Guest Blogs

October 7, 2020
By Ray Rothrock
Just like basic personal hygiene during a pandemic, practicing cyber fundamentals comes down to the individual and consistency. Photo credit: vientocuatroestudio/Shutterstock

When it comes to nefarious deeds, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a gold mine for bad actors. In addition to wreaking havoc for individuals and healthcare organizations, federal agencies are also prime targets. Case in point: a portion of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) website was recently compromised, in what appears to be a part of an online COVID-19 disinformation campaign. 

In a time of heightened cyber risk and limited human and fiscal resources, how can agencies protect their networks from malicious actors by taking a page from the COVID playbook? They can diligently practice good (cyber) hygiene.

In fact, there is a direct correlation between personal and cyber hygiene.

June 12, 2020
By Matthew Savare
The U.S. government procurement process is still much slower and cumbersome than the commercial sector, says Matt Savare, a partner at Lowenstein Sandler. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

I take no joy in writing this article, but it is a desperate plea for improvement.

From 1995-2001, I worked for the Department of the Army as a contract specialist procuring advanced communications and electronics systems, equipment and services.

May 15, 2020
By Rear Adm. Michael Brown, USN (Ret.)
End-to-end encryption will help the defense industrial base meet the requirements of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, according to Rear Adm. Michael Brown, USN (Ret.). Credit: Jan Alexander/Pixabay

The Department of Defense (DOD) is dramatically increasing its digital security expectations for defense contractors and subcontractors. Having been on both sides of the partnership between government and the public sector, I am happy to see DOD is not only raising the bar on cybersecurity but also providing guidance on the implementation of cybersecurity best practices within the defense industrial base.

May 13, 2020
By Shawn Cressman
A Young AFCEAN proposes that AFCEA International create a military-style ribbon for JROTC cadets studying STEM courses to wear on their uniforms. Credit: Shawn Cressman

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony and presenting an award to a local high school Junior Reserve Office Training Corps (JROTC) cadet on behalf of another organization for this cadet’s superior performance and leadership. Looking around the stage, I noticed representatives from multiple organizations all eager to recognize the efforts of these amazing young leaders with their respective groups’ awards.

May 4, 2020
By 1st Lt. Cory Mullikin, USA
Army soldiers check the setup up of an antenna for voice and data tactical communications in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While the responsibilities between the Cyber and Signal branches are still evolving, a seven-layer model may be helpful in defining the divide. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Robert J. Fluegel

The rising prominence of the Cyber branch in the U.S. military, and namely the Army, begs the question “What will the Cyber branch be used for?” Citing the Defense Department’s plan for the Cyber branch, as well as the Signal branch’s shifting roles in the realm of cyberspace, the responsibilities of both branches are becoming clear. It is evident that as time goes on, the Cyber branch will become focused mainly on the defense of the military domain and cyberspace.

March 23, 2020
By Greg Touhill
With the Coronavirus driving more people to work or study from home, it is more important than ever for private individuals and families to secure their home networks. Credit: Manolines/Shutterstock

As people around the world practice self-isolation in an effort to reduce exposure and spreading of the COVID-19 virus, the need to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture arguably has never been higher. Millions of people have shifted their daily lives to an environment relying on telework, distance learning, Internet-enabled social engagement, streaming news and entertainment and other activities.

This “new normal” is facilitated by the robust capabilities of the Internet. Yet it presents a significant cyber risk. During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen bad actors stepping up their game with increased incidents of phishing, disinformation, watering hole attacks and other criminal activity.

March 17, 2020
By Pragyansmita Nayak
Government agencies do not have the analytics tools necessary to unleash data’s power, says Pragyansmita Nayak, chief scientist, Hitachi Vantara Federal. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

By now, federal agencies universally recognize that data is an asset with seemingly limitless value as they seek to reduce costs, boost productivity, expand capabilities and find better ways to support their mission and serve the public.

March 16, 2020
By Capt. Jason Nunes
A drone operated by airmen flies over a training area at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in October, while capturing aerial intelligence during a two-week military exercise. Software for unmanned systems goes through extensive and time-consuming testing, but machine learning could change that. Credit: Alejandro Pena, Air Force

A mushroom cloud explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 forever changed the nature of warfare. Science had given birth to weapons so powerful they could end humanity. To survive, the United States had to develop new strategies and policies that responsibly limited nuclear weapon proliferation and use. Warfare is again changing as modern militaries integrate autonomous and semiautonomous weapon systems into their arsenals. The United States must act swiftly to maximize the potential of these new technologies or risk losing its dominance.

February 26, 2020
By Cameron Chehreh
Principles for artificial intelligence stewardship will give agencies a clear framework for promoting safe, ethical AI development in the private sector. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

By 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to add $13 trillion to the global economic output. In government, AI applications promise to strengthen the federal workforce, safeguard our nation against bad actors, serve citizens more effectively and provide our warfighters the advantage on the battlefield. But this success will require collaboration and advancements from government and industry.

February 24, 2020
By Tim Mullahy
Members of the Oklahoma National Guard drive down Telephone Road in Moore, Oklahoma, May 21, 2013, en route to the neighborhoods devastated by a tornado. Cybersecurity needs to be a priority in the aftermath of major disasters when people and their personal data can be most vulnerable. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mark Hyber

It’s easy to forget that in the midst of a catastrophe, physical safety isn’t the only thing that’s important. As technology’s role in disaster response and relief becomes more and more prevalent, cybersecurity becomes an essential part of the process. Here’s why.

Few people are more vulnerable than those impacted by a crisis. Whether a man-made attack or a natural disaster, the widespread destruction created by a large-scale emergency can leave countless individuals both destitute and in need of medical attention. Protecting these men, women and children requires more than a coordinated emergency response.

January 14, 2020
By Kevin Gosschalk
Now that identity is the currency of the digital world and data is the fuel that powers the digital economy, digital identities are continually being compromised on multiple levels. Credit: Tashatuvango/Shutterstock

Last year was a banner year for cyber fraud. In just the first six months of 2019, more than 3,800 breaches exposed 4.1 billion records, with 3.2 billion of those records exposed by just eight breaches. The scale of last year’s data breaches underscores the fact that identity has become the currency of the digital world and data is the fuel that powers the digital economy. What’s also clear looking back on 2019 is that digital identities are continually being compromised on multiple levels. 

January 6, 2020
By Wayne Lloyd
Network resilience and cyber resilience are similar but different, says Wayne Lloyd, RedSeal chief technology officer. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

There are certainly similarities between network resilience and cyber resilience. The foundation for both is the ability to maintain business or mission capabilities during an event, such as a backhoe cutting your fiber cables or a nation-state actively exploiting your network. But there are also significant differences.

October 29, 2019
By Rod Musser
Recent events indicate the government is serious about enforcing supply chain cybersecurity. Credit: Kalabi Yau/Shutterstock

Supply chain security has been of concern to government leaders for decades, but with attacks now originating in industrial control systems (ICS) from supply chain vulnerabilities and with an increasing reliance on the Internet of Things (IoT), Congress is stepping up its involvement. For example, legislators have promised that more stringent standards will soon be enforced.

August 1, 2019
By George Bara
Caption: Machine translation and text analytics offer more benefits when used together, says George Bara, director of strategic accounts, Government Solutions, SDL. Credit: Original image by ibreakstock/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia.

Government agencies face similar challenges when it comes to understanding—and gaining intelligence from— foreign language content. They need to process, manage and gain insight from large volumes of content locked away in different formats, often across multiple languages. And they need to do all of this as quickly as possible. It’s no mean feat when you consider the mindboggling amounts of content being generated: 90% of the world’s content was created over the past two years alone.

July 24, 2019
By Steve Orrin
To reap the benefits of AI, the Defense Department must first tackle challenges with people, processes and infrastructure. Credit: Laurent T/Shutterstock

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the Department of Defense (DOD) has put a firm stake in the ground. The department’s AI strategy clearly calls for the DOD “to accelerate the adoption of AI and the creation of a force fit for our time.”

June 17, 2019
By Brian Wright
An agreement to share the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum will benefit the U.S. Defense Department and the rest of the country. Credit: GDJ/Pixabay

Anyone who has worked in the Pentagon or on almost any military installation can attest to wireless connectivity problems. Whether dealing with a dearth of cellular service, inadequate Wi-Fi or security blockers, service members and civilians have felt the frustration of not being able to access information or communicate effectively.

April 1, 2019
By Grimt Habtemariam
The Defense Department’s cloud computing strategy recognizes mission and tactical-edge needs along with the requirement to prepare for artificial intelligence. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

In every recent discussion I have had with government and defense leaders around IT modernization, the conversation quickly leads to cloud and its role in enabling agile ways of working for government. Many agencies have already developed cloud migration targets and are looking at how they can accelerate cloud adoption.

March 15, 2019
By Mav Turner
Soldiers attack simulated enemy combatants during a training exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany. To meet the Army’s vision of multidomain battle, the service will need to build a battle-hardened network. Army photo by Pvt. Randy Wren

The U.S. Army is leading the charge on the military’s multidomain battle concept—but will federal IT networks enable this initiative, or inhibit it?

The network is critical to the Army’s vision of combining the defense domains of land, air, sea, space and cyberspace to protect and defend against adversaries on all fronts. As Gen. Stephen Townsend, USA, remarked to AFCEA conference attendees earlier this year, the Army is readying for a future reliant on telemedicine, 3D printing and other technologies that will prove integral to multidomain operations. “The network needs to enable all that,” said Townsend. 

January 23, 2019
By Joe Marino
Delivering innovative technologies into the hands of warfighters requires streamlined acquisition processes. Photo by Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Drake Nickel

The response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson’s repeated request to “pick up the pace” of developing and implementing breakthrough technologies for our warfighters has gone, in my opinion, largely unheeded.

This is not the result of a lack of innovative solutions. A myriad of research and development programs exists to support the development of new technologies or to adapt existing commercial technologies to defense applications. Rather, it’s the result of an arcane acquisition process that is burdensome, expensive and lacking vision. Acquisition reform is where we need to pick up the pace!

January 30, 2019
By Steven Boberski
The U.S. Defense Department has started to integrate unified communications into its Everything Over Internet Protocol strategy, but a wide range of computing platforms, telecommunications systems and other collaboration technologies result in a web of technologies that cannot integrate or interoperate. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

When the Department of Defense (DOD) launched its Everything Over IP initiative nearly 10 years ago the focus was to bring traditional telecommunications technology—phone calls, streaming video and even faxes—to the digital world.

At that time, unified communications (UC), especially in the government workplace, was a relatively new concept. Remember, this was a time when voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones were still seen as cutting edge. Now, though, UC has become not just a business tool, but a strategic offering that can connect employees in disparate locations, including the frontlines.

Pages