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May 24, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Dr. Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, speaks at the AFCEA/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Autonomous functionality is increasing. The evidence is everywhere from drones and self-driving cars to voice-controlled devices such as IBM's Watson and Amazon’s Echo. The key to successfully transitioning to these increasingly autonomous systems for the military and defense industry is trust, said Dr. Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

May 25, 2017
 
The Internet of Things poses some risks to military forces, a draft report from NATO's Parliamentary Assembly points out. The report will be discussed at the assembly's spring session and will be updated over the summer.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has published a draft report titled "The Internet of Things: Promises and Perils of a Disruptive Technology." The report urges governments to take a more proactive role in defining the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).

"Policy makers, including national parliamentarians, need to start to proactively shape an IoT environment that remains open, innovative and secure. We have to find the right balance," the document states.

May 24, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, addresses attendees during the 2016 Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium. Photo by Michael Carpenter

If they play their cards right, conference attendees can get much more out of attending an event than just listening to the who’s who of this career field or that. At this year’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, or DCOS, open ears can also lead to open opportunities. Not only do attendees get the chance to listen to experts, they can enhance careers by receiving continuing education units.

Currently, 21 continuing education sessions will be offered during the three-day symposium, hosted by AFCEA International. It takes place June 13-15 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore.

May 24, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, makes a budget pitch before Congress on May 24, asking for 16 percent more in fiscal year 2018 than in 2017 for U.S. Cyber Command.

U.S. Cyber Command hopes for a bigger slice of the federal budget pie to cover operating costs in an increasingly volatile and dangerous cyber domain, said Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA).

He made his budget pitch before House lawmakers on Tuesday, seeking $647 million in fiscal year 2018—a 16 percent increase from fiscal year 2017—to address mounting cyber needs.

May 22, 2017
By J. Wayne Lloyd

As the Defense Information Services Agency (DISA) knows, a network that complies with standards is not necessarily secure. DISA’s new evaluation program, the Command Cyber Operational Readiness Inspection (CCORI), is designed to go beyond standards. Its goal is to provide site commanders and federal agencies an understanding of mission operational risks.   

May 15, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
New technologies selected by the DHS will be introduced to cybersecurity professionals through a series of Demonstration Day events taking place around the country.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transition to Practice (TTP) program tomorrow unveils to investors, developers and integrators eight cybersecurity technologies with commercial potential. The budding future capabilities, developed with federal funding, range from helping cyber analysts deal with data overload when filtering social media content to protecting power transmission infrastructure by detecting sensor failures or identifying cyber attacks in real time.

May 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The crippling ransomware attack last week that paralyzed hospitals, universities and businesses globally was just a cyber appetizer, experts warn. The main dish is still to come.

"That was just a big warning," says Rick McElroy, a security strategist at Carbon Black, which develops endpoint cybersecurity software to detect malicious behavior. "If you weren't impacted by this one, something is going to come down the pike that's more advanced that you’re probably not prepared for. So start to build your defenses today to get out in front of this stuff.”

May 11, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
White House homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, announces details of the White House’s long-awaited cybersecurity executive order, which President Donald Trump signed May 11.

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a much-anticipated cybersecurity executive order that lays out the government's path toward strengthening federal networks.

“The trend is going in the wrong direction in cyberspace and it’s time to stop that trend and reverse it on behalf of the American people,” Thomas Bossert, White House homeland security adviser, said Thursday afternoon while announcing details of the order. The government has noted an increase in the number of attacks from “allies, adversaries, primarily nation-states, but also non nation-state actors,” Bossert said during a televised White House briefing.

May 10, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
The home page of the ODNI’s Xpress challenge serves both as an information resource about the competition and a portal for potential entrants. Organizations are able to register to compete right up to the end of the contest on July 5.

More than 245 companies, organizations and academic institutions are vying to develop machine analytics tools for the intelligence community in an open competition. The starting gun for this challenge went off in April, and a total prize purse of $500,000 awaits, including $270,000 for the top five performing teams. Another $230,000 will be awarded in additional categories.

May 9, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
 U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets discuss strategy during a 2016 Cyber Defense Exercise, a competition between service academies conducted by the National Security Agency. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Brahm, USCG

Technological development has transformed U.S. Coast Guard networks into warfighting platforms as the service operates in a dramatically different realm, a senior leader says.

“That’s significant for us,” says Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command and assistant commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology (C4IT). “It’s really the first time we’re creating an operating force for a new domain—cyberspace—since we created operating forces for aviation over a century ago.”

May 5, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
U.S. soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation last January at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. They are among several cyber organizations taking part in pilot programs to help the Army develop how it will build and employ cyber in its tactical formations.

Zipping past a Plan B for cyber defense solutions to the end of the alphabet, the U.S. Defense Department's research arm launched Plan X and advanced platforms to conduct and assess cyber warfare like kinetic warfare. 

After five years of development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Plan X is scheduled to transition in September to the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) Project Manager Installation Information Infrastructure–Communications and Capabilities (I3C2). 

May 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
The late Hugh Montgomery, a former ambassador who retired from the CIA in 2014 after serving the intelligence community for more than six decades, displays photographs from his younger days.

Editor’s note: Hugh Montgomery, the focus of this article, passed away April 6, just weeks after this SIGNAL interview.

It is just a matter of time before other countries face insider leaks similar to those that have haunted the American intelligence community, said Hugh Montgomery, a former U.S. diplomat and a pioneering intelligence officer who served for more than six decades.

May 5, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

A new U.S. Army cyber-based task force hit the ground running this week to do a deep-dive, Army-wide review and strategically assess the service’s cyber needs, strengths, weaknesses and assets, officials say. Task Force Cyber Strong is one tangible outcome from a new cyber directorate created in July to spearhead the convergence of cybersecurity and electronic warfare.

May 3, 2017
 
Alex Rice, chief technology officer and co-founder of HackerOne Incorporated (l), speaks with Peter Kim, Air Force chief information security officer (c), and Chris Lynch, director, Defense Digital Service, about the upcoming Hack the Air Force event.

Vetted computer security specialists from across the United States and select partner nations are invited to hack some of the U.S. Air Force’s key public websites. The initiative is part of the Cyber Secure campaign the service’s chief information officer is sponsoring to further operationalize the domain and leverage talent from inside and outside of the Defense Department. HackerOne Incorporated, a security consulting firm, is managing the contest.

May 2, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The White House has created a council charged with tackling federal information technology services. President Donald Trump signed the executive order that stands up the American Technology Council, or ATC, to "transform and modernize" federal IT. 

May 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. government is racing to identify technologies that will resist the threat from quantum computers, which will render today’s encryption obsolete.

May 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

They do not necessarily match the hero stereotype, but computer scientists improving methods of generating random numbers just may save the day when it comes to cybersecurity.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have delivered a mathematical revelation that could bring a number of benefits, but improved encryption tops the list. Cybersecurity, of course, depends on encryption, which relies on random data. Although the world is full of randomness—a roll of the dice, a flip of a coin, a lottery drawing—randomness is not always equal. When studied over time, air temperatures and stock market results, for example, actually produce predictable patterns.

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

You might think that homomorphic cryptography, obfuscation techniques and privacy concerns have nothing in common. You would be mistaken. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Defense Department that creates breakthrough technologies, is advancing these complex but intrinsically connected concepts in a series of efforts that could alter the art of making and breaking code. 

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. adversaries know they can exploit cyber vulnerabilities and are getting away with it with ease and on the cheap. This reality is as befuddling to officials as it is enraging, and it has some experts calling on the federal government to embrace a new defense approach: Put up or shut up.

April 25, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Daryl Haegley, with the U.S. Defense Department, discusses how a number of military networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks because of outdated and under-protected operating systems in the critical infrastructure domain.

Though the U.S. Defense Department has spent much time and money to protect high-value network assets such as emails from cyber intruders, the systems remain vulnerable to attacks. So imagine the weaknesses to systems that haven’t garnered as much defense attention or reinforcements, a senior official said.

“We have spent a lot of time—and have been very successful at—protecting our email information,” said Daryl Haegley, program manager for Business Enterprise Integration (BEI) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment. “But what about the control systems, manufacturing systems, facilities networks, medical devices? What we’re finding is ‘not so much.’ 

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