The Cyber Edge

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July 1, 2018
By Margaret S. Marangione
The millennial generation came of age when the ability to share information via technology was just beginning. Without guidelines, many began to share everything without regard of the consequences to themselves or others. Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

The recent dissemination of classified information through media outlets and social media indicate that contemporary insider threat management has entered a new phase. Unlike previous generations that adhered to a strict code of silence, some millennials in charge of keeping U.S. secrets safe have the urge to share information they deem the public has the right to know. Rather than going through official channels to reveal actions they believe are wrong, people like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Reality Winner leak classified material through media and are just the first indication of information management processes that must change with the times.

July 1, 2018
By Maj. Gen. Jim Keffer, USAF (Ret.), Col. David Hathaway, USAF (Ret.), and Lt. Col. David Weissmiller, USAF (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Timothy White, USN, commander, Cyber National Mission Force, U.S. Cyber Command, shares feedback with students attending the Joint Cyber Analysis course at the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC), Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida. The Unified Platform will assist members of all services in securing networks by enabling cyber warriors to prosecute full-spectrum cyberspace operations. Credit: Glenn Sircy/Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs

The U.S. Defense Department is leaning forward by investing in capabilities that equip U.S. cyber forces with a warfighting platform to achieve, maintain and defend cyberspace superiority. The Unified Platform will be critical to realizing U.S. Cyber Command’s vision to maneuver globally and seamlessly between defense and offense across the cyberspace domain and defend far forward into an adversary’s cyber space.

June 29, 2018
By Paul Parker
Edge computing and the Internet of Things have the potential to enhance government agility and efficiency. Shutterstock

Wary that the Internet of Things (IoT) could be used to introduce unwanted and unchecked security risks into government networks, senators last year created a piece of legislation that placed minimum security standards around IoT devices sold to and purchased by government agencies.  The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 specifically cites the need for regulation of “federal procurement of connected devices,” including edge computing devices, which are part of the IoT ecosystem.

June 27, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, alongside Iraqi security forces, fire artillery at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The annual Cyber Quest experiment, which focused this year on cyber situational understanding, is designed to evaluate prototypical technologies and deliver systems to warfighters sooner. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army officials conducting the third annual Cyber Quest experiment, which ends today, will issue a report in about 30 days that will determine which of the systems involved will transfer to programs of record. The exercise consists of an array of systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, that help provide situational understanding of the cyber and electronic warfare realms.

June 26, 2018
By Jesse Price
As cyber attacks increase, the combination of big data capabilities and network analytics will allow network monitoring agents to shift from defense to offense. Credit: Shutterstock

Traffic on optical transport networks is growing exponentially, leaving cyber intelligence agencies in charge of monitoring these networks with the unenviable task of trying to sift through ever-increasing amounts of data to search for cyber threats. However, new technologies capable of filtering exploding volumes of real-time traffic are being embedded within emerging network monitoring applications supporting big data and analytics capabilities.

June 20, 2018
By Jane Melia
Cybersecurity trends so far this year include a stern reminder that the threat of nation-sponsored cyber attacks cannot be ignored. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

With the arrival of June, we’re at the halfway point of an already busy year for the cybersecurity industry. With each passing year, our sector continues to demonstrate its evolving approach to fighting cyber threats, as cyber crime itself continues to evolve.

As both business and government move forward with digital transformation initiatives to improve processes and efficiency, the overall security attack surface continues to expand with more potential points of access for criminals to exploit. However, our industry is tackling these challenges head-on, with numerous innovative solutions continuing to come to market.

June 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers

When National Science Foundation officials announced in February that three major providers of cloud computing were donating up to $9 million collectively for big data research, they already were looking for ways to broaden the effort to include a wider variety of topics, including cybersecurity. The expansion is intended to benefit both research and education initiatives and is necessary, in part, because the cloud providers now acquire cutting-edge hardware before it is made available to researchers.

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
While the U.S. Army is working on significantly upgrading its situational awareness system Blue Force Tracking, in use on more than 98,000 platforms, its cyber situational awareness needs improvement, especially in red and gray zones. Army photo

The U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as CERDEC, is gearing up to face increasing asymmetrical threats in cyberspace. The center looks to improve cyber operations, information warfare, electronic countermeasures and information security, among other areas. Its efforts are prompted as the military finds itself fighting or preparing to fight more and more in cyberspace, in conjunction with the traditional domains of sea, air, land and space.

June 1, 2018
By Jane Melia
Credit: Den Schrodinger/Shutterstock

The potential geopolitical consequences of quantum communications will result in clear asymmetries in both knowledge and confidentiality of information. Countries whose data can be protected through quantum communication techniques will have a significant information advantage, a situation that would have important, albeit hard to predict, effects on geopolitical developments.

May 8, 2018
By Seli Agbolosu-Amison
Four policies give government agencies they flexibility and authority to limit cyber risks. Credit: katielwhite91/Pixabay

As a result of recent federal legislative and administrative activity, government agencies are expected to launch significant modernizations of their cybersecurity systems, get offensive with hackers and take a more strategic approach to risk. Combined, these policy directives promise to transform our government into a robust digital society, gaining greater resiliency to cyber threats by leveraging opportunities while reinforcing standards and procedures.

Here’s a breakdown of the key components of the four policies:

May 31, 2018
By Paul Parker
After enjoying a period without peers, the U.S. now find itself facing a variety of threats, including Russia, China and terrorist groups. Credit: TheDigitialArtist/Pixabay

The days of the United States’ stature as a force without equal appear to be over. The threat of near-peer competition with increasingly sophisticated adversaries is growing. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis says in the National Defense Strategy, "America has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield."

June 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Sailors assist with the landing of a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter on the deck of the U.S. Navy’s USS Wasp assault ship as part of an April certification exercise in the Philippine Sea. In its role of steering the Navy toward the best information technology for the 21st century, the Space and Naval Warfare  Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic is looking at cloud computing systems to support the warfighter. Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Levingston Lewis, USN

This month is a crucial time for the U.S. Navy, as far as information technology goes. Its Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems is developing the request for proposal for its Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete contract that will provide information technology services, including cloud services, for more than 700,000 Navy and Marine Corps users.

May 30, 2018
By Don Maclean
Although hacking back against cyber criminals may seem morally justifiable, it can quickly spiral out of control. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Whether a Social Security number from an individual, or financial information from a company, hackers continue to find ways to steal data from millions of Americans. To combat these crimes, the idea of active cyber defense has arisen on Capitol Hill with the introduction of the Active Cyber Defense Certainty (ACDC) Act.

In January, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen voiced measured support for empowering companies to be more active in their approach to cybersecurity. These active measures would allow companies to access other computer networks in order to thwart cyber attacks, monitor the hackers, collect evidence or destroy stolen files.

May 24, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: fuyu liu/Shutterstock

Domestic cybersecurity has some new potential vulnerabilities to defend, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) 2018 Cybersecurity Strategy. In addition to conventional concerns such as the water and power grids and the financial sector, the burgeoning number of Internet-connected devices and the global supply chain have emerged as areas that must be protected against a growing threat from a variety of adversaries.

May 17, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Panelists discuss partnerships in cyber warfare at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Thoughts by experts about the ability of the military to defend cyberspace are centering around the concept of improved partnerships, which may be outside of the Defense Department’s usual practices. A lot can be gained from the insight of coalition partners and think tanks—wisdom and information that the DOD may not have tapped into, experts said.

May 16, 2018
By Kaitlyn Cotter
Panelists discuss STEM education and training cyber warfighters during a panel at the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Raising the bar for STEM education comes through practice, competition and a culture shift to help prepare the next generation of defense leaders. It’s less about how many hours of STEM courses or what is the right age to engage kids in STEM and more of a focus on how to create access to opportunities in a way that they can connect with for the long term.

May 16, 2018
by Kimberly Underwood

Faced with unending cyber attacks that are increasing in sophistication and coming from all types of adversaries, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence is preparing its best defense: cyber operators. With a dedicated section of the Army’s force that focuses only on cyberspace operations, the service must continue to fill the ranks and train cyber operators, said Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence (CoE) and Fort Gordon.

May 16, 2018
By Beverly Cooper
Credit: Shutterstock

If you think of the cyber threat as Godzilla, you can see the need for a framework that optimizes limited resources. As the beast attacks the building, those individuals located on the ground floor—for example the architects and engineers—worry about being stepped on by its feet. Those on the next floor up, the systems engineers, see the knees and want protection from being kicked. The next level, the incident responders, see the claws and worry about what those claws can do. Higher in the building, the operators see the shoulders and are focused on how big the threat might be based on the shoulder size. The customers at the top only see teeth and flames.

May 15, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Anthony Montemarano, executive deputy director, DISA, speaks at the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

As the Department of Defense is working to improve lethality, it is making the transition to fight in the new domain of cyber, according to Anthony Montemarano, executive deputy director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The key to this evolution is innovation and harnessing emerging technologies to protect and defend the homeland. “We’ve got to get ahead of the adversaries,” he said.

Speaking to a room packed full of industry and government officials on Tuesday at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) in Baltimore, and in an interview with SIGNAL Magazine, Montemarano called on industry to provide innovation.

May 15, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, DISA director and commander of JFHQ-DODIN, speaks at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

In her unique, dual-hatted role as director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander of the Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN), Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, is pushing to provide the best communication and information technology capabilities to the Defense Department (DOD).

“Everything we do is to support the warfighter and increase their ability to accomplish their mission,” she said. The admiral was the keynote speaker opening the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) in Baltimore on May 15.

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