02 Apr 15. USAF establishes new unit to address cyber security challenges. The US Air Force (USAF) has established a new task force to safeguard computer networks and improve cybersecurity across the service and the organisations it supports. The unit is called Task Force Cyber Secure. It will begin synchronising and coordinating efforts for securing and mitigating operational risk to the most critical nodes and ‘centres of gravity.’ US Air Force chief of staff (CSAF) general Mark Welsh said: “This task force is fundamental to understanding the inherent risks within the cyberspace domain and instituting a culture change, in which our airmen realise the impact cybersecurity has on all the air force core missions.” Air force office of the secretary, chief of information dominance and chief information officer lieutenant general Bill Bender said: “The task force will diagnose the extent of the cyber threat and the vulnerabilities that currently impact our core missions and will plan to develop a risk management plan that will allow the air force to fly, fight and win in a cyber-contested environment. The task force is led by Cyberspace Operations and Warfighting Integration acting director Pete Kim. It will provide a governance plan for air force corporate board management and synchronisation of cybersecurity investments of the future in the planning, programming, budgeting and execution process. In addition, the unit will integrate multiple efforts and studies with an aim to address cybersecurity across the service, focusing on air force core missions and provide a prioritised cybersecurity investment strategy for Secretary of the air force and CSAF. The task force efforts are expected to inform air force strategic planning and programming for 2017 and beyond. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Apr 15. At the ROOMn mobile and digital technologies event in Deauville, 1–2 April, Thales launched a new secure mobile voice and text offering for inter-governmental administrations. Based on Teopad, the innovative security solution for smartphones and tablets, certified by the French IT security agency ANSSI, the new offering addresses the need for secure telephone and SMS communications for inter-governmental administrations. The Thales solution meets the security challenges of using mobile devices for government business, when high-level assurances of confidentiality are required. With the new solution, different government administrations and services can communicate easily and in complete security using a unique numbering plan, overcoming the need to manage complex interconnections. Thales will host and operate the solution to ensure easy access for users. The service is available on a subscription basis and is listed in the catalogue of France’s centralised public purchasing organisation, the UGAP. Each user entity can also benefit from the option of connecting privately to their existing email system in order to protect the use of sensitive data, as well as its storage and transfer. The solution draws on Thales’s extensive know-how in communication system security and consolidates its leadership in cybersecurity.
30 Mar 15. U.S. targets overseas cyber attackers with sanctions program. President Barack Obama launched a sanctions program on Wednesday to target individuals and groups outside the United States that use cyber attacks to threaten U.S. foreign policy, national security or economic stability. In an executive order, Obama declared such activities a “national emergency” and allowed the U.S. Treasury Department to freeze assets and bar other financial transactions of entities engaged in destructive cyber attacks. The executive order gave the administration the same sanctions tools it deploys to address other threats, including crises in the Middle East and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Those tools are now available for a growing epidemic of cyber threats aimed at U.S. computer networks.
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