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Career Opportunities for Women in STEM

This week, as part of our challenge to increase women in STEM, AFCEA is focusing on career opportunities for women, and the issues many have previously faced, and continue to do so, in what is a historically male-dominated workforce. This needs to change, and we need to increase the diversity in STEM, specifically with respect to opening it up to more woman.

Beth Beck, the open innovation program manager in NASA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, explains: “I have 30-plus years at NASA, and I never wanted to be the ‘woman’ in the workplace. That really irritated me. I wanted to be the best employee, not the best woman.” Lessons learned now help make up a NASA toolkit for women- and minority-inclusion initiatives that it shares with other agencies as well as companies.

There have been some wonderful advanced in technology thanks to highly intelligent, extremely motivated women. Did you know ENIAC, the worlds first electronic general-purpose computer, was primarily programmed by women? Watch this interesting trailer for ENIAC – Created with Studio G for Google I/O – for more details on an upcoming documentary about this astounding accomplishment.

Learn more about women such as Beth Beck and others highlighted in our ongoing series of Women in STEM articles. Membership in AFCEA opens doors in your chosen career within the technology and global security fields.

Join AFCEA Tokyo (東京)!

Join AFCEA Tokyo (東京)! Membership in AFCEA Tokyo (東京) provides access to an unrivaled forum for public and private sector professionals to collaborate, interact, network, and share ideas. The chapter provides many opportunities throughout the year for its members to learn about cutting edge technology and information in various industries. Members also benefit from free access to the monthly events, a subscription to SIGNAL Magazine, AFCEA’s professional journal, and more. AFCEA Tokyo (東京) is always seeking out ways to make membership a more valuable proposition.

AFCEA Tokyo (東京) TechNet 2016 Thank You!

I want to personally thank each and every attendee, sponsor, vendor, volunteer, team member, and everyone else from the bottom of my heart for your outstanding support and professionalism leading up to, and during, TechNet 2016. Although this year we saw less traffic than last year, everyone I spoke to was impressed with the agenda, speakers, panels and panelists, and the overall event itself. TechNet 2016 was definitely a success!

We developed and executed on a really aggressive menu, and it paid off for the most part. This was the first year where we saw more Japanese participation than American.

The Kick-Off Dinner was, by far, the most successful one we have ever thrown. Approximately 150 people joined the festivities, and I heard nothing but good reviews on the menu changes this year. The New York Steak and the Swordfish were delicious. The chocolate lava seemed to go down the middle. Overall, the dinner was a huge success even though I had to throw together a last minute keynote presentation.

Special shout out and thanks to Shepp and his outstanding leadership of the volunteer crew. You did great work, and your team was awesome in every way, shape, and form. Everyone I spoke to was highly impressed with the registration desk. Official “thank you” letters forthcoming to the volunteers.

Thanks to John C for helping with various tasks during the three days, especially setting up and tearing down, and just being there whenever we needed something. You were like the best sixth man any basketball team could ever ask for.

Many thanks to Bridget for all the reminder emails, publicity, and marketing in the lead-up to TechNet 2016. Without you, the word never would have gotten out to the public.

Thanks to Terry for throwing together those Sanno Banquet Guest Lists at the last minute. This allowed people to enter the Sanno facilities without issues. I did not hear about any major problems, other than a couple folks who were neither American or Japanese.

Thank you to Rich for the help with the New Sanno coordination and the lead-up to TechNet w/the agenda. You were my right-hand man, and we would not have been able to get this done without your assistance. All those meetings w/Riley about agenda, and then getting payments in, Sanno coordination. I cannot forget those dinner menu’s and event agenda – they were sexy!

Thank you to Bobby for all the backend work you did on the transportation, honor guard, the tables, and the other odds and ends I totally would never have remembered to take care of without you being there. Without your involvement, we never would have had an area for the vendors to setup shop.

Lastly, a very special thank you to Tatem for the outstanding national anthems at the Kick-Off dinner. Consider me super amazed at how awesome her voice is, and how well she sang in Japanese. The pronunciation was on-point, and I am highly impressed. Bobby, I think you have a future Taylor Swift right in front of you.

If I missed anyone else, it is not by choice, but old age and senility. Apologies ahead of time.

Thank you to all the vendors and sponsors, especially Riley from Cisco and Cisco Systems for the best support I could have asked for. Special thanks to Andy from Dell Federal, IronBow, and Chris from EMC. A very special thanks to all our sponsors and vendors for TechNet 2016. As a not-for-profit association, we could never put on these events without your support:

  • Brocade
  • Futron
  • HPE
  • WWT
  • Harman
  • Cisco
  • ThinkLogical
  • NetScout
  • AEC
  • IronBow
  • Anixter
  • GDMS
  • PLP
  • Wesco/CSC
  • Great Lakes Cases
  • Avaya
  • Pacstar Communications
  • Softbank
  • Viavi Solutions
  • Dell
  • NTT Docomo
  • AFRI
  • NTT
  • Tintri
  • Intel Security
  • Allegiance Supply
  • Stars & Stripes

A very special thanks to Softbank for sponsoring our registration desk with the iPad’s used for check-in, as well as allowing Pepper to join all the fun.

In the coming weeks we will communicate to everyone about the dates for 2017. In the interim, we are looking to move back to the February or March timeframe. More details later.

One final thank you again to Riley and Rich. We would not have had an event if it were not for you two. Cheers!

Watch the trailer for Zero Days, Alex Gibney’s look at the cyberwar machine

 Watch the trailer for Zero Days, Alex Gibney’s look at the cyberwar machine

Documentarian Alex Gibney has directed stirring investigative documentaries on everything from Enron to Steve Jobs. His upcoming film, Zero Days, is a look at digital warfare, focused on the Stuxnet cyberattack. From The Hollywood Reporter, we now have the first trailer for the film, which premiered today at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Zero Days, even before its wide release, has already broken some news. The film reportedly outlines how the US created a cyberattack contingency plan, known as Nitro Zeus, in case nuclear negotiations with Iran failed. The plan, which reportedly cost tens of millions of dollars and would have knocked out critical parts of Iran’s infrastructure, has since been shelved.

DISA unveils new cybersecurity review

 DISA unveils new cybersecurity review

The Defense Information Systems Agency unveiled a cybersecurity review process on May 9 that takes an agile, “outside-in” assessment of the resources and technologies the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) needs to defend itself against attack.

DISA calls the effort NSCSAR, short for NIPRNet/SIPRNet Cyber Security Architecture Review.

Pete Dinsmore, DISA’s risk technology executive, said the framework looks at all aspects of cybersecurity, from endpoints to the internet.

In a May 9 article on Chips, the Department of the Navy’s IT magazine, Dinsmore was quoted as saying, “NSCSAR is trying to answer three questions: Which cybersecurity solution do we need, how much is enough, and where can we take risk?”

Stopping the federal IT security brain drain

 Stopping the federal IT security brain drain

As government leaders increasingly prioritize cyberspace’s role in national security, a critical deficiency has begun to reveal itself: The best and brightest IT security professionals all too frequently migrate to the presumably greener — or at least more equitable — pastures of the private sector.

That doesn’t bode well given the fact that the federal government needs to hire an estimated 10,000 cybersecurity experts in the next several years. Stopping the brain drain of existing federal IT security talent is imperative, especially as national security threats increasingly take place not on land but in the complex and obscure world of cyberspace. And while the challenge is real, potential solutions are within grasp.

Major Security Breaches Found In Google And Yahoo Email Services

 Major Security Breaches Found In Google And Yahoo Email Services

Hundreds of millions of hacked usernames and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters.

The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru , Russia’s most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google , Yahoo and Microsoft email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.

It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago.

House unanimously passes Email Privacy Act, requiring warrants for obtaining emails

 House unanimously passes Email Privacy Act, requiring warrants for obtaining emails

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, sending it on to the Senate and from there, hopefully anyhow, to the President. The yeas were swift and unanimous.

The bill, which was introduced in the House early last year and quickly found bipartisan support, updates the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, closing a loophole that allowed emails and other communications to be obtained without a warrant. It’s actually a good law, even if it is arriving a couple of decades late.

Senator looks to counter botnets

 Senator looks to counter botnets

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wants to crack down on botnets and strengthen the cyber defenses for critical infrastructure. And both he and FBI Director James Comey agree that better government-industry cooperation will be critical to those efforts.

Both Comey and Whitehouse spoke at an April 26 cybersecurity event at Georgetown University.

“We simply must get better at working with the private sector,” the FBI director said on April 26. “This is at the core of our being effective.” Comey acknowledged that the FBI’s standoff with Apple over accessing encrypted iPhones had been fairly adversarial, but stressed that, “It would be bad if the conversation this started ended.”

DARPA Is Looking For The Perfect Encryption App, and It’s Willing to Pay

 DARPA Is Looking For The Perfect Encryption App, and It’s Willing to Pay

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is looking for a “secure messaging and transaction platform” that would use the standard encryption and security features of current messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Ricochet, but also use a decentralized Blockchain-like backbone structure that would be more resilient to surveillance and cyberattacks.

DARPA’s goal is to have “a secure messaging system that can provide repudiation or deniability, perfect forward and backward secrecy, time to live/self delete for messages, one time eyes only messages, a decentralized infrastructure to be resilient to cyber-attacks, and ease of use for individuals in less than ideal situations,” according to a notice looking for proposals, which was recently posted on a government platform that offers federal research funds to small businesses.

In other words, as a security researcher put it, DARPA wants “a public wall anyone can monitor or post messages on, but only correct people can decrypt.”

Japan and Germany allying over IoT standard

 Japan and Germany allying over IoT standard

Government leaders of Japan and Germany announced a new partnership between the two countries to establish an Internet of Things (IoT) standard for commercial and industrial organizations.

Germany, a leader in the IoT market, will sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with Japan sometime this month, according to Nikkei, establishing the two nations as IoT allies.