA’s) explanation.

February 11, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Stacy Bostjanick (r), director of CMMC, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (A&S), warns of CMMC certification companies that are not themselves certified in a discussion at AFCEA NOVA Intelligence Community IT Day.

Companies preparing for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) should beware of firms that are promising to get them certified, said a government official. Stacy Bostjanick, director of CMMC, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (A&S), stated that any firms claiming to be able to do that are not capable of that function yet.

February 2, 2021
 

Cyber Systems and Services Solutions, Bellevue, Nebraska, has been awarded a $17,765,741 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P0010) to contract FA8773-18-D-0002 to exercise Option Three for defensive cyber realization, integration and operational support services. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland, Texas, and is expected to be completed February 28, 2022.  This modification is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,764,731 are being obligated at the time of award. The 38th Contracting Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity.

February 1, 2021
 

DevSecOps is being used to implement cyber hardening solutions that secure deployed, operational platforms and industrial control systems (ICS) against cyber threat actors. Work in vulnerability analysis and applied artificial intelligence (Ai) tool development enables streamlined threat mitigation and cyber hardening of Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) platforms and systems of the future. Learn more about how commercial algorithm innovations and government technology stacks are being combined to create rapidly fielded, integrated and accredited solutions here: https://www.alionscience.com/cyberhardening.

 

February 1, 2021
By Maj. Brian Kerg, USMC
Credit: Shutterstock/Potential Filmmaker

The Defense Department has an information warfare (IW) problem. While the information environment continues to grow exponentially in importance and ubiquity, rapidly transforming the character of competition and war, there is no organization within the department that directs, synchronizes and coordinates IW planning and operations.

U.S. Cyber Command serves this very purpose for cyber operations, as do its service components. But this necessarily anchors the focus of American IW on a single information related capability (IRC), at the expense of the many other IRCs and their ability to generate military advantage.

January 13, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Cybersecurity experts warn of possible growing cyber risks from domestic unrest. Credit: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens

Officials in U.S. federal and state governments need to consider and address the possible cyber risks stemming from the current civilian unrest, cyber experts advise. Until now, the federal government, especially, has had a foreign intelligence focus, said Adm. Michael Rogers, USN (Ret.).

January 6, 2021
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

The Defense Digital Service (DDS) and HackerOne announced the launch of the DDS’s latest bug bounty program with HackerOne. It is the eleventh such program for DDS and HackerOne and the third with the U.S. Department of the Army.

Hack the Army 3.0 is a security test— time-bound and hacker-powered—aimed at revealing vulnerabilities so they can be resolved before they are exploited by adversaries. The bug bounty program will run from January 6, 2021, through February 17, 2021, and is open to both military and civilian participants.

January 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
When the GAO performs cybersecurity-related audits and reports its findings, the watchdog provides key recommendations to agencies to improve their networks and information technology from risks. The GAO also follows up to see how an agency implemented those recommendations. Credit: Illustration by Chris D’Elia based on images from GAO Reports and lurri Motov/Shutterstock

It is no secret that the U.S. government is grappling with cybersecurity issues across its organizations and agencies. The good news is that the government has an auditing agency that investigates possible weaknesses or cybersecurity gaps and makes key recommendations to rectify problems: the U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as GAO.

January 1, 2021
By Lt. Col. (G.S.) Stefan Eisinger
Military and civilian personnel work hand in hand to tackle challenges in cyberspace. Credit: Bundeswehr

Germany, the United States and many other nations are facing a more diverse, complex, quickly evolving and demanding security environment than at any time since the end of the Cold War. The resulting challenges to national and international security and stability could be as harmful to societies, economies and institutions as conventional attacks.

December 30, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Army Sgt. Evan Tosunian (l) and Sgt. Allan Sosa, both assigned to the California Army National Guard’s 224th Sustainment Brigade, install single-channel ground and airborne radio systems in a Humvee at the National Guard armory in Long Beach, California, in May. The Army’s standardized, reprogrammable encryption chip known as RESCUE will help secure communications for radios, computers, unmanned vehicles and other systems. Credit: Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Ramelb, California Army National Guard

The U.S. Army’s universal, reprogrammable encryption chip is in final testing and may be destined for the service’s next-generation encryption fill device, other military services or possibly even the commercial sector.

The REprogrammable Single Chip Universal Encryptor (RESCUE) technology was developed to be a government-owned, general-purpose cryptographic module and architecture that is highly tailorable to counter emerging cryptographic threats. It uses standardized encryption algorithms designed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology.

January 1, 2021
By Jennifer Zbozny
Roderick Wilson performs a scan to ensure all computer equipment on the installation has the proper operating system and software patches installed at Anniston Army Depot. Credit: Jennifer Bacchus

The U.S. Army upped the tempo when Gen. Mark Milley, USA, fired off his first message to the force in August 2015 as the newly sworn-in Army Chief of Staff: “Readiness for ground combat is—and will remain—the U.S. Army’s No. 1 priority.” Today, Gen. Milley is the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Army has rebuilt its tactical readiness through a transformational process that it is now expanding to focus on strategic readiness.

January 1, 2021
By M.D. Miller
When people around the world are communicating, they must use precise terms to ensure they are referring to the same topics, problems, results and solutions. Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

Emerging technology, state actors such as Russia and China, and nonstate actors including ISIS, are often quoted as some of the greatest threats to computer and network security. But before the United States can engage with these threats effectively, the war against words must take place.

One place to start is by eliminating the word “cyber” as a descriptor. The term has been used and overused, manipulated and exploited so many times and in so many places, it has become meaningless. What individuals or organizations mean or want when they use it is impossible to say. It’s time to scrap the word altogether and instead specify technical concepts at a more granular level.

December 23, 2020
By Harvey Boulter
Shutterstock/Thitichaya Yajampa

Experts have issued fresh warnings to U.S. citizens over the enormous amount of sensitive, personal information being routinely captured and commoditized, and that this same information is being weaponized by the country’s adversaries. A panel at the recent AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference highlighted that data gathering by Facebook, WhatsApp and Google presents a significant risk to both individuals and the nation.

December 17, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The extent of the global cyber attack by purported Russian threat actors has the U.S. government forming a new group to provide a coordinated response. Credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Limbach

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, reported yesterday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Director of Intelligence and CISA itself had created a Cyber Unified Coordination Group. The move was necessary given the alarming cyber compromise, a Trojan-style attack by threat-actor UNC2452 with ties to Russia. The attack, identified by FireEye, reached North American, European, Asian and Middle Eastern governments, technology firms, telecommunications, consulting companies and other entities, the company said. 

December 4, 2020
By George I. Seffers
With U.S. adversaries expected to be using quantum computing technologies in the next several years, officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency are exploring quantum-resistant technologies.Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

Because U.S. adversaries likely will be able to use quantum computers within the next several years, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials are beginning to explore quantum-resistant technologies and the role the agency might play in developing or deploying those technologies.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The vast troves of personal data on U.S. citizens are now being weaponized by foreign adversaries, panelists warn.at TechNet Cyber. Credit: Meranna/Shutterstock

Massive amounts of sensitive information on U.S. citizens are being collected, created, shared, bought and sold, and in some cases used as a weapon by the country’s adversaries, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

The information is gathered and sold by companies such as Facebook and Google and the producers of a wide range of applications, programs and technologies. 

December 3, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A Prandtl-M prototype is air launched by a Carbon Cub aircraft in a NASA test to simulate the flight conditions of the Martian atmosphere. The conventional aircraft in the Earth’s atmosphere is used to test a prototype interplanetary probe to glean knowledge that would be applied millions of miles distant. Credit: NASA imagery

Amassing data serves little purpose if it is not processed into knowledge, and that knowledge is largely wasted if leaders don’t understand what they have and how it can best be used.

That was just part of the message on empowering knowledge delivered by a NASA expert on the second day of TechNet Cyber 2020, AFCEA’s virtual event held December 1-3. Tiffany Smith, chief knowledge officer and information technology manager in NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, emphasized the importance of understanding both the knowledge at hand, knowledge priorities and the people who will exploit that knowledge to the fullest.

December 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

Innovative ideas may hold the key to thwarting cyber adversaries emboldened by opportunities offered in the COVID-19 pandemic. And, the source of these innovative approaches may be diverse personnel who break the mold of conventional cybersecurity professionals.

December 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh III, USA, is the deputy commander, JFHQ-DODIN.

The Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN) is partnering with a broad base of national security organizations and industry to counter an increasing threat to U.S. forces and their operations worldwide. The JFHQ-DODIN seeks to meet this challenge with four primary focus areas that include new technologies such as automation to move data, hone commanders’ information and defend the network.

December 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
While human cyborgs may still be the stuff of science fiction, the science may be a little closer to reality following breakthroughs in materials used for neural links and other implants that offer a wide array of benefits, including potential medical advances. Credit: Ociacia/Shutterstock

Electronic implants in the brain or other parts of the body may be more efficient and effective due to a recent breakthrough by researchers at the University of Delaware. The advance potentially offers a wide array of biotechnology benefits and could also allow humans to control unmanned vehicles and other technologies with the brain.

December 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center are collaborating on an artificial intelligence tool to enhance cybersecurity for the Defense Department. Credit: Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department is developing a machine learning tool that can more quickly detect cyber intrusions and enable a more rapid response.

December 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army infantryman radios his situation report during an exercise. Future defense communications systems are likely to be smaller and more comprehensive as the military and industry collaborate on new information technology capabilities that help the warfighter in the battlespace. Credit: Capt. Lindsay Roman, USA

Speed will be the order of the day for military information systems as new technologies incorporate breakthrough innovations. Hardware also will transform as capabilities grow in influence. But above all, the entire defense information system community is undergoing major cultural changes spawned by a combination of innovation and disease.

November 23, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force's new initiative, Operation Flamethrower, is meant to aggressively get rid of legacy policies, processes and equipment that are not effective. Credit: Shutterstock/Mack Pansuwan

The U.S. Air Force, led by Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, USAF, the Air Combat Command’s A-6, along with Deputy Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger, is pursuing Operation Flamethrower, an aggressive project to abandon legacy network-related policies, processes or equipment that are not working. The tongue-in-cheek name of the effort is meant to illuminate the nature in which leaders will eliminate ineffective or redundant components in order to drive innovation.

“We are ruthlessly going after these things and setting them on fire,” Knausenberger said.

November 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Combat Command conducted successful cyber red team and penetration testing of its emerging cloud-enabled zero trust architecture, reports Lt. Gen. Chris Weggeman, USAF, speaking virtually on November 17 during the AFCEA Alamo Chapter's annual ACE conference.

The U.S. Air Force is on track to provisionally stand up its first and only Spectrum Warfare Wing (SWW)— known as the 350th SWW—this spring. The organization will be responsible for electronic warfare and so-called electromagnetic spectrum missionware. The 350th SWW’s role will run the gamut of providing such capabilities along the development, hosting, integration, testing and distribution phases, reported Lt. Gen. Chris Weggeman, USAF, deputy commander, Air Combat Command (ACC).

November 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/VideoFlow

Adversaries are stepping up their efforts to exfiltrate information and weaken the U.S. supply chain through cyberspace. These efforts aim to both wreck the country from within and strengthen the hand of the adversary wielding the digital sword, according to a U.S. government official.

New government security measures are designed with these challenges in mind, and they can help secure targeted small businesses. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which is rolling out, is designed to help mitigate the effects of adversarial activities in cyberspace.

November 17, 2020
By Gregory Touhill and Arthur Friedman
Online privacy poses concerns for U.S. national security, businesses and private citizens. Credit: mtkang/Shutterstock

As the United States enters the third decade of the 21st century, our nation faces growing and rapidly evolving threats to our information technology, infrastructure, networks and data. Indeed, the ever-present threat of cyber attacks is one of the most significant challenges we face, impacting economic, political, societal and national security concerns. This ever-present threat touches every corner of our economy and every level of our government, from municipalities and school districts to state election databases to the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Personnel Management and the Defense Department.