TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016

January 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, Defense Department chief information officer, warned during the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu that cracking down too severely on the insider threat has a downside. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Synchronizing cyber with other domains—air, land, sea and space—is still a challenge, but the situation is improving, Lt. Col. Mark Esslinger, USAF, U.S. Pacific Command Joint Cyber Center, asserted during the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference November 15-17 in Honolulu.

Col. Esslinger served on a panel of cyber experts. Panelists agreed that the authorities to conduct cyber operations—along with policies, doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures—still need to be defined. “The cyber mission force is still maturing, and the combatant commands are learning to integrate their capabilities,” Col. Esslinger offered.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel of U.S. military communications officers discuss their technology wish lists at AFCEA Technet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

A panel of U.S. military communications officers stationed in the Asia-Pacific region told the defense technology industry what they most need to accomplish the mission. The list included capabilities ranging from next-generation authentication tools to airborne command and control network modeling.

Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton, director of command, control, communications and cyber, U.S. Pacific Command, named advanced identity management. “The technology is there. It’s probably more of an acquisition [issue] on the government side, but I think that’s a critical one,” she said during a panel discussion on the final day of AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu.

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
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer.

“We would be completely stupid if we didn’t take advantage of hybrid cloud environment,” Halvorsen said while addressing audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

He went on to say the department will have a cloud solution providing a set of basic enterprise services, such as email, chat, video and file share. “They will be modeled after commercial, and it will be probably in partnership with a commercial provider,” he said.

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 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, addresses attendees at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016. Photo by Bob Goodwin

To obtain mission success, the U.S. military must maintain an emphasis on distributed operations that rely heavily on technological capabilities offered through cyberspace, said Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, summarizes the state actor threats to the United States during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu. Photo by Bob Goodwin

The good news, according to Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, is there is little likelihood the United States will go to war with China, Russia, North Korea or Iran, the country’s top four nation-state adversaries. Furthermore, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will not be able to hold onto its territories. On the other hand, North Korea is utterly unpredictable and ISIL will probably rebuild somewhere else.