February 1, 2017
By Maj. Gen. Earl D. Matthews, USAF (Ret.)

Now that Donald Trump has become the 45th president of the United States, he will be exposed to the nation’s soft underbelly: cybersecurity. Given rapid advancements in information and communication technologies, continued coupling of the digital domain with the physical world and advanced persistent threats, critical infrastructure protection poses a major challenge for the United States. 

This is where the president should focus his efforts. But is either the Department of Homeland Security or the Defense Department the right agency for cyber protection?

January 9, 2017

Sotera Defense Solutions Inc., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $9,833,515 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Predictive Analysis Software Prototype and report. Contractor will develop capabilities allowing for multi-source data fusion, predicting malicious cyber operator activities and serving as the architect and integrator of the experimental software prototype. Work will be performed at Austin, Texas; Arlington, Virginia; and Columbia, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by July 3, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 23 offers received.

December 13, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced that ZeroPoint, an exploit detection and analytics tool, has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics.

December 12, 2016

Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $7,832,701 modification (P00022) to contract W900KK-14-C-0020 to accommodate increased demand for cyber training and test event operations at the national cyber range which is operated and sustained by Lockheed Martin. The increased levels of support will provide the ability to scale up technical capacity and to support the increased tempo of cyber event operations. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of May 25, 2019. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5,309,700 were obligated at the time of the award.

December 9, 2016

Executive Protection Systems LLC, doing business as RavenTek Solutions, Chantilly, Virginia, is being awarded a $19,211,795 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract (N66001-17-D-0041) for cyber and information technology training in support of the Marine Corps Forces Cyber Command.

November 16, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel discusses challenges in cyber domain at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Hawaii. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Operating in a relatively new operations domain, cyber fighters are coping with a wide range of challenges, including lack of training and still-to-be-defined policies, doctrines and authorities.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, addresses the crowd at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, told the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific audience he is concerned about the cyber threat posed by insiders, but also warned against limiting employees’ sense of freedom.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Cindy Moran, former director for network services at DISA, talks about network performance and security at TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Cindy Moran, former director for network services at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), told the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu that it is time to build networks for maximum performance and to find other ways to build in security.

“We as a culture have designed and built our networks to protect our information and our data since we started building networks. We’ve never built them to be optimal from a network perspective,” said Moran, who is now president and managing partner of Pikes Way LLC. “With growth and change as much as we’ve got going in here, we no longer have that luxury.”

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Experts debate whether a cyber attack against common information systems or industrial control systems would be more lethal. Photo by Bob Goodwin

U.S. military and civilian experts on protecting critical infrastructure control systems debated whether a cyber attack on common information systems or on industrial control systems would be more deadly in response to an audience question at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at TechNet Asia-Paciifc 2016 discuss the need for trust in the cyber domain. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Trust—or a lack thereof—is one of the biggest impediments to information sharing among coalitions and partner nations, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

November 4, 2016

Assured Information Security Inc., Rome, New York (FA8750-12-D-0002); CACI Technologies Inc., Chantilly, Virginia (FA8750-12-D-0005); Global InfoTek Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8750-12-D-0003); Harris Corp., Herndon, Virginia (FA8750-12-D-0006); L-3 National Security Solutions Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8750-12-D-0007); and Radiance Technologies Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (FA8750-12-D-0004), have been awarded a combined $200,000,000 basic contract modification for additional in-scope activities.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss readiness and training of U.S. military forces at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Fifteen years of continuous combat on multiple global battlefields has made U.S. military troop readiness one of the most critical challenges facing the services and Defense Department, according to experts speaking at MILCOM 2016.

In spite of advances in communications, networking and other computer technologies, efforts to sustain troops and equipment have taken a toll on training in particular, making operational priorities and capability needs a highly relevant topic toward shaping the force of the future, said Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).

November 1, 2016
By John M. Gilligan

Seventh in an ongoing series of articles

Rapid down selection, which narrows the field of potential bidders, has dramatically accelerated government acquisition efforts and can be applied to cyber contracting. It must be done early in the acquisition process, well before a formal request for proposal (RFP) and preferably long before a draft RFP. Otherwise, companies already may have invested considerable resources in pursuing an opportunity and will be reluctant to forgo their activities.

October 19, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity; provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online; and increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. This week’s theme is “Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime.”

October 18, 2016

NATO Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency launched yesterday an independent project to research options for streamlining NATO’s cyber capability development and acquisition processes. The final report from RAND Corporation is due in January.

October 14, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Last in a four-part series on election cyber vulnerabilities.

Standardizing voter registration processes, voting machines and vote tabulation is the key to eliminating most vulnerabilities plaguing U.S. elections, according to several cybersecurity experts. These standardizations would embed security, enable backups and eliminate many backdoors through which hackers and vote fraudsters currently can warp the results of an election.

October 13, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Third in a four-part series on election cyber vulnerabilities.

October 12, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Second in a four-part series on election cyber vulnerabilities.

October 12, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

Being a victim of a cyber attack, either as an individual or business, can not only wreak havoc through major inconvenience and annoyance, but can also lead to financial ruin and can potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and safety.

October 11, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

This is the first of a four-part series, based on interviews with private sector cybersecurity experts, on the vulnerability of U.S. elections to cyberspace intrusion. The next three parts will focus on voting machines, vote tabulation and potential solutions to existing and future challenges.