Straight to the Heart of Cyber Security, Warfare
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jan 01, 2013
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
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
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
“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
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.