Guard and Reserve Prepare for Battle in the Fifth Domain

Hurricanes. Wildfires. Mudslides.

When natural disasters strike, the nation often responds by sending in the National Guard and Reserve. In military missions our nation supports around the world, the Guard and Reserve makes up nearly half the total force. In addition to these familiar roles, Guard and Reservists are increasingly working behind the scenes to take on a less visible, but no less daunting mission: protecting our nation’s cyber infrastructure. Cyberspace has been called the fifth domain of warfare, a virtual dimension existing alongside land, sea, air, and space.

The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes cyberspace as a critical battleground and is drawing up its forces in that realm. The Guard and Reserve are playing a key role in these battles where enemies are unseen and the potential risks to our way of life incalculable. Getting the Job Done Across the country — from the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System to the 177th Information Aggressor Squadron and Maryland’s 175th Cyberspace Operations Group — Guardsmen and Reservists are monitoring networks, collecting and analyzing intelligence data, conducting exercises, and responding to threats. During the 2016 presidential election, Ohio brought in its own National Guard to defend the election system against hackers in that key battleground state. The Ohio National Guard’s elite cyber unit was the first in the nation to be tapped for such a task. In August of 2017, U.S. Army Cyber Command formed Task Force Echo. It is the first full-time Army National Guard cyber unit, representing the largest mobilization of cyber forces from reserve units ever assembled.

The 138 members of Task Force Echo were recruited because of their existing cyber expertise. Col. Adam Volant, the commander of Task Force Echo, said, “We are military trained, but we also bring an abundant amount of experience from the private sector, from government, [and] from academia. The Soldiers in my formation are really information technology professionals. They work for major defense companies. They work for the government. They work for all the major brands that do technology and cyber.” With this draw-up of military cyber expertise comes intense training — and a lot of it. While service members may be sitting in front of computer screens, the mental flexibility required is grueling. In April of last year, members of the National Guard and Army Reserve came together for Cyber Shield 17, an exercise in which “Red Cell” members played adversary hackers attempting to infiltrate “Blue Cell” cyberinfrastructure.

Members of the Blue Cell aggressively defended their systems, a task designed to challenge them to their breaking points. The difficulty of this exercise was in direct proportion to the high stakes of real-world cyberattacks. As one Blue Team member remarked, “Cyber threats are real. They are already all around us, and they affect every aspect of our daily interactions.” Examples like these illustrate the growing need for tech-savvy Guardsmen and Reservists as the DoD’s Cyber Mission Force grows. In 2018, the DoD aims to stand up 133 Cyber Mission Teams. That means more training and more opportunities for personnel —both active and reserve. The pool of cyber candidates from the Guard and Reserve is potentially quite large. A 2017 study by the RAND Corporation estimates that approximately 100,000 Guardsmen and Reservists have enough technical skill to make them potential cybersecurity assets.

Uniquely Positioned Tapping into those assets is a major priority of the DoD. As early as 2015, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said of the potential impact of the reserve components on cybersecurity, “There’s a great untapped, not yet fully tapped resource…which is our Guard and Reserve.” One interpretation is that the Guard and Reserve can provide a bridge between the military’s active components and the civilian realm. “The reserve components of the U.S. military are uniquely positioned to attract, train and manage a cadre of information security professionals who are able to operate both with the active components of the U.S. armed forces and with civilian authorities,” said the authors of an article in Tech Crunch. They go on to say that those who work in the technology sector in their civilian day jobs may bring valuable experience to bear on their military mission. The reserve components are actively recruiting private sector professionals to its cybersecurity ranks.

The National Guard, for example, is looking for “Cyber Operations Specialists” and “Cyber Network Defenders” to serve. As Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone said while commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command, “Our Total Force Army — our Army National Guard, our Army Reserve, all of these Soldiers, including the active component, will play a significant role in the future of securing cyberspace defense for our Nation.” A total force approach involves closely integrating the active and reserve components, and re-defining modern warfare to incorporate cyberspace as the fifth domain. As it has for all its other missions, the Guard and Reserve will take its place on the front lines in defense of this nation.

Time-saving tips to speed your work in Microsoft Office

No matter how long you’ve been working with Office apps, discovering a shortcut here and there can make you more productive and efficient. This ebook features five collections of tips—covering Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access--to help you knock out everyday tasks with less effort.


From the ebook:

Most users pick up efficiency tips, such as using styles, keyboard shortcuts, and Format Painter, as beginners. What you'll find, though, is that even experts sometimes do things the hard way. In this article, I'll share 10 tips for working faster in Word. They're not new by any means, but a few of them might be new to you.

Change your Paste default Nothing annoys me more than pasting content from another source and then having to reformat it because the content doesn't match my document's formatting. You've probably run into it too. If you remember to use the Keep Text Only option from the Paste dropdown, you can avoid the extra reformatting step—if you remember. If this occurs often enough, you need to take control of the situation and change Word's default settings by clicking the File tab, choosing Options, and then choosing Advanced in the left pane. In the Cut, Copy, And Paste section, choose Keep Text Only from the Pasting From Other Programs dropdown.

After setting this option, Word will match your source document's formatting when pasting content from another source, including the web. This is an application-level setting so it will affect all documents, not just the current one.




Source: TechRepublic


Please vote for us again, as Starkville's Best Computer Sales & Service for the 10th year in a row!

Click <<here>> to go to Starkville Daily News' page to vote for us, as well as many other great starkville businesses and services!!

Thank you so much for your votes over the past 10 years!  We do our very best each and every day to make our valued residential and business customers extremely satisfied with our products and services!

  • New Computers
  • Network Servers, design, installation and maintenance
  • WiFi Solutions
  • Full-Service Repair Facility
  • Upgrades
  • Network Security, Management and Monitoring
  • Secure Online Backup
  • Website Design and Hosting
  • Email and Productivity Solutions

New SPAM wave of Locky Malware

Yet another variant of malware to encrypt the files on your computer, making them inaccessible until you pay the hackers a ransom for the decryptor.  This recently discovered variant of the Locky uses Encrypted JScript files to avoid detection by firewalls and anti-malware/antivirus programs.



The Malware encrypts the victims files with a strong RSA 2048 encryption algorithm until the victim pays a large fee to get them back.


Our network security appliances and periodic maintenance plans can prevent this type of costly interruption to your business.

Contact us today for a free evaluation and estimate!