The executive order signed by the president in May to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity policies is evidence that the federal government has recognized and is going to take significant steps to address increasingly frequent and sophisticated cyber attacks. This order is a great first step, but must be supported by more innovative and flexible acquisition and procurement strategies and processes.
The Cyber Edge
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded Salt Lake City-based startup Evernym a $749,000 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) award to develop an easy-to-use, decentralized mechanism for managing public and private encryption keys needed for the secure and scalable deployment of blockchain technologies.
Officials with the Institute for Cybersecurity at Regent University recently announced the school is building a state-of-the-art cyber range training facility at its Virginia Beach campus. The Regent Cyber Range will open o during the fourth quarter of this year and will offer hands-on training programs for enterprises, consultancies, government and military organizations.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) opened the Army Cyber-research Analytics Laboratory (ACAL) on July 19, a facility that unlike any other lab, provides industrial and federally-funded partners—including universities—access to highly-sensitive live cyber-security data, the service has announced.
The new research space was developed as a result of a partnership with Army Cyber Command and represents an extension of ongoing collaborative efforts with the Defense Department’s science and technology community, said Philip Perconti, ARL director.
The U.S. Defense Department’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) will conduct a solutions meeting in late October in McLean, Virginia, according to a recent announcement posted on the FedBizOpps website. Companies will provide short technical presentations to government representatives about their technologies and products with the potential to be selected for pilot projects or experimentation if the technology appears to match the department's cyber needs.
The RRTO is interested in:
Nearly everyone has heard a parent or grandparent refer to the good ol’ days. Tales usually begin either with, “When I was your age…” or “In my day, we didn’t have….”
While it seems appropriate that octogenarians and nonagenarians tell such stories, today they’re not the only generations sharing memories that begin with, “When I was young….” People in their 20s and 30s reflect on their youth wistfully because members of the younger generation—who, by the way, are only five or 10 years younger than they are—can communicate, play, buy and sell, and share life moments in ways that surprise even 20-somethings.
On the eve of last year’s U.S. presidential election, two computational social scientists from the University of Southern California published an alarming study that went largely unnoticed in the flood of election news. It found that for a month leading up to the November vote, a large portion of users on the social media platform Twitter might not have been human.
The users were social bots, or computer algorithms built to automatically produce content and interact with people on social media, emulating them and trying to alter their behavior. Bots are used to manipulate opinions and advance agendas—all part of the increasing weaponization of social media.
U.S. Army officials expect that by this fall, they will have formal approval of a rapid prototyping process for acquiring cyber and electronic warfare prototypes assessed during the just-completed Cyber Quest 2017 exercise at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
Army officials describe Cyber Quest as an annual cyber and electronic warfare exploration and collaboration event hosted by the Cyber Center of Excellence. This is the second year for the event.
As industry and government work to hammer out complex details in the cyberthreat intelligence struggle, each side expects support from the other—but both must improve the foundational understanding of the capabilities each brings to the table. Many of these issues will define the agenda of AFCEA’s Classified Cyber Forum, to be held July 13 at the Heritage Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The fully digital world has changed the strategies, tactics and procedures required to operate successfully in modern warfare. Highly skilled cyber analysts play an important role, but to achieve peak performance from both human and machine, automation within the network is needed. A new network approach—a single platform that is simple, automated, intelligent and secure—will better enable the U.S. Cyber Mission Force to operate within an enemy’s decision cycle and preserve U.S. supremacy across all five domains: land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.
Solid-state drives store data using flash memory and are becoming common system-level components in military systems. Although they are inexpensive and readily available, commercial off-the-shelf versions often fail to meet military requirements: predictable performance under stressful operating conditions, robust ruggedization, long-term availability from an accredited supplier and trusted security. Drives designed for the commercial market do not provide the flexible security features needed in today’s modern military applications.
Conquering cyberthreats that pose a national security risk means acquiring cutting-edge technology and leading-edge talent and pairing them, according to U.S. Defense Department experts.
The department’s technology wish list, discussed during the annual Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), touches on a number of disruptive areas, including machine learning, biometrics, the cloud, what officials are dubbing “software-defined everything,” and solutions to improve mobility and identity protections. Experts shared the challenges and solutions of leveraging technology and talent at the AFCEA International event June 13-15 in Baltimore.
Governments, banks, transportation systems and critical infrastructure entities reeled Tuesday from yet another wide-sweeping disruptive cyber attack—one that echoed the WannaCry breach in May but is potentially far more crippling.
Cyber experts began bracing for the effects of a massive attack that hit Ukraine first, and then rippled throughout other European nations before going global.
You’ve probably received a phone call that goes something like this: “Mr. Smith? I’m calling from ABC company, and there appears to be a security problem with XYZ operating systems. Are you at your computer right now? We can fix the problem for you. All you have to do open your computer, and I’ll take care of it.”
A collaborative government-academia collaboration is crafting a new operating system that, if it comes to fruition, would compile different computer programming languages into what U.S. Navy officials have termed a single cyber tongue.
It's called Popcorn Linux, and the operating system unites the language spoken, if you will, by the many processors that otherwise use their own programming languages.
How many software engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. It’s a hardware problem. That joke, though, soon might be on its way to becoming wrong with the speed of technology, joked Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander of the Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN).
The swiftly changing cyber domain demands a dynamic and dedicated partnership between the U.S. Defense Department and industry—a critical relationship for the development of both technologies and the work force needed to help the United States maintain a superior edge over adversaries, said John Zangardi, the department's acting chief information officer.
Common thread throughout many military efforts is industry parthernship, Zangardi says #AFCEACyber
The U.S. government’s primary competition for cyber work force talent is not with Silicon Valley—it’s with the struggling critical infrastructure sector woefully behind shoring up its cyber defenses, said Karen Evans, national director for the U.S. Cyber Challenge.
New technologies are just about obsolete by the time they actually hit federal work stations and are put to use, a disruption that could threaten the future of federal information technology investments. Acquisition at times precariously hinges on the government striking a sustainable balance between agility and innovation on one side, and security on the other, according to acting federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Margie Graves.
It might be true that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) invented the Internet. And so, in some way, the agency could be considered at fault for the burgeoning ecosystem of cyberthreats, the agency's acting director joked Wednesday. But DARPA also shoulders some of the responsibility for finding protective solutions for the vulnerable space.