Pandemic threats such as Ebola, Zika, and avian flu are not only a danger to public health, but are also viewed as potential national security threats, as the National Intelligence Council, an arm of the Director of National Intelligence, points out in its 2017 report, Global Trends: Paradox of Progress. […]

For military analysts struggling to make proper use of millions of hours of full-motion video from drones, the cavalry will begin arriving this month, in the form of computer vision algorithms developed under the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Project Maven.






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The Army and Navy recently announced that their Cyber Mission Teams were fully operational, and the U.S. Cyber Command now has all of their planned complement of 133 teams in business. With its people (totaling more than 6,000 service members and civilians) in place, U.S. cyber forces can now look to machines to help carry out effective operations in the cyber domain.






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The Department of Defense (DoD) is cooking up big plans for blockchain technology, the digital ledger best known for its support of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The technology’s decentralized, encrypted approach holds promise for a variety of secure functions in addition to financial transactions, from cyber defense and distributed communications to protecting the digital supply chains used by deployed forces for 3D printing. A Navy officer on the Naval Innovation Advisory Council has written that blockchain could “revolutionize” the way military operations over the next decade.






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Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) re:Invent conference achieved the impossible dream: 700 public sector technology professionals awake at 7 a.m. in Las Vegas. At the public sector keynote, Teresa Carlson, VP worldwide public sector AWS, highlighted the new AWS Secret Region. The Secret Region was designed for the U.S. intelligence community (IC) and can operate workloads up to the Secret U.S. security classification level.






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A team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, backed by the Defense Department’s research arm, is developing tool that will give cybersecurity investigators that kind of look at a cyber intrusion, quickly providing layers of detail not currently available, in what researchers say is the first instance of automated forensics.






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DOD’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) recently awarded C3 IoT a multiyear contract to develop an AI-based data management platform for predictive maintenance on aircraft systems and components, beginning with the Air Force’s E-3 Sentry (AWACS) plane and the F-16 fighter.






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Congress wants the Defense Department (DoD) to elaborate on its growing interest is blockchain technology, the secure digital ledger system that can be applied not only to protect financial transactions, but also many other operations such as defending against cyberattacks, protecting logistics supply chains, and securing communications with aircraft and satellites.






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MeriTalk compiles a weekly roundup of contracts and other industry activity. Here’s what happened this week in the Federal Information Technology community.






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Tanium, along with its partner World Wide Technology, received a potential five-year, $750 million contract from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), the Defense Department’s Silicon Valley outfit, to provide managed cybersecurity services to Federal agencies.






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The White House announced that John Zangardi will serve as the new chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Zangardi is currently serving as the acting CIO at the Department of Defense. He is leaving the DoD to replace Richard Staropoli, who unexpectedly resigned as DHS CIO in August.






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Federal IT leaders are shifting focus from trying to secure every system to prioritizing the systems that need the most security controls. “We realized that no matter how much we protected our systems, something could happen,” said Thresa Lang, deputy director of the Navy Cybersecurity Division, at CISQ’s Cyber Resilience Summit on Oct. 19.






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As the deadline to renew the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers looms, proposed bills and speculations of bills drive the conversation on national security versus privacy. Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposed a bill in June to completely renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without any changes or sunset provision. Section 702, which expires at the end of the year, allows the NSA to collect data from foreign nationals without obtaining a warrant.






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The Department of Defense is recognizing National Cybersecurity Month by expanding cybersecurity education to families of service members. “This is not just an IT issue,” said Essye Miller, deputy CIO for cybersecurity and chief information security officer for DoD. “Everyone that’s operating on the network has a responsibility.”






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A memorandum issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan establishes an initiative to move many DoD IT systems to the cloud, a move that members of industry are applauding for its potential to open the department to faster innovation.






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The Army’s cyber soldiers in the 17C military occupational specialty are highly likely to stay on for their entire first term of service, but they are far less likely to re-enlist after the first term, according to a recent RAND Corp. study.






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Cybersecurity threats have risen to the top of the nation’s national security concerns, according to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who spoke at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit on Sept. 13. “What keeps me up at night now is the wide diversity of threats that we have from all across the world, including the […] […]

For the Navy to gain the most insights from its operational pause day, fleets could use data analytics to make faster, more informed decisions. Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, ordered an operational pause across the U.S. Navy, following the collision of the USS John S. McCain with an oil tanker near Singapore. Each fleet is tasked with taking one day off, as they see fit, to look into “operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment, and personnel.”






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