17 Aug 15. Defense Spending Red Tape Endangers Cybersecurity. The government is moving too slowly to fund and acquire the latest technology, which could not only waste taxpayer dollars but also endanger federal cybersecurity. A panel of experts on Monday noted that the conservative procurement practices of the federal government can’t keep up with the high-risk culture of tech industry startups, which innovate at a rapid pace and are increasingly a target for acquisition by larger businesses. Silicon Valley is one of America’s greatest economic assets, but “the political system is not good at making long-run investments with uncertain impacts,” Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve said during the panel discussion on Monday in Washington, D.C. Michael O’Hanlon, a research director at the Brookings Institution think tank, suggested the government needs to pick up the pace of funding research and acquiring the latest technology in the quickly changing software and electronics sectors. “The overall system is not fundamentally broken, there are parts of it that are broken, in my mind,” O’Hanlon said during the Monday event. (Source: glstrade.com/U.S. News and World Report.com)
12 Aug 15. DISA evaluates SDN to guard mission-critical networks. The network is mission critical for members of the defense and intelligence communities. Software-defined networking (SDN), an emerging technology that brings the application and network layers closer together to create an entirely new architecture, is fundamentally changing the way networks are built and configured. SDN opens the door to greater automation and orchestration of the network fabric and enables the dynamic and application-led configuration of both networks and services. SDN also allows the network to respond to requests from an application in real time, based upon the network’s current state and condition. The Defense Information Systems Agency is evaluating SDN’s potential to enhance network performance and reliability with three use case studies, said Eric Sharret, vice president of TELEGRID, a Livingston, New Jersey-based company that developed Transec, a device that secures DISA’s SDN Layer 2 data links.
According to Sharret, the first use case is a project focused on core data center (CDC) connectivity via SDN-enabled enclaves. “This use case involves developing a proof-of-concept architecture in the lab and performing the necessary tests in order to evaluate the full benefits of SDN connectivity in the environment,” he said. The second use case is focused on the provisioning and maintenance of service using existing network management protocols and systems. “This use case will study the potential of automated provisioning of service in order to eliminate redundant and unnecessary human and machine interface,” he said. The third use case is focused on increasing the visibility of data flows between multiple domains via SDN.
The results of DISA’s use cases and associated proof-of-concept tests and analyses are expected to determine the ultimate path of SDN deployment. “Creating a SDN between the CDCs, to reduce latency caused by traversing the Joint Regional Security Stacks, will likely be the first target,” Sharret said.
The defense and intelligence communities face a growing need to accelerate the deployment of new networks and applications. “SDN offers the ability to create new networks and apps in software, thus virtualizing and eliminating the slow process of acquisition and deployment of new physical assets,” said Bob Fortna, defense sector vice president for Juniper Networks.
SDN also optimizes network performance and reduces maintenance costs, while helping IT staff better manage network infrastructure by implementing changes quickly and efficiently. “As a result, SDN ensures that the network operates at peak performance,” said Anthony Robbins, federal vice president for Brocade. “With the critical responsibility of serving