The Pentagon On Guard as Technology Evolves

It seems like nothing is impossible when it comes to technology in this day an age. As the years pass, technology continues to evolve with more and more advanced techniques. Many have celebrated the freedom they experience when it comes to being able to reaching out to people in the farthest corners of the Earth. For agencies like the State Department and the Defense Department, it brings up nothing but worry and fear. Threats to their networks from robots, viruses, and advanced cyber spying techniques are a constant battle.

In an attempt to cope with the advancement of technology, three agencies of the government have created an innovative summit, which took place on March 2nd. The three agencies – the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department, and the Defense Department – joined together to strategize the best ways to combat and solve worldwide security problems.

One government agency that has sought help in combating cyber attacks is the Pentagon. The defense technology they have and was only accessible to the defense industry has now become easily obtainable by hackers. Frank Kendall, the Undersecretary of Defense, spoke at the summit about one of the consequences of constant hacker attacks on their top secret military information. Paired up with Ashton Carter, the Defense Secretary, the two men have reached out to anyone who could help – including the commercial industry. After a trip to Silicon Valley earlier this year, Carter has started to structure a board of 12 members to help come up with defense technology against the attacks and how to improve the Pentagon’s technology.

At the panel Kendall stated that the Pentagon plans to spend $35 billion dollars over the course of five years into their budget for cybersecurity. This will help to accelerate various projects and products to help fight against the barrage of threats. It’s not a shock to anyone that the threats come from both inside and outside the Pentagon, yet they can’t figure out a way to measure them. In fact, it seems to be impossible.

Touching upon this, Kendall was quoted saying; “We don’t know how vulnerable we are in some cases. It is constantly moving. We have made great strides in DoD to protect ourselves. But there are lots of unknowns. An adversary can plant a weapon and leave it there indefinitely. That’s the sort of problem we’re dealing with.”

Asking for help from the commercial industry has resulted with mixed feelings from various parties. Kendall feels that a lack of resources has hindered the defense industry, but asking for help will allow them to grow. Hopefully with the amount of money flowing into their budget, the Pentagon will be able to protect themselves and learn to defend before the strike even happens.

Advertisements

Navy Veteran Brad Snyder Shatters Two American Records

Recently Brad Snyder, a United States Navy veteran, shattered records at the ECAC Swimming Championships. Brad broke his own record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.12. He first set the record back in 2014 with a time of 55.59. It was followed by a new American record in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:03. The previous record had been 8 seconds longer.

Mr. Snyder sets two new records within his S11 categories. S11 is a category used within the Paralympics. Anyone who swims under this category denotes that they are severely visually impaired or blind. Swimmers are required to wear black out goggles and receive a tap on the shoulder as they approach the wall.

Snyder is an inspiration for his fellow Paralympic athletes, and to all Americans. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2006, he proudly served his country as an explosive ordnance disposal officer. It was in 2011 during a tour in Afghanistan that Brad lost his eyesight after stepping on an IED while trying to help the victims of a separate bombing. As a true hero, Brad was in the water less than a year later competing for a spot on the US Paralympic Team. Fate granted him that wish and he quickly became one of the world’s fastest blind swimmers, taking home two gold medals and a silver.

The competition was held on the first weekend of the month at the US Naval Academy, which is located in Annapolis, Maryland. ECAC stands for the Eastern College Athletic Competition and includes team such as the University of Virginia, Army West Point, and the Naval Academy. For the first time in competition the ECAC launched it’s Inclusive Sports Initiative. It allows Paralympic athletes to score at meets and it blew expectations out of the water. Brad was not the only one who set records – in fact, there were 8 others.

Speaking to Swimming World, Brad released a statement showcasing his pride and approval of the inclusion initiative;  “I’m immensely proud and excited about the ECAC inclusion initiative! I was honored to compete in the exhibition and I’m looking forward to seeing how the “disability” category is integrated next year. It is my most sincere hope that this inclusion initiative will serve as a model for other conferences to follow in the future. I think this is a win-win for all those involved.”

I salute Brad for his service to our country and for being a great American!