NewsBrief January 7, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 7, 2022

The unsolved opportunities for cybersecurity providers

(McKinsey & Company) The COVID-19 pandemic has forced rapid changes on corporate cybersecurity functions. Chief information-security officers (CISOs) have had to adjust their strategies to account for remote working, pivoting from working on routine tasks to working on long-term goals of establishing secure connections for remote situations. Managing business continuity has been the goal, with the patching of remote systems over virtual private networks, handling of those systems’ increased workloads, and monitoring of spiking cyberthreat levels and cyberattackers targeting at-home workers with an array of threats. In fact, a McKinsey survey of cybersecurity providers found a near-sevenfold increase in spear-phishing attacks since the pandemic began. Read More

Congress gives Missile Defense Agency authority to research and develop laser tech for missile defense

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — Congress is giving the Missile Defense Agency the authority to research and develop laser technology to use in ballistic and hypersonic missile defense applications, according to the recently passed fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The secretary of defense is required to delegate to the MDA director the authority to “budget for, direct and manage directed energy programs applicable for ballistic and hypersonic missile defense mission in coordination with other directed energy efforts of the Department of Defense,” the NDAA states. Read More

Army hopes to recover from IT modernization missteps

(ArmyTimes) The past year saw several bumpy tech platform rollouts across the Army. The service’s new Deloitte-designed platform for educational benefits, Army Ignited, was rushed out before it was ready due to contract issues, leaving thousands of soldiers with the burden of pursuing exceptions to policy to continue their education. Some troops continue to report issues with the new platform, as well. The Army has also delayed the launch of a new version of its human resources and pay platform, IPPS-A, until at least September 2022. Senior leaders said the delay was because IPPS-A simply wasn’t ready. Read More

Marines looking for new counter-drone tech

(fedscoop) The Marine Corps is hunting for new tech that could block enemy drones from attacking friendly forces, the service indicated in a request for information. The corps is looking for new “interceptors,” projectiles that would hit incoming drones, that would be highly connected to a range of military networks. The type of drones the Marines want the system to defend against range from a few pounds to more than 1,300. The request for information is a part of the military’s broad strategy to defeat the new kind of threat that strategists expect to be used more frequently in more conflicts. Read More

DoD CDO sees leadership shakeup as agency ‘doubling down’ on data goals

(Federal News Network) The Defense Department is putting data and artificial intelligence at the center of all its domains, from its finance and audit operations to front-line battlefield environments. DoD Chief Data Officer David Spirk, speaking Wednesday at a virtual roundtable hosted by George Washington University’s Project for Media and National Security, said DoD is putting real-time data in the hands of senior leadership at the Pentagon to make critical decisions more quickly and stay on top of global threats. Spirk said the department’s real-time data analytics capabilities are already transforming how its senior leadership makes personnel and readiness decisions. Read More

DoD well on its way to creating data centric future, says chief data officer

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is on its way to creating a data centric future and keeping pace with adversaries, the Pentagon’s chief data officer said. The department has kicked off several initiatives that demonstrate it is serious about maintaining an edge on data and making sense of information faster than adversaries, Chief Data Officer David Spirk told reporters in a Jan. 5 event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. In order to successfully compete with advanced nations such as China, the U.S. will need to operate with speed, he said. “It’s about speed and if you don’t organize your data, if you can’t create repeatable, testable, and trusted data workflows from the tactical edge all the way up to your senior most decision making boardroom activities, then you will just lag behind,” Spirk said. Read More

DOD platform made for financial data finds battlefield use

(fedscoop) A Department of Defense data platform created to help track financial and management data is now being used as a platform to pass critical information to commanders on the battlefield. The DOD’s Advana platform was used in Norther Command’s Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDEs) that tested the military’s ability to track and respond to complex incoming threats through data. It was a part of testing the new Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) construct where the DOD wants to connect datasets from across the domains of conflict to synchronize battlefield movement’s and give commanders deeper insights. Read More

Astronaut snaps spectacular shot of crescent moon glowing over stunning sunset

( An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has captured a stunning photo of a crescent moon above Earth as the last light of the setting sun shines through the different layers of the atmosphere. The photo was taken Dec. 6, 2021, by an unnamed member of the Expedition 66 crew — a group of seven astronauts from NASA, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Russia’s State Space Corporation, Roscosmos. The image was taken using a digital camera as the ISS passed over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand at an altitude of around 262 miles (422 kilometers). Read More

Sunshield Successfully Deploys on NASA’s Next Flagship Telescope

(NASA) The James Webb Space Telescope team has fully deployed the spacecraft’s 70-foot sunshield, a key milestone in preparing it for science operations. The sunshield – about the size of a tennis court at full size – was folded to fit inside the payload area of an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket’s nose cone prior to launch. The Webb team began remotely deploying the sunshield Dec. 28, 2021, three days after launch. Read More

This amazing HD video is the last view we’ll ever have of the James Webb Space Telescope

( When the James Webb Space Telescope’s mission first began on Dec. 25, it was already time for people on Earth to say goodbye to the observatory. A new video from the European Space Agency shows the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope deploying from the Ariane 5 rocket that carried it into space, all in glorious ultra-HD resolution. In just three minutes, you’ll see Webb slowly floating away from its rocket stage and unfurling its solar panels. The separation marked the first major stage in Webb’s month-long journey to a stable gravitational area called sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2), which allows the spacecraft to “park” using minimal fuel. Read More