November not only means that the holidays are just around the corner, it's also infrastructure security month, and small Business Saturday is not far away! We also have exciting news to share regarding our partnership with the U.S. Space Force, and tips to stay cyber safe during the holiday season.
Since early 2020, the Vigilant team has been developing the Layer8 Intelligent Workspace under Phase II SBIR contracts, where it is now directly supporting the US Space Force Protect and Defend mission. Layer8 provides satellite research analysts with the ability to rapidly gather publicly available unclassified satellite data, space launch data, and other relevant content, and fuses the most important data points into useful data output products. Gathering and assembling that amount of information would have otherwise taken the analysts several hours a day. With Layer8, analysts have the necessary results in minutes, and can rapidly update mission directors and provide situation briefings for the satellites that are most at risk during their observation periods.
During the week of Nov 15-19, 2022, the Air Force Research Labs, in partnership with the Joint Task Force-Space Defense Commercial Operations Center (JCO) is conducting the Sprint Advanced Concepts Training (SACT) event. The SACT is where the software developers, US Space Force operator teams, and analyst teams work together to rehearse and practice the Protect and Defend mission in planned and scheduled training exercises. In the SACT, the JCO uses both simulated and real orbital events, to test, refine and design the many software tools that support this critical mission. Since early 2020, Layer8 has played an ever-increasing role in the SACTs, which are typically held three times a year in the Commercial Space Operations Center at Colorado Springs' Catalyst Campus. The Layer8 tool is now providing specific capabilities requested by Space Force users over the course of the last 18 months and has consistently delivered milestones ahead of schedule and will expanded capabilities. Most recently the tool was expanded with the capability to quickly analyze social media channels for useful commentary and observations around space events from around the world.
An example of a critical event that took place on Nov 15, and which brings the usefulness of Layer8 into sharp focus, was the unexpected launch of an anti-satellite missile by the Russian Federation. The missile impacted an old, outdated Soviet satellite in Low Earth Orbit, creating a debris cloud of over 1500 pieces that now threatens the safety of the ISS and other satellites. Layer8 was able to assemble a large amount of rapidly growing public information about this event, and quickly gather it and fuse it together for analysts to use in the effort to better understand the event and its impact on the world stage.
Vigilant is proud to be part of the team supporting this important work with the US Space Force, and to be participating in these important exercises, supporting the critical Protect and Defend mission for the satellites of the United States and her allies.
On October 29, 2021, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, marking this month as the first official holiday.
This months' focus is on the umbrella theme “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: Build it In” as a reminder of how important it is to consider infrastructure security and resilience from design concept all the way through development and implementation.
Each week of November has a theme to highlight a different way to think about how we build in infrastructure security and resilience:
Week 1 (Nov. 1-7): Interconnected and Interdependent Critical Infrastructure: Shared risk means building in shared responsibility
Week 2 (Nov. 8-14): Plan for Soft Target Security: Build in security for mass gatherings starting with your planning
Week 3 (Nov. 15-21): Build Resilience into Critical Infrastructure
Week 4 (Nov. 22-30): Secure our Elections: Build resilience into our democratic processes
Join us this month to stay educated and take action to secure your infrastructure. Download CISA's free toolkit to get started, or fill out our free infrastructure assessment form and our engineers will give you advice on how to improve and secure your infrastructure.
The holidays are just around the corner, and that means that many of us will be making purchases online to avoid crowds, and stay safe while shopping. While online shopping makes our lives easier, the information we share when shopping online can be used against you. Cybercriminals see the holiday season as an opportunity to profit and harvest information. The best way to protect yourself from cybercriminals is to be aware of their tactics, and understand basic cyber safety.
Search for visual cues that indicate a secure site, such as a lock symbol and
green color in the address bar before you enter your credit card number or any confidential information. This indicates that your shopping session is secure and that the site is using encryption to protect your data. This protocol is called SSL, Secure Socket Layer, and it protects online transactions by keeping data in transit confidential by encoding it. In other words, your information is not easily accessible to cybercriminals.
Other best practices during the season are to be extra careful before opening emails. You may think you are about to download a coupon to a store, but you may be about to open a malicious attachment. Be prepared to see more emails advertising sales and other deals. Never click links or download attachments unless you are sure it is the real vendor. Be aware of any suspicious emails or websites while doing shopping this season. Review our blogs on email security and phishing for more tips and best practices.
Saturday, November 27, 2021 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they navigate, retool and pivot from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Please join us and other organizations across the country in supporting your local small businesses by shopping at a small business this holiday season (and throughout the rest of the year!). According to the 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 97% of shoppers recognized the positive impact they can make by shopping small and 85% of them reported they also encouraged friends and family to shop small as well. Support your local, veteran owned, and small businesses this year by shopping small.
Vigilant Technologies, 4500 S. Lakeshore Drive, Suite 410, Tempe, Arizona, 480-722-1227
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