Straight to the Heart of Cyber Security, Warfare

We often talk about security in terms of commercial and industrial ventures, but the military also speaks of security, and their message varies little from what we hear at tradeshows. In fact, the military is quite interested in private industry partnering where there is value and productivity is placed on many communities in our nation.

In late November, I attended the Sixth Annual Government and Industry Partnership Summit in North Charleston, S.C., sponsored by the Charleston Defense Contractors Association. The biggest concern was money, and if the federal government would pull approximately $50 billion from the Defense Department.

Collaboration between DoD and private industry suddenly becomes more important. Cyber security means new thinking and new approaches to our warfighters.

Today’s battlefield blurs the lines between traditional fields of war and the world of cyberspace. Tactically speaking, the most powerful weapon on the battlefield is the collection, assurance and delivery of information.

Terry Halvorson, chief of information for the Navy, said that defense budgets are shrinking and has been a challenge for the Navy the past couple of years. However, they are beginning to think like the commercial world and account for money they are given. The quote of the day for cyber security experts is: “What are we not going to spend money on?”

CDCA brought in the crème de la crème for this event, most of which were Navy cyber experts at the nearby Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). This is the Navy’s Dominance Systems Command and is fully committed to supporting the Navy mission and serving the fleet. This is one of three Navy major acquisition commands for acquiring, installing, delivering and maintaining advanced information technology capabilities for the fleet to keep warfighters one step ahead of adversaries.

I met with Russ Keller and Scott Beeson of SCRA, a company recently awarded a three-year $3 million blanket purchase agreement with the Coast Guard to support system lifecycle operations, sustainment and enhancements to the existing systems and maintenance tasks for the Interagency Operations Center for the Watchkeeper System. This system is a set of software applications that allow users to make informed command and control decisions for port security in Charleston.

“The US Coast Guard has committed to delivering and supporting state-of-the-art market platforms and systems that are affordable, efficient and mission- capable,” said SCRA vice president Russ Keller. “SCRA Applied R&D offers domain expertise and capabilities that support these efforts to improve our ports and security. It enhances approaching maritime traffic, telling what ship and what cargo is approaching. It offers sophisticated tracking of cargo.”

While the CDCA conference focused largely on cyber security, I found a very interesting security product that could and should hit the maritime cargo market. The product is intelligent protection offered by Charleston engineering firm UEC Electronics. Known as CoreDefender, the product is taking a bite out of cargo theft.

Cargo theft results in billions of dollars in losses every year in the United States. Shipments sent overseas are subject to theft, tampering, damage and customs delays. CoreDefender is designed to reduce losses and to pinpoint specifically where damage has occurred en route to a shipping container’s destination.

The system combines a dual latching mechanism with keyless access, intelligent access control, intrusion and tamper sensing, while incorporating dynamic access codes and event logging. It makes a nice fit for sea, rail, land and storage containers.

“We want to introduce this product to insurance companies to secure their interests,” said Philip J. Ufkes, COO of UEC Electronics. “This is a departure from our military or defense work, but smaller companies like ours must be diversified and use the engineering talent we have in-house.”

From the access control front, to the military side, BAE Systems has secured several government contracts to secure the perimeters of numerous Army bases, including Ft. Belvoir, Md., Ft. Carson, Colo., and Ft. Bragg, N.C. The solution is an automated gate security system that allows one guard to monitor multiple entry points at a military base, monitor license plate recognition systems, use military or government common access card (CAC) and use biometrics or iris scan.

“The gate is designed for one car at one gate,” said Kelly M. Baldwin, director of C5ISR support solutions at BAE Systems in Charleston.

An interesting lesson learned while in Charleston, is that most of the companies represented at the summit are comfortable wearing many different hats. They speak the same language often spoken in the commercial security world, of integration and support services, information management and mobile application development.

Thankfully, the Charleston Defense Contractors Association brought it all together under one roof. CDCA brings inspired people together in forums like this, to ensure our warfighters remain at the cutting edge, regardless of challenges.

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Security Today.


  • Report: Physical Security Market Turning to Cloud and Hybrid Solutions

    Genetec, a provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, today shared the results of its 2024 State of Physical Security report. Based on insights from over 5,500 physical security leaders worldwide (including end users and channel partners), the report looks at the security strategies organizations are putting in place to effectively navigate the realities of a changing industry. Read Now

  • A Future in the Clouds

    The cloud has become a pervasive term in everyone’s daily work and personal lives – from the explosion of content available on Internet streaming services to remote learning to social interactions. Everyone is living cloud-based lives. Read Now

  • A Rapidly Changing Realm

    Many retail operators continue to face a daily balancing act of maintaining both an online and in-person presence. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated our adoption of online shopping, and the expectation now is that every retailer needs to be proficient in both arenas. This places a heightened emphasis on secure operations that ensure a seamless experience for the customer no matter where they pull out their credit card. Read Now

  • Secure Your Home During the Holidays

    The most wonderful time of the year can easily transform into a nightmare. Being vigilant, while still enjoying the holiday season, is possible. The holiday season is the perfect time to start implementing security measures to protect one’s home and ensure security while out and about. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden Door Controls has relaunched its CV-7600 card readers in response to growing market demand for a more secure alternative to standard proximity credentials that can be easily cloned. CV-7600 readers support MIFARE DESFire EV1 & EV2 encryption technology credentials, making them virtually clone-proof and highly secure. 3

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3