cyber defense

February 24, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock

In the cyber protection industry, a common mantra of having to successfully defend networks and information technology environments all of the time misses the point, according to one cyber leader. Instead, cyber warriors should identify clear, desired outcomes in regard to cyber operations.

October 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force’s Air Combat Command, newly in charge of the service’s Cyber Mission, is deploying specialized mission defense teams to protect particular weapon systems such as an F-22, pictured flying over Alaska during an exercise in May, or an F-35 or a key infrastructure component such as an air operations center. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony

On top of other defenses, the U.S. Air Force is turning to a persistent cybersecurity model to guard its major weapon systems. Led by the Air Combat Command, which took on the service’s Cyber Mission from the Air Force Space Command last year, the service’s integration of cybersecurity includes deploying protective crews to its key airborne platforms and infrastructure.

August 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Soldiers analyze network data during a cyber academy class at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The project manager, defensive cyber operations (PM DCO), is working to boost Army cyber capabilities while shortening the training time line to empower more soldiers for the cyber defense mission. U.S. Army photo

Speed is of the essence as the U.S. Army works earnestly with industry to equip the force with the latest tools to combat cyber attacks. Yet rapid acquisition must be weighed against wasteful haste as the service aims to deliver combat-effective capabilities without breaking stride.

These capabilities include a revamped tool suite, a portable cyber defense system and advanced cyber situational awareness. At the forefront of these efforts is the project manager, defensive cyber operations (PM DCO), part of the Army’s Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems.

April 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Wolfgang Renner (l), GEAF, commander, NATO CIS Group and deputy chief of staff cyberspace, SHAPE, and Col. Donald Lewis, USAF, deputy director, NATO CyOC, discuss the establishment of the alliance’s cyber operations at the CyCon U.S. conference in November 2018.

NATO’s longtime motto says that an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all the alliance. Today, this creed also applies to cyberspace, alliance leaders indicate. NATO’s new Cyberspace Operations Center, formed in August 2018, takes up the mantle of defending the alliance in the digital realm.

February 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
When pursuing information technology solutions, the Coast Guard has to be “risk aware” in order to have the tools needed to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities, says Rear Adm. David Dermanelian, USCG, assistant commandant for C4IT (CG-6); and commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Two years’ experience at the U.S. Cyber Command has shaped U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Dermanelian’s perspective as he implements, as commander, the Coast Guard Cyber Command’s three main missions: (1) defending the Coast Guard’s portion of the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN; (2) protecting the maritime transportation sector; and (3) enabling cyber operations. The admiral is dual hatted as the assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and information technology/CG-6 as well as being the commander of the Coast Guard Cyber Command.

June 27, 2018

Cyber Defense Information Assurance, Round Rock, Texas, has been awarded a $12,150,174 modification to contract FA8773-15-C-0045 for Air Force enterprise-level network management, optimized communications and defensive measures at Air Force information network gateways. Work will be performed at Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama, and is expected to be complete by July 8, 2018. Fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,100,130 are being obligated at the time of award. The 38th Contracting Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity.

April 25, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Credit: ChromaWise/Shutterstock

A bug bounty program worth a total of $10 million aims at acquiring and developing active cyber-defense capabilities for some of the most popular software programs for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. The public program is offering payouts focusing on quality over quantity to identify and address some of the toughest problems.

January 1, 2018
By Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, USA (Ret.), and Chris Valentino
The U.S. Army Cyber Command’s 41 Cyber Mission Force teams, including the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade operations center at Fort Meade, Maryland, achieved full operational capability more than a year ahead of schedule. Credit: Steve Stover

The U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force must keep pace with a threat landscape that is evolving at an unprecedented tempo. Cyberthreats are constantly growing in volume, velocity and sophistication, and the force needs a warfighting platform that will allow it to get ahead of attackers. That platform should enable continuous improvement through iterative development at the speed and scale of military operations.

March 30, 2017

Cyber Defense Information Assurance, Round Rock, Texas, has been awarded a $14,793,364 modification (P00007) to exercise an option on previously awarded contract (FA8773-15-C-0045). Contractor will provide Air Force enterprise-level network management, optimized communications and defensive measures at the Air Force Information Network Gateways. Air Force Intranet Control operates the common user virtual private network mesh tying the components of the Air Forces intranet together and protecting Air Force network traffic through encryption as it traverses public infrastructure. Work will be performed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama, and is expected to be complete by July 8, 2018.

May 20, 2016

Telos Corp., Ashburn, Virginia, has been awarded a $26,978,951 predominantly firm-fixed-price and cost reimbursement contract for De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) upgrade. Contractor will provide modification and replacement of the aging DMZ that will include networking equipment composed of a suite of equipment, known as a kit, that contains a firewall, intrusion prevention and intrusion detection systems, anti-virus software, web-portal capability and security management. Work will be performed at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Beale Air Force Base, California; Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be complete by April 17, 2019.

April 14, 2016

Vencore Labs Inc., doing business as Applied Communication Sciences, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been awarded a $7,719,472 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3) program solicited under DARPA-BAA-15-56. The XD3 program seeks to develop revolutionary advances in the area of resilient defenses against distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks on computer networks. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funds in the amount of $725,155; and fiscal 2016 RDT&E funds in the amount of $1,429,743 are being obligated at time of award.

March 2, 2016

The Defense Department announced today that it will invite vetted hackers to test the department’s cybersecurity under a unique pilot program. The “Hack the Pentagon” initiative is the first cyber bug bounty program in the history of the federal government.

September 30, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) has explored some options, such as online training videos, to integrate cybersecurity into its existing efforts, but as of July had not yet identified and disseminated cybersecurity resources in its outreach and education efforts to defense small businesses, according to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

May 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. government is just as vulnerable to cyberthreats—if not more so—compared to two years ago, according to a new survey of federal information security professionals. Nearly half of approximately 1,800 respondents indicated that security has not improved in the federal space; while another 17 percent stated their organization’s security posture is actually worse off, primarily due to an inability to keep pace with threats, a poor understanding of risk management, inadequate funding and not enough qualified professionals.

December 29, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Marines are testing skill sets integrated with technology in an effort to succeed in a combined conventional warfare/cyber warfare setting, employing devices such as integrated head-mounted displays and sensors on the battlefield and avoiding information overload.

October 7, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Calling all mathematicians: The Defense Department’s main research arm seeks help in developing a program that essentially would lead to unhackable computer software programs.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) released a broad agency announcement looking for innovative research proposals in the area of program obfuscation, according to the published solicitation. “Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices or systems.”

February 24, 2012
By George Seffers

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, McLean, Virginia, is being awarded an $11,607,556 task order under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise option year one for Computer Network Defense Service Provider (CNDSP). The Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center (MCNOSC) is an operational and staff organization supporting the global Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) command and control capabilities for Fleet Marine Forces and garrison forces stationed around the world. The MCNOSC executes full spectrum network defense on the global MCEN to include protection, detection, response, and sustainment functions in alignment with the CNDSP program's governing directives. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quanti

December 5, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Behavioral analytic tools might just open new horizons for better cybersecurity that would let experts better prioritize alerts and collect actionable intelligence, giving them an advantage for more rapid responses to breaches. Or might they open new doors for hackers?

While it’s still too early to deliver a definitive verdict on emerging behavioral analytical tools, cyber experts who led various security workshops and delivered speeches at Raytheon’s annual cybersecurity symposium touted such programs as the way forward.

October 10, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The recent rash of cyber attacks on major U.S. companies has drawn renewed focus on network vulnerabilities, both in commercial and governmental sectors, and not just on external attackers but on potentially more ominous threats posed by insiders.

May 14. 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

East: Joint Warfighting 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 1

Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, set the tone for East: Joint Warfighting 2013 taking place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, May 14-16, when he opened the conference by talking about changes and choices in today’s morning keynote address. Although the obvious change is the reduction in financial resources, the other is one that has been mentioned at previous AFCEA International conferences: the shift in focus from Southwest Asia to the entire Pacific region.