National Cyber Ranges: Virtual environments that enable government organizations to test their cyber capability
National cyber ranges are virtual environments that enable government organizations to test their cyber capability. It’s important to rehearse military operational plans and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP’s) that can work in a contested cyber landscape. These ranges are distributed computing environments with technical experts that can support exercises and operational planning.
Robert Wallace spent a 33 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency and is widely known for the very well done books he and co-author Keith Melton have produced on the history, culture and tradecraft of intelligence (including the SpyCraft book which was turned into a Netflix series and the Spy Sites series of books documenting the intelligence history of Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia). This OODAcast examines Robert’s career from the beginning, resulting in interesting stories and insights into his leadership and management style relevant to any leader in business or government today. His professional life began as he received an MA in Political Science from Kansas University in 1968 and then received a draft notice which resulted in his two years of service in the US Army, including service in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta leading long-range reconnaissance patrol teams.
While the Ware Report of 1970 codified the foundations of the computer security discipline, it was the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection report of 1997 that expanded those requirements into recommendations for both discrete entities as well as the nascent communities that were growing in and around the Internet. Subsequent events that were the result of ignoring that advice in turn led to the creation of more reports, assessments, and studies that reiterate what was said before. If everyone agrees on what we should do, why do we seem incapable of doing it? Alternately, if we are doing what we have been told to do, and have not reduced the risks we face, are we asking people to do the wrong things?
Blake Bartlett is the CEO of Janes, the well known and trusted provider of open source defense intelligence. In this OODAcast we examine lessons learned from Blake’s career and path from a young student with a desire for a career in sports to success in the domain of sales. Blakes walks us through some key moments in his leadership at Janes including the point that kicked off a transformation to ensure their data and information is not only trusted and relevant but is more available, accessible and consumable by customers and is delivered the way organizations need it to fuel their decision-making.
As a logger and holstein farmer, my grandfather was heavily dependent on the weather for his livelihood. Each year, he purchased a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac and it was kept in an easily accessible reading spot for reference. Taken on a day by day basis, the Farmer’s Almanac was not the greatest of guides, but if you took it on a month-by-month basis it claims about an 80% accuracy, which was more than enough to guide generalized decisions about logging and farming environments in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
The OODA Almanac proposes to identify those topics and patterns we see having significance in 2021 to guide your short and long-term decision making. Over the course of 2021, we will continue to inject additional observations on these topics into our analysis or as stand-alone tidbits of observed intelligence (OODINT).
Michele Wucker is specialist in risk management and crisis anticipation and is author of the book “The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore”. While we’ve all become familiar with Taleb’s concept of Black Swans, we must equally become intimately aquatinted with Wucker’s Gray Rhinos as they provide more obvious opportunities for actually anticipating and managing risk.
During this interview, Michele takes us through the concept of Gray Rhinos with real-world historical examples, discussion of future Gray Rhinos, and strategies for engaging in real actions to identify, respond to, and mitigate future Gray Rhinos in business, society, and global affairs. The concept of a Gray Rhino is hugely important and has become embedded in how we evaluate risks at OODA with our customers.
In January 2021, the Department of Navy released their Strategic Blueprint for a Blue Arctic. The document outlines their plan to prepare for an increasingly available and navigable Arctic Region. Signed by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, it looks forward twenty years and envisions the requirements to protect American interests in the Arctic.
The Navy is keenly interested in what is over the horizon or under the surface of the ocean. Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) have filled a critical role since the 1960’s. Through sonobouys and onboard sensors, these aircraft sweep the ocean (above and below) to find the enemy. To do this well, the Navy uses aircraft that have long endurance, and stuff them full of sensors and sonobouys that can collect information. The intelligence that is gleaned is directly fed into the National Intelligence Community. It’s a critical piece of the operational picture and situational awareness the warfighter depends on.
Vikram Sharma is the founder and CEO of Canberra Australia based QuintessenceLabs. His company provides solutions based on quantum technology to strengthen cryptographic key creation and management at scale. This is an urgent need in this era of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, and key to protecting data now and into the future. In this OODAcast we ask Vikram for his views on what every CEO, including non-technical CEOs, need to know about the world of quantum effects. He provides explanations in very clear ways that can help inform business strategies.
The annual Surface Navy Association Symposium is where BIG NAVY gathers together to contemplate high level fleet issues with top leadership. Thanks to COVID (never thought I’d say that!) this year’s conference was virtually available to anyone with a computer and a credit card. The Chief of Naval Operations started off the week and was followed by outstanding presentations from all the major Naval leaders. We capture some of the highlights here.