cyber

January 1, 2022
By Dr. Scott Jasper and Master Sgt. Travis Hollingshead, USMC
Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity trains Marines on networking on-the-move.  Sky Laron, Marine Corps Systems Command

A new concept is necessary to maneuver forces, potentially with small and scalable autonomous organizations operating independently of one another. The concept, called Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, is being explored and instituted for Naval Expeditionary Forces to fight in this manner. The challenge is in defending expeditionary networks in a mosaic warfare distribution to avoid the big problem of information advantage loss faced in a recent wargame.

January 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The NSA’s National Cryptologic School is increasing its cyber education programs and grants to reach more middle school students and children in rural and underservedareas in the United States.  Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

The U.S. National Security Agency/Central Security Service’s National Cryptologic School is expanding its reach of cyber education programs. The school’s Center for Education, Innovation and Outreach has many cyber-related programs supporting elementary, middle school, high school, college and graduate students. Although it has made great headway in its established programs, the National Security Agency is still working to provide cyber education to underserved regions in the United States.

January 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Evacuees load on to a United Arab Emirates (UAE) Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2021. The office of the Joint Staff J-6 initiated Project Orsus to overcome data challenges associated with the evacuation and say that project will likely impact the future of joint all-domain command and control.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz

Last year’s evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan was a massive undertaking with multiple challenges and successes. The withdrawal required enormous amounts of data, which also presented some obstacles, but ultimately proved successful and offered lessons learned for future operations, according to U.S. Defense Department officials.

January 1, 2022
By J.D. Canclini
Technological solutions like the Defense Department’s combat cloud are important, but how such technologies are operationalized will be key to 6G network defense.  Shutterstock/Fit Ztudio

The spate of 2021’s high-profile cyber attacks has caused policymakers and practitioners to seriously reevaluate the state of security for U.S. critical infrastructure and key resources. From the unprecedented SolarWinds supply-chain infiltration to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack to the most recent allegations of Chinese state actors infiltrating tens of thousands of Microsoft Exchange mail servers, the scale and scope of cyber attacks against public and private U.S. networks are only worsening. As 5G—and eventually 6G—moves to increasingly meshed networks, the challenge of network defense only grows.

January 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
A team leader with 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, directs movements of his team using the Harris Leader Radio during an assault on an objective during the initial operating test for the system. The rapid development and fielding of cutting-edge systems help drive the need for agility and adaptability at Army signal and cyber schools.  Nicholas Robertson, U.S. Army Operational Test Command Visual Information Specialist

The U.S. Army’s massive modernization effort requires rapid adaptability in the courses being taught in its cyber and signal schools. Efforts are underway to fundamentally change the approach to teaching and instituting courses for zero trust, cloud computing and other technology advances that will affect the future of combat.

January 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Educating and training people in cybersecurity will require a broader reach in both personnel and material.  Andrey Suslov/Shutterstock

The changing nature of threats and countermeasures cries out for new perspectives in cybersecurity, commercial experts say. Training and education must assume greater variety, but trainees also must be chosen from diverse backgrounds to provide new perspectives on threats and potential solutions.

January 1, 2022
By Dan Smith
Telemetry is the use of automation to manage communications across multiple data sources and speed the detection of threats.  Frame Stock Footage/Shutterstock

Across the federal government, agencies are dealing with an explosion of cybersecurity data from new sensors, hyper-scale cloud infrastructure, microservices and a geographically distributed workforce—and the pace shows no sign of slowing.

Automation drives the ability for agencies to process and analyze these massive workloads, but if not deployed and managed with proper expertise, they can add complexity and risk.

December 15, 2021
 
The #1 most-read SIGNAL article of the year covered how the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps.

Which articles from our SIGNAL Media team caught your eye this past year? Check out the top 10 most-read articles from 2021.

1. Special Forces Command Seeks Key Data Aggregation, Cyber Tools
By Kimberly Underwood, February 17, 2021

December 9, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Building on the success of the first round of prototype awards of the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP), the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) will be pursuing up to $500 million of projects under IWRP round two. Credit: NAVWAR Illustration by Wendy M. Jamieson

The Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, on behalf of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, announced on December 7 that it had awarded an other transaction agreement to Advanced Technology International (ATI) to manage its second Information Warfare Research Project, or IWRP 2. Based in Summerville, South Carolina, ATI will perform consortium management for the IWRP, handling research funding up to $500 million under a five-year period of performance.

December 1, 2021
 
Zero-trust techniques can help improve federal agency videoconferencing systems. Credit: Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how government agencies do business by requiring remote work and videoconferencing for meetings, creating a growing need for securing these virtual workspaces.

One way to achieve this security, and one that is being mandated across the federal government, is with zero-trust architecture.

Zero trust requires a change of perspective about securing data versus securing networks because data can be anywhere on a device, Joel Bilheimer, a strategic account architect with Pexip, told SIGNAL Magazine Senior Editor Kimberly Underwood during a SIGNAL Executive Video Series discussion.

December 1, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced the appointment of 23 members of the agency’s new Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), announced today the appointment of the first 23 members of the agency’s new Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, a group that will advise and provide recommendations to the director on policies, programs, planning, and training to enhance the nation’s cyber defense.

December 1, 2021
 

Cole Engineering Services Inc., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $957,739,868 firm-fixed-price contract to provide cyber training platform capabilities, cyber acquisition blue team support, training content, training related event operations, training solutions and overall cyber training system architecture development and sustainment. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of November 29, 2029. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-22-D-0002).

December 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Implementation of zero-trust security will require users to adopt new security measures and attitudes. Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

The human factor looms as the most imposing challenge to implementing zero-trust security, say experts. Aspects of this factor range from cultural acceptance to training, and sub-elements such as organizations and technologies also will play a role. Ultimately, change will have to come from the top of an organization to be truly effective.

All security measures depend to a large degree on human cooperation, but that is only part of the picture for zero trust. Its implementation will entail a massive change in security procedures both for users and for network architects. And, the ability to share information across organizational boundaries will be strongly affected at all government levels.

December 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Officials across the U.S. government are releasing guidance documents and assisting departments and agencies in the adoption of zero-trust cybersecurity architectures. The OMB is considered the team captain for zero trust, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the DHS is compiling lessons learned for inclusion in a zero-trust playbook to be released early next year.  Illustration design by Chris D’Elia based on artwork by Phase4Studios & Yaran/Shutterstock

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency may soon release an initial playbook for departments and agencies to follow while transitioning to a zero-trust cybersecurity architecture. The new guidance will be based on lessons learned from various pilot programs across the government.

December 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor flies with an Australian air force E-7A Wedgetail near Oahu, Hawaii, earlier this year. The U.S. Defense Department’s joint all-domain command and control concept envisions connecting any sensors and weapon systems from across the military services while also enhancing the ability to share data with allies and other mission partners. Credit: Air National Guard Staff Sgt. John Linzmeier

The U.S. Defense Department has chalked up a number of accomplishments in a short amount of time aimed at achieving a vision of connecting sensors and weapon systems from all of the military services. However, officials still are assessing the best way to achieve zero trust.

December 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The spread of 5G will accelerate the need for zero-trust security, which in turn will help increase the number and types of networks spawned by the technology. Credit: Fit Ztudio/Shutterstock

The use of zero trust could prove to be a boon for 5G networks by providing vital security across networks made up of a variety of innovative devices and capabilities. Fully established zero trust could allow unprecedented network visibility and situational awareness while ensuring that potential attack points are closed to cyber marauders. Yet, implementing zero trust runs the risk of slowing down the network’s fast data flow if it is not applied properly.

December 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility enabled by Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to its launch enterprise could enable U.S. Space Force guardians and U.S. Air Force airmen to conduct their launch mission-related tasks from really anywhere. In June, the Space Force and its mission partners at Cape Canaveral successfully launched into medium earth orbit the fifth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System III Space Vehicle, SV05, aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Credit: SpaceX

The U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45’s addition of zero-trust architecture to the launch enterprise could bring earth-shattering flexibility to its mission operations, its commander says. Under a year-long pilot effort, officials at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, Space Launch Delta 45’s headquarters, and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, its launch range, have installed zero trust-related software and hardware into the launch mission system and are conducting beta testing and evaluation of the capabilities.

November 19, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Justice aims to hold government contractors and federal grant recipients accountable for weak cybersecurity. Credit: Shutterstock/Christopher E. Zimmer

The U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, is wielding the proverbial stick to improve cybersecurity across the federal government. Under the Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative rolled out in October, the DOJ is increasing its actions against federal contractors and grant recipients that neglect to adhere to cybersecurity standards when providing technology solutions or services to the government. The department is relying on fraud provisions under the False Claims Act to pursue this cybersecurity-related legal action.

November 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Organizations are seeing the need to bring cybersecurity education to middle schoolers. Credit: Shutterstock/SpeedKingz

The need for the United States to not only have digital literacy but also cybersecurity-educated students is prompting the addition of programs into the middle school level. Students in grades 6-8 can benefit greatly from having a foundational understanding of cyber concepts, as can the nation, officials say.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)/Central Security Service’s National Cryptologic School, which already has a robust offering of cyber education programs across the elementary, high school, college and graduate student levels, is growing its specific offerings to middle schools, teachers and kids age 12-14.

November 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly alongside an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during training near Mount Fuji, Japan, earlier this year. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is building a mission partner environment that will allow greater interoperability between U.S. forces and international partners and allies in the region. Credit: Air Force Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command will deliver an initial mission partner environment next summer. The capability ultimately will allow U.S. forces to access classified and unclassified networks with one device. It also will provide more effective information sharing with allies and coalition forces.

November 1, 2021
By Howard Sutton
U.S. Air Force Airmen speak with reporters on the new innovative Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Onramp 2 in September at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. ABMS is the digital infrastructure which allows a level of connectivity and sensor compatibility for military at war.  Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez, 1st Combat Camera Squadron

In the current cybersecurity environment, live video and data distributed within physically secure environments, such as a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), command and control centers, situational awareness or secure briefing centers, is no longer safe and secure.

October 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, U.S. Amy deputy chief of staff, G-6 addresses the audience at TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army seeks to enhance the effectiveness of local cybersecurity defenders—and ultimately the joint force cyber warriors—by revamping organizational design, fielding the best technologies and improving training, Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, U.S. Amy deputy chief of staff, G-6, told the audience at the TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore.

“Here’s my thesis: we have a lot of folks that are doing cybersecurity work, but we are not optimized across the entire joint force to conduct cybersecurity operations,” Gen. Morrison declared.

October 28, 2021
By Beverly Cooper
Wendell E. Foster, Jr., executive director, DODIN (l), and Rear Adm. William E. Chase III, USN, deputy commander, JFHQ-DODIN, talk about the past, present and future of JFHQ-DODIN during TechNet Cyber. Photo by Michael Carpenter

To be prepared for today’s cyberspace competition and ready for tomorrow’s fight requires a new, comprehensive look at strategic focus areas within the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). Those focus areas include streamlining command and control; organizing battle space; optimizing technology; harnessing the power of partnerships; and cultivating change and talent management.

October 28, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
As part of its academic engagement strategy, U.S. Cyber Command is partnering more closely with the National Defense University and will assist with NDU’s new University Consortium for Cybersecurity effort expected to begin in December, says David Frederick, the command’s executive director. Photo by Michael Carpenter

For the last eleven years, the U.S. Cyber Command, which conducts cyber operations in defense of the nation, has partnered closely with government organizations and private industry to advance is mission. Now, the command, known as USCYBERCOM, is working to bolster its activities with academia as part of its comprehensive engagement plan. It recently launched a new academic engagement strategy that will broaden its communications with more U.S. universities; harness cyber research; promote cyber careers; and add analytical capabilities.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The addition of cyber offense capabilities by the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command marks another step in the service’s growing cyber versatility, says the leader of the command, Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG (l), speaking to Coast Guardsmen in the command’s Cyber Operations Center in Washington, D.C. Credit: USCG Cyber Command

As the 231-year-old U.S. Coast Guard guards the nation’s waterways and ports, more and more it is finding the need to increase its capabilities in the cyber domain, given the rising digital threats to the $5.4 trillion of waterway-based trade. This fall, the maritime service is adding new cyber offensive capabilities and is growing its existing cyber defense, reports Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, commander of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Shutterstock/Olivier Le Moal

The Defense Information Systems Agency intends next month to award a contract for its Thunderdome zero-trust architecture and to begin implementing a prototype within six months. The new architecture is expected to enhance security, reduce complexity and save costs while replacing the current defense-in-depth approach to network security.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is developing robotic process automation solutions to automate some computer security authorization processes, which will reduce workloads and offer efficiencies to warfighters, such as to the airmen from the 4th Communications Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, who are responsible for authorizing and supporting about 7,000 computer users at the base.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera

The Defense Information Systems Agency is embracing robotic process automation, and it is implementing several steps. The agency is training a cadre of developers, and it is also creating a platform and code library and establishing practices and methods—all to internally improve how it delivers robotic process automation across the agency. By using automated software robots, or bots, that can perform rules-based processes, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) aims to reduce the workload for humans that conduct repetitive tasks across the agency’s financial, public relations, procurement and other offices.

October 1, 2021
By Col. Dean Hullings, USAF (Ret.)
Military readiness relies on an exchange of information among many different systems, which creates numerous cybersecurity challenges. Credit: U.S. Defense Department/J.M. Eddins Jr., Air Force

With no end in sight to the ever-increasing cybersecurity challenges, the federal government must move quickly and deliberately to adopt an architecture to protect against all outside threats. This means building on existing strengths and bolstering cybersecurity strategies.

October 1, 2021
By Rob Caudill and John Speed Meyers
A new digital rubicon looms on the horizon: the use of open source code as a condition within U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community software acquisition contracts. Credit: Shutterstock/ihor2020

Open source code is used increasingly across the entire federal government and the U.S. military. But a new digital rubicon is looming: the use of open source code as a condition within U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community software acquisition contracts.

October 1, 2021
By Rick Palermo
An important step toward Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is to conduct a Certified Third Party Assessor Organizations (C3PAO) assessment. Credit: Shutterstock/H_Ko

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a serious and involved process that will take time and resources, and for small companies, it’s often difficult to know where to start. Using these 12 steps, companies can effectively manage the transition from noncompliance to compliance.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Ryzhi

As it advances its application of robotic process automation, the Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding its artificial intelligence efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. The agency is using these latest efforts to examine the application of artificial intelligence capabilities to network defense—as it conducts its daily around-the-clock mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network.

In one effort, the agency is working with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts through a cooperative research and development agreement, or CRADA, to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Fit Ztudio

The Defense Information Systems Agency is initially employing robotic process automation, or RPA, to several of its processes in finance, public affairs, circuit management, security authorization and procurement, with an intent to build a robust RPA platform for greater use across the agency. The automated software robots, or bots, will perform repetitive, rules-based processes and considerably reduce the workload of humans, the director of DISA’s Emerging Technology Directorate, Stephen Wallace, shares.

September 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
DISA supports JADC2 in more ways than many people might realize, according to Brian Hermann, the agency's program executive officer for services development. Credit: Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency’s Thunderdome project may be the new kid on the block supporting the Defense Department’s command and control vision, but the agency’s legacy systems also could prove pivotal.

“I think there’s more to DISA’s role in JADC2 than is obvious,” says Brian Hermann, program executive officer for services development at the agency commonly known as DISA. Joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, focuses on data to allow warfighters to make faster decisions than potential adversaries.

September 21, 2021
 
SolarWinds is using a security by design methodology to strengthen its security and to help protect the software industry’s supply chain. Credit: Shutterstock

The software management firm SolarWinds is revising how it approaches security to develop better products and to help its customers and protect the supply chain they all rely on.

Cyber attacks on supply chains are a growing threat, something SolarWinds experienced in 2020 when Russian government-backed hackers breached the servers for one of the company’s software products and compromised the security of hundreds of customers including several dozen federal agencies.

Under its new CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the company is changing how it operates internally and with its customers by adopting a security by design approach to its operations.

August 25, 2021
 

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $200,000,000 multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with cost-plus-fixed-fee task orders for research and development. This contract provides for innovative research and development in order to identify, mitigate and protect avionics systems against cyber‐attack, and prototype agile, next‐generation platform and system of systems architectures to enable rapid integration and fielding of enhanced mission system capability. The location of performance is Beavercreek, Ohio, and work is expected to be completed by August 23, 2028. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received.

September 7, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has released two key documents meant to raise the cybersecurity practices of government agencies and organizations. The documents, the Cloud Security Technical Reference Architecture and the Zero Trust Maturity Model, are open for public comment through September 30, the agency reported. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey Suslov

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, released two key documents meant to raise the cybersecurity practices of government agencies and organizations. The documents, the Cloud Security Technical Reference Architecture (TRA) and Zero Trust Maturity Model are open for public comment through September 30, the agency reported.

September 2, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Chief Master Sgt. Denzil Hellesen, USAF (c), 3D0XX career field manager, speaks to other cyber career field leaders during a meeting at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, on August 23. Leaders held a week-long conference to discuss how to transform the service’s cyberspace career fields to advance Air Force cyber capabilities. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by John Ingle

As the Air Force strives to become a digital force and embraces Chief Gen. C. Q. Brown’s vision of accelerating change, the service is streamlining its cyber and communications career fields. Headquarters Air Force leaders, National Guard and Reserve leaders and major command functional managers of the cyberspace support career field met at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, last week to discuss how to develop the adaptable, agile communications and cyber career fields needed to support future Air Force requirements, reported John Ingle from the 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs.

August 31, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Credit: Shutterstock/Mad Dog

It’s time to abandon the dream of an open, federated, multiplayer identity-provider ecosystem and move on, one of the pioneers of the concept told AFCEA’s 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Tuesday.

“This federation dream that we've been hanging on to a long time, this model of anybody can get a credential from dozens or hundreds of identity providers and use it everywhere, hasn't taken hold, and I don't think it's going to anytime soon,” Jeremy Grant, coordinator of the Better Identity Coalition, said.

September 1, 2021
By Rob Sobers

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that infiltrates a computer or network and limits or restricts access to critical data by encrypting files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and continue to be a disruptive force in the cybersecurity industry, affecting everything from financial institutions to higher education. Due to the rise in remote work prompted by the pandemic, attacks are up 148%.

August 27, 2021
 
Attendees from the annual Girls Day Out (GDO) learn about 3D modeling and printing at the College of Charleston in 2018. More than 100 girls from four Lowcountry school districts attended the camp, hosted by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic in collaboration with Trident Technical College via Cyber Secure, College of Charleston, Bosch, Naval Health Clinic Charleston, Paul Mitchell the School Charleston, and Nucor Steel Berkeley. U.S. Navy photo by Joe Bullinger/Released

Essye Miller, retired Defense Department principal deputy chief information officer, has continued her commitment to growing the cybersecurity workforce and increasing representation of women in STEM careers.

“One of my post-government commitments was to continue my efforts to build the next generation of cyber talent, especially with underrepresented communities,” Miller said. The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) was created to help close the critical skills gap in cybersecurity.  It offered me the perfect opportunity to stay engaged and follow up on my commitment.”

August 26, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, DISA director and Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) DODIN commander, views five distinct lines of effort as the key to DISA's new strategy. (DISA photo)

Five key lines of effort define the course that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is taking to ensure information superiority for the U.S. military as it moves forward against new adversarial challenges. These lines of effort are the framework for the agency’s new strategy that is being developed and implemented at DISA.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials do not plan to try to force others in the Defense Department or military services to use its zero-trust solution known as Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a fledgling program that offers a range of capabilities, including secure access service edge (SASE), software-defined area networking (SD-WAN), identity credential access management (ICAM) and virtual security stacks.

SASE, which is pronounced “sassy,” is a technology package that includes SD-WAN, firewall as a service and cloud access security broker. While SASE has been implemented across much of the commercial world, it has not yet been widely adopted by the government.

August 23, 2021
By Julianne Simpson

With the recent emergence of zero-trust architecture and the pivot to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity has been top-of-mind for everyone in government and industry. Cyberspace must be protected; it must be kept open to all; and it must be able to address change as it occurs.

Enter AFCEA’s Cyber Committee, a volunteer group of public and private sector information technology professionals that oversees AFCEA's outreach and helps ensure open lines of communication between the government and industry.

August 24, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Kay Turner, senior counselor for digital identity, inclusion and payment infrastructure to the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, addresses the virtual 2021 Federal Identity Forum.

The threat to the integrity of the U.S. and global financial system posed by the crisis in online identity is a national security issue, a senior Treasury Department official told the 2021 Federal Identity Forum and Expo Monday.

August 20, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Air Force is pursuing zero-trust architecture on a level not seen before with the lead command, the Air Combat Command, driving many initiatives with a comprehensive view to employ zero-trust architecture across the service’s bases, weapon systems and mission environments. Supporting the cyberspace and engineering side of the effort is the 16th Air Force’s 688th Cyberspace Wing.

August 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Shutterstock/Pachenko Vladimir

The U.S. Army needs to conduct five essential tasks to achieve the kind of information advantage that will allow commanders to make faster, more effective decisions than their adversaries. Those tasks are to enable decision making, protect friendly information, inform and educate domestic audiences, inform and influence international audiences and conduct information warfare.

The tasks were approved as part of a larger “logic map” during a February forum of one-, two- and three-star generals, according to Brig. Gen. Paul Craft, USA, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber School. Gen. Craft moderated a panel during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at TechNet Augusta 2021 discuss how to achieve a unified network. Photo by Michael Carpenter

In order to make the unified network vision a reality, the Army will need to adopt an array of technical capabilities, including 5G, zero trust cybersecurity, software-defined networks and data fabric.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss cybersecurity and cooperation among nations during TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It may take a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, but it can take a whole society to keep a country secure.

The term “whole-of-government” has been popular since at least the early 2000s to describe a multidepartment, multiagency effort to gain an advantage or keep the nation secure. The term has been used, for example, to describe counterterrorism efforts.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, deputy chief of staff, G-6, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. is in the final stages of developing its unified network plans, according to Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, deputy chief of staff, G-6.

Gen. Morrison made the comments on the first day of the 2021 AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia, the organization’s first in-person conference since the coronavirus pandemic.

July 30, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Emerging Technology Directorate is beginning a new pilot program to look at how well artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied to automate aspects of cyber defense. Credit: Shutterstock/cybrain

The Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. While both efforts are in the beginning stages, the agency is considering how to possibly apply the so-called AI capabilities to network defense—among other areas the agency is separately pursuing—as it conducts its daily 24/7 mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN.

The agency entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.