Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
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Search Tags: Cisco
Employees with access to company servers via a Web-browser,could be exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks, according to an advisory issued by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team
Cisco recently launched its WebEx Meeting Center for Apple's latest invention.
June 14th, 2011 at 12:00 PM
This fifth panel in the series focuses on SMART Buildings - exploring how to increase the intelligence of your agency's buildings, workplaces and workspaces. SMART of intelligent buildings can enable new workforce models that leverage cloud services when delivering an agency's task or mission. Rapid, anywhere, any-when access to people and information is increasingly more critical and affects the speed and quality of decision making. Learn how you can ensure sustainability of government while transitioning to these new workforce models, without increasing risk and cost.
Federal employees are barred from voluntarily working unpaid during a shutdown, explains Cisco's Alan Balutis.
Cisco ahs updated its WebEx software to patch two bugs that attackers could exploit to crash or compromise a user's system.
Cisco's 2010 Annual Security Report is just out. Cisco's Patrick Peterson joins Federal Security Spotlight with the details.
January 27, 2011
Amidst all the other turbulence on Capitol Hill last year, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) was renovating - on a scale not seen in over fifty years. That project brought two hearing rooms into the twenty-first century, replacing bare-bones 1960-vintage microphones and equipment with state-of-the-art audio and video systems. This new gear provided the Committee with greatly-improved capability to broadcast hearings and markups, and added new powerful features as well. The new setup includes multi-function touch screens for members at their places on the dais, which lets them follow Floor action, quickly access PowerPoint, memos and documents presented during hearings, get messages, and pull up additional reference materials. But the biggest change is the new video teleconferencing built into the system. "Tandberg CODEC gear with multipoint capabilities can be routed to these Committee rooms as required. The House of Representatives' Recording Studio coordinates all our inbound and outbound broadcast and teleconference requirements ," explained a senior committee staffer who spoke with us on background. "That now allows HASC Members to speak directly with forward-deployed military units or commanders as the situation might require." Staff are confident that use of this VTC capability will increase as a complement to Congressional Delegation (CODEL) field trips. "On a VTC, you can talk to a few people and a couple of field commanders. When members go on CODELS, they talk to hundreds of people, from generals to field specialists. VTC can't replace that spontaneous interaction, but it does mean that, in an urgent situation or on very short notice, the members can speak face-to-face with forward-deployed commanders who might not otherwise be easily accessible, or are too far away to travel easily and quickly to Capitol Hill." All 62 committee members can access the system at once, but it can also be used by just one or two at time. "The members are still getting used to new technologies, but with every election cycle the HASC - members as well as staff -- get more comfortable with using these new capabilities."
CECOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) is part of Army Materiel Command (AMC). Lately, it's been on the move-- and supported more than ever by video teleconferencing. Since 2008, CECOM been making a massive migration of its headquarters from Ft Monmouth, NJ to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). VTC is critical for CECOM to stay connected with its 8,500-strong team -- including both the 50% of that team based outside HQ or forward deployed, supporting seven regional Army field support brigades as well as warfighting units in the field. "For the last 2-3 years, video teleconferencing has enabled us to operate effectively in a 'split-based operation' during the BRAC transition," said Ed Thomas, Deputy to the Commanding General, CECOM. "And it gives us this amazing connection from APG right to the front lines of the battlefield." New location means new equipment. By the end of 2011, CECOM will have VTC conferencing hardwired into 13 conference rooms at APG. "The gear being installed by CACI will be IP based with ISDN as a backup capability. In addition, we will USE Defense Connect On-Line and Microsoft Communication Software for desktop VTC capability," said Patricia O'Connor, CIO for CECOM LCMC. "VTC supports a more effective exchange of information that means faster turnaround for mission support." CECOM participates in three major weekly VTC meetings. First, there's a CECOM worldwide operations update, to review the work we're doing in support of the warfighter, and track the supply and maintenance issues. Second, AMC holds its weekly VTC across 30-40 nodes including seven regional support commands, along with subordinate commands like CECOM and its counterparts in aviation, missiles and tanks. The third is the weekly depot maintenance production reviews -- a big part of making sure equipment get overhauled and back to the troops. "After there's an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, it's important for us to see what happened to the vehicle that was attacked and how the IED was detonated. Our engineers and scientists can get a better understanding of the operational needs and valuable information to engineer better solutions," said Thomas. "We also use VTC within CECOM for General Strong's staff calls, to connect our people at Tobyhanna, PA, Ft Monmouth, Ft Hood, Ft Huachuca, and Ft Belvoir. There's clear cost savings associated with it; often we're able to effectively conduct a meeting or conference without having to travel."
A big move is coming in 2011 to implement more nimble, flexibly-configurable video teleconferencing solutions at the Pentagon's Warfighter Capability Demonstration Center (WarCap).
In an average month, the WarCap's VTC team supports one major exercise, and two or three demonstrations of emerging technology, and many smaller-scale events. End users and subject matter experts join in classified and unclassified briefings and conversations with top military leaders.
"Warfighters themselves can talk to the leadership. Guys on the floor of an Air Operations Center brief capability of the technology and its value -- or lack thereof." Anna Santos de Dios, Director of the Air Force's Warfighter Capability Demonstration Center told us more. "Using VTC for exercises lets us bring the field experience right into the Pentagon. Senior decision-makers based here, who may lack the time or budget travel to event, can get in one room or on the same call, and bounce ideas around about what they've just seen."
The WarCap has three VTC options.
- DISN VIDEO SERVICES GLOBAL (DVSG) uses Tandberg systems to link multiple sites but each participating site is a fixed conference room and must be equipped with DSVG-specific hardware. AT&T schedules the VTC and allocates bandwidth.
- Internet-Protocol (IP)-Based VTC is about to get a lot more popular. This approach connects two points theirusing a Tandberg MXP-IP coder/decoder (cCodec) or similar gear (like the Polycom VSE-7000) on the exercise network.
"Even some guy in the field with a webcam and internet access can be on the call," said Santos de Dios. "We've had guys doing VTC's standing next to their HUMVEE's talking about how systems perform, and that's much more powerful and memorable, than someone briefing from a PowerPoint."
But the WarCap wanted the flexibility to arrange those calls itself, to multiple points, and do it more quickly. The WarCap's senior NCO colloborated with the office's SAIC support team to come up with the solution. By 2011, General Dynamics IT and its subcontractor, PPI, will have installed a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU), the Tandberg MCU-4150 to improve service by decreasing scheduling lead times.
- Defense Connect Online (DCO), a web-based VTC system, is the low end: just an invitation via URL weblink plus a USB-plug-in web cam, and you're good to go. It's a good solution for informal meetings and document sharing, or linking sites without higher resolution options.
Big changes are afoot. Starting in March, Owens and his team roll out a massive technology upgrade to 10,000 employees and about 5,000 contractors that includes desktop video teleconferencing capability no matter where they work, from headquarters to home offices. The contractor who'll support the implementation has been selected; watch for an announcement of the award soon.
What will they get? "Brand new secure metal-jacketed HP laptop with Voice-Over-IP, plus a handset and headset. The laptop, telephone, and WEBEX all launch together in March, running Windows 7...it's in Beta, and the people that have it in their hands now cannot believe the improvement in quality they experience in their daily work." VTC is a critical capability for communication among PTO's increasingly dispersed workforce. Owens says he's been told to expect the agency's 3,000-strong teleworkforce to grow by over 15% this year.
What three things would Owens like PTO employees to keep in mind about the new desktop VTC capability?
- "Be patient and learn to use the technology for what it is.
- "Provide constructive and timely feedback through the appropriate channels; and
- "Remember that desktop VTC isn't broadcast television. We have plans to increase our capability and use better tools as they become available, but you're getting the cream of the crop of what's available today."