Cipher Brief Expert Stephanie Douglas, former Executive Assistant Director (EAD) National Security Branch, FBI weighs in on the practical challenges that U.S. businesses face in securing their technological advantage. The U.S. technology sector continues to be uniquely innovative compared to that of both our friends and adversaries in part, because ...

National security experts agree that the long-term threat China poses to U.S. national security is significant.  It may be hard to see that often as the world focuses on North Korea and Iran and the immigration issue in the U.S., but last week on Capitol Hill, Senator Marco Rubio addressed ...

The technology sector continues to disrupt and remake scores of industries, from brick and mortar retail, to medicine, transportation, operations management, and financial services. Government is behind the curve in recognizing how fundamentally major technology companies are altering the balance of power between the public and private sectors. Recognizing and ...

With advanced robotics, autonomous machines and nimbler space systems on the agenda for the U.S. military, the Department of Defense has turned its attention to Silicon Valley to find the innovation and technology that will define the future of warfare. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work this week offered a ...

In the wake of a series of high-profile mass shootings, President Barack Obama initiated an executive action directing the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to increase their research on gun safety technology. The goal of this initiative is to improve public safety ...

Gun technology itself hasn’t changed for the last 100 years, but now we are starting to see a new period of innovation through the integration of more smart technologies into firearms. The major advantage of smart guns is that their use is limited only to the authorized user. Smart technology ...

The trend of making conventional objects “smart” is continuing unabated, and now even firearms are beginning to have computers integrated into them. The Cipher Brief spoke to Wayne Weber, President of Heckler & Koch USA, about the rise of smart guns. He says that systems which only allow authenticated users ...

Apple’s dispute with the FBI has caused a resurgence of the debate about encryption in the United States, but the tech industry is working on creating a new type of computer that would turn the debate upside down. Quantum computers have long been a staple of science fiction, but recent ...

Quantum computing is poised to usher in a new era in computing by allowing access to unprecedented speed and new problem solving capabilities. The Cipher Brief spoke to Robert Ewald, President of D-Wave U.S. – the only company currently selling functional quantum computers. He said that the quantum computing market ...

Debates about encryption have been a hot button issue for some time, as privacy advocates and law-enforcement agencies debate about the merits of privacy versus security. However, a revolutionary advance in computing is just around the corner – and it could change the entire debate. Quantum computers have the potential ...

A serious, potential malware threat has been detected on the systems that control many aspects of critical infrastructure in the United States.  These industrial control systems (ICS) manage the operation of valves, turbines, and other physical devices that are essential to manufacturing, electricity generation, and water services. ICS systems offer ...

Industrial control systems (ICS) underly many aspects of our critical infrastructure, and there are concerns that they are becoming more vulnerable to hackers. The Cipher Brief has covered the threats to these systems, but recently there have been reports that Russia-affiliated hackers were able to cause power outages in Ukraine ...

Industrial control systems are a profoundly important part of the critical infrastructure of the United States, but they are also increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The Cipher Brief spoke to former National Security Agency official Rhea Siers about the growing threat to these systems.  Siers says the U.S. is getting better ...

Three decades ago, The Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (colloquially known as the Packard Commission after its Chairman David Packard) published A Quest for Excellence, its seminal study of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) organization and management processes. Commenting on DoD acquisition procedures, the Commission concluded that “the nation’s ...

Space may be infinite, but it’s starting to get crowded around Earth. As more nations have gained the ability to send assets into orbit, a new space race has started to emerge. But rather than focus on merely reaching space, the goal now is to leverage dominance in space into ...

One sign of how important space is to military operations, particularly U.S. military operations, is that the countries who are our most likely military opponents, particularly China and Russia, are investing tens of millions of dollars in a range of technologies intended to degrade or destroy satellites and space capabilities.  ...

The United States has enjoyed unchallenged dominance in the space domain for years, but it appears that time has come to an end. China has been increasing its space activities, which will have strategic consequences for the U.S. The Cipher Brief spoke with Bruce MacDonald, a former White House National Security ...

Three dramatic developments have occurred in the employment of U.S. air power in the past 25 years: the vulnerability of air defenses faced, leading to far less attrition of U.S. aircraft than was suffered previously; the ability to strike ground targets with great precision, day or night; and the ability ...

Whether or not we are officially at war with ISIS is a reoccurring debate in today’s mass media.  Part of what makes this question so compelling is that the concept of war, and how it’s fought, has dramatically changed since the end of the Cold War.  Take, for example, the ...