Encryption Keys: The Cliff Notes Version, Part 3 – Key Management Modes

In the first two posts of this series, I reviewed fundamental terms and concepts of encryption key classifications and discussed roles of passwords versus keys and hash algorithms.  In this post, I will provide detail on each key management mode available on a Mercury secure SSD, not all of which may be supported by other SSD manufacturers.

Encryption Key Modes

While the complexity of implementation increases from one mode to the next in the following discussion, end user responsibility also increases. It is imperative to ensure that end users have the proper knowledge, training and infrastructure to successfully create, store, protect and distribute encryption keys and passwords. With these capabilities, the flexibility and security benefits of the more complex modes can be fully realized. Read More

Encryption Keys: The Cliffs Notes Version, Part 2

In my first post of this series, I explained terms relating to encryption keys and the standards that exist governing encryption key algorithms. Now I will spend some time on ATA passwords and how they correlate to encryption keys.

Clarifying the Functions of an Encryption Key and ATA Password

The role of an encryption key is commonly confused with the role of an ATA password.

The only purpose of an encryption key is to convert data to cipher text so it is illegible to anyone accessing the data without proper authorization and to then decrypt data back to plain text.

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Women in STEM

A few months ago, Mercury partnered with the Society of Women Engineers to host our first Women in Technology Night at our headquarters in Andover. I was fortunate enough to have panelists Star Dargin, CEO of Star Leadership and Susan Macchia, Senior Manager at Endeavor Robotics join me in giving insight on our career progression, experiences, and steps taken to earn leadership roles. I was thrilled to see a room full of participants networking and hearing our stories, as well as an engaged audience on our livestream and Facebook Live.

I walked away from this event thinking more about two important topics: women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and work-life integration.

From left: Susan, Lynne, and Star

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The Inside Scoop: Joining Mercury

From the interview process to now working at Mercury, I’ve found that the company holds true to its high ratings on Glassdoor.

I interviewed in person at the San Jose office for my first post-graduation role. There were many aspects I enjoyed about the interview, but the honesty, energy, and thoughtfulness in the questions asked really made the company stand out from others. I could feel the interviewers’ enthusiasm as they spoke about Mercury and their roles, and it became clear to me that they were truly committed.

During my interview, I was asked about the worst and best managers I have encountered at my previous jobs. This question opened up the door to reflect on the different types of management styles that have worked (or not worked) for me in the past. Unique questions similar to this one challenged me to better understand how I work.

At the end of my interview, it was my turn to ask questions. During our discussion, the hiring manager was completely transparent, honest, and professional. I was sold, as I strongly value these traits in a manager. Read More

Encryption Keys: The Cliffs Notes Version, Part 1

Imagine a US operative on a covert mission is comprised in enemy territory. His laptop, now in the hands of the enemy, contains highly sensitive data stored on the factory-installed SSD and protected only by his 12-character Windows password. A skilled adversary using a brute force attack will quickly gain access to this data. Would you feel safe having our national interests stored on the same type of drive as your laptop? Without the use of a secure storage device with properly implemented encryption and encryption keys, data could easily fall into the enemy’s hands.

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Multi-Domain Operations: Becoming Today’s Swiss Army Knife

Defense News recently released their annual Outlook . If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a great read consisting of a few dozen essays by world leaders looking at the trends and issues, like multi-domain operations, that will most impact the global defense industry.

This year, one essay in particular jumped out at me. General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, wrote an insightful article about multi-domain operations. His analogy of lanterns from the Revolutionary War is very apt, and it helps put into perspective the challenges we face today. Perhaps this quote from his essay is most concise:

“Whoever figures out how to quickly gather information in various domains and
just as quickly direct military actions will have the decisive advantage in battle.”

When General Goldfein talks about multi-domain, he is referring to the military’s work on land, at sea, in the air, in space and in the electromagnetic and cyberspace realms. Traditionally, most defense forces have focused on one domain at a time – in silos. Hence, why we have the Army (for land), Navy (for sea) and Air Force (for air). But domains are not mutually exclusive. They need to work interactively in order to gain the most benefit. As was quickly discovered as early as WWI, air supremacy can significantly improve land operations.

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Embedding Data Center Compute Capability at the Tactical Edge with Open Systems Architectures

At a high level, the vast majority of contemporary compute processing hardware may be divided into two domains: powerful data center processors and smaller, embedded devices. Embedded devices have the support of their data center big brothers via a network connection, giving them access to big data applications.

This approach works for many applications, but not all. Remotely accessed military tactical clouds require data center-like capabilities without data center support. This is achieved by embedding data center processors into military platforms using open system architectures (OSAs) and is ushering in next-generation military mission capabilities.

 military tactical clouds require data center-like capabilities without data center support

 

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RF & Microwave

Electronic Protection: An Overview of Electronic Warfare Part 5

In the first post of this series, we discussed the history of electronic warfare as it was being developed during WWII. While much has changed in the last 80 years, one constant remains true—the cat-and-mouse game to develop the superior technology that grants the owner control over the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). When one nation deploys a new radar system, its adversary begins work on the technology to jam the radar. This prompts the first nation to modify their radar system with new features to protect it from the jammer, which brings us to the final topic in this series—electronic protection.

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RF & Microwave

Electronic Attack: An Overview of Electronic Warfare Part 4

Who remembers that scene in the movie Spaceballs where Lone Starr jams the enemy radar using raspberry jam, causing it to lose the “bleeps, the sweeps, and the creeps”? While Mel Brooks does show what electronic warfare can do, the details aren’t exactly accurate. In this post, we will clear up some of these details in our discussion on electronic attack.

M. B. (Director). (1987). Spaceballs. United States: MGM.

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Key Takeaways from the 55th Annual AOC Symposium and Conference

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly technology progresses. It’s only been about a decade since Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. And today, between checking email, navigating to a new restaurant, sharing photos with family and turning the lights on or off in my kid’s room, it’s hard to image life without a smart phone.

Let’s go back in time to the year 1992—about 15 years before the iPhone and the beginning of the Joint Strike Fighter program. While the earliest prototypes flew in late 2000, it wasn’t until 2006 that the F-35 had its first test flight. Then, in 2011, almost two decades after the program began, the first production aircraft rolled off the assembly line. While this was a very long development time when compared to smart phones, no one would trust a smart phone with their life. That said, the digital revolution of the last decade is finding its way to the electronic warfare (EW) industry, and it’s forcing us to change how we deploy EW systems.

This new and continually changing reality was on everyone’s mind at the recent AOC Symposium and Conference held in Washington, DC. The symposium theme, “Winning the Electromagnetic Spectrum Domain: A Culture and Mind Shift”, captured the sentiment clearly.

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