Spire Global, Inc. | January 21, 2022
Spire Global, Inc. , a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced a partnership with Dragonfly Aerospace to support the Australian Government’s Office of National Intelligence (ONI) with a second satellite as a part of its ongoing National Intelligence Community Satellite (NICSAT) program. The follow-up program, NICSAT2, will see Spire designing, building, and launching the company’s Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR), a 6U satellite platform, with the capability of on-board computing and processing of machine learning and artificial intelligence across multi-modal data. Dragonfly Aerospace will provide a high-performance Gecko camera using its proprietary space-proven electronics and ruggedized optics for an easy-to-integrate imaging solution for the satellite.
The Australian National Intelligence Community (NIC) launched the NICSAT program to experiment with commercial satellite technologies, including the on-board application of advanced machine learning capabilities on small satellites, like those manufactured by Spire. In keeping with its predecessor, NICSAT2 will be managed by ONI and focused on the application and utility of miniaturized satellite systems, especially in regard to machine learning. Both programs are unclassified science and technology programs, focused on innovative engineering and research that aim to utilize commercial satellites to improve data collection and analysis.
With the large influx of data sent to Earth, corporations, governments, and other organizations increasingly need advanced systems and processes to efficiently understand the data received. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted processing within satellites allows operators to unburden ground stations and other infrastructure and focus resources on analyzing mission-critical information in space. ONI recognizes the potential application of semi-supervised or unsupervised learning methods for in orbit autonomous machine learning to, amongst other things, enable autonomous sensor operations, speed analytics and data processing, reduce downlink requirements, and better enable human analysts.
Spire previously worked on the NICSAT program’s first satellite, Djara, last year. The mission focus of Djara is to conduct experiments with systems that enable the on-orbit collection and analysis of data including commercially available sensors and technologies such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Machine Learning systems on a chip. The satellite went from concept to launch in just six months and to full operation in just nine months. Djara collects and processes data on orbit and then leverages Spire’s cloud infrastructure to downlink, further process, and analyze data.
“The success of Djara and the NICSAT program show the significant value of small satellites for rapid deployment of leading-edge innovations and on-orbit data analysis,” said Theresa Condor, Chief Operating Officer at Spire Global. “With our continued work on NICSAT2, Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace reaffirm the importance of public-private partnerships for dual-use space technologies.”
“Dragonfly Aerospace’s Gecko camera will elevate the satellite’s imaging capabilities and improve the image quality sent back to the ONI,” said Bryan Dean, CEO of Dragonfly Aerospace. “Spire’s proven success with NICSAT made them an ideal partner to continue to support the Australian government and we look forward to working together.”
NICSAT2 was successfully launched aboard the SpaceX Transporter-3 mission on January 12th, 2022.
About Spire Global, Inc.
Spire is a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, offering access to unique datasets and powerful insights about Earth from the ultimate vantage point so that organizations can make decisions with confidence, accuracy, and speed. Spire uses one of the world’s largest multi-purpose satellite constellations to source hard to acquire, valuable data and enriches it with predictive solutions. Spire then provides this data as a subscription to organizations around the world so they can improve business operations, decrease their environmental footprint, deploy resources for growth and competitive advantage, and mitigate risk. Spire gives commercial and government organizations the competitive advantage they seek to innovate and solve some of the world’s toughest problems with insights from space. Spire has offices in San Francisco, Boulder, Washington DC, Ontario, Glasgow, Luxembourg, and Singapore.
iQor | April 07, 2022
The Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has recognized iQor Santa Rosa with the Government Safety Seal Certification for the BPO sector in the province of Laguna. This is the second such certification for iQor, which was the first BPO to receive this recognition in Region 4A (Calabarzon Region) when iQor Dasmarinas received the certification. Companies in the manufacturing, utilities, and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries are eligible for the certification based on compliance with government health and safety standards.
This is the second iQor contact center the Philippines government has recognized with a Safety Seal Certification. It celebrates the importance we place on ensuring the health and safety of our employees. Our teams are committed to working together to create a safe and rewarding work environment that employees look forward to being a part of each day.”
Gary Praznik, iQor President and CEO
iQor, a managed services provider of customer engagement and technology-enabled BPO solutions, is committed to complying with all government health and safety standards to safeguard employees and to deliver consistent and reliable service to clients. With the power of technology and automation, iQor distributes the health checklist and monitors vaccination status to ensure only those who are vaccinated enter iQor facilities.
“iQor has ongoing investments to create safe work environments,” said Fleurette Navarro, iQor senior vice president of global recruitment and Philippines human resources. “We collaborate throughout our organization to create excellent experiences for our employees. This certification recognizes the work we have done from the start of the pandemic to adhere to health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all employees.”
The certification was presented to iQor by Attorney Nepomuceno A. Leaño, II, OIC assistant regional director DOLE IV-A; and Deah Celeste Tercias, senior labor employment officer, DOLE Laguna.
iQor has 16 contact centers in the Philippines archipelago in Cavite, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, Negros Occidental, Pampanga, and Quezon City.
iQor is a managed services provider of customer engagement and technology-enabled business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions comprised of 35,000 amazing employees spanning 10 countries. We are passionate about delivering an outstanding omnichannel customer experience for brands across the globe. Harnessing intelligent CX technology that can scale teams anywhere, our BPO solutions create happy employees and delighted customers. Our irresistible culture results in a smile with each interaction to create optimal customer experiences. We enable diverse teams to scale our BPO digital solutions from local to global to create the CX experience brands demand to win and keep customers.
SynED | May 30, 2022
SynED, a national non-profit organization that identifies emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers, announced that Christopher Newborn, recently retired Professor of Information Technology (Cybersecurity Emphasis) at Defense Acquisition University (DAU), is this month's CyberHero.
Chris's decades of experience and approach to his work positioned him to be an outstanding advocate for the protection of sensitive information in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base supply chain, the nation's private sector defense contractors. He worked with the acquisition workforce and Defense Industrial Base professionals who are responsible for acquiring, deploying, and maintaining cybersecurity capabilities and defending critical networks, systems, and data.
While at DAU, Chris provided critical support to the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis and Diversification Effort (CASCADE and CASCADE II), established by the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research to bolster California's defense supply chain cybersecurity resilience.
Chris and I worked together on the CASCADE program, and he was incredibly helpful in demonstrating the challenges that defense suppliers face in meeting requirements and finding cybersecurity workers. His duty to country and helping others really shines through. I have no doubt that his 'retirement' will just mean he's starting a new chapter in his service to others and national security."
Liz Fraumann, Director and Senior Project Manager at synED
CASCADE has spurred projects that support business assistance programs and the growth of the cybersecurity workforce through cybersecurity-related education curricula, training, and apprenticeship programs.
Chris takes a hands-on, real-world approach to his work. "I always say, I'm not necessarily a professor, I'm a consultant," Mr. Newborn shared. "The reason I say that is, I will take things in a real world scenario and put it to how it applies to you, so you can come up with efficient and effective methods to counter the threat, or at least come up with trade-offs."
The U.S. government has responded to increasing threats to classified and unclassified information by issuing statutory and regulatory policies and procedures. However, these cybersecurity guidelines and requirements have proven to be challenging for businesses to properly implement and execute.
"We have done a great job when we classify information as secret and above, we have great processes and procedures in place," added Mr. Newborn. "The problem is, when Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and other unclassified information is accumulated over a period of time, this information, when aggregated, can provide enough information to our foreign adversaries and competitors to get a leg-up."
The Defense Industrial Base supply chain is complex and layered, with prime contractors, subcontractors, vendors and manufacturers, with a wide spectrum of size, experience and capabilities at every level. "[Our adversaries are] not just after our prime contractors and sub-contractors, they're after our manufacturers and vendors," added Mr. Newborn said.
Many contractors, manufacturers, and vendors are small to medium-sized businesses that have limited staff and resources to meet ever-changing cybersecurity guidelines and requirements. To help mitigate these challenges, the government has sponsored training to help them better understand the statutory and regulatory requirements.
While at DAU, Chris supported conferences and conducted workshops with Defense Industrial Base partners. With another DAU professor, Dr. Paul Shaw, Chris developed training content and supported multilateral "bootcamps" on acquisition topics, bringing in government employees, vendors, and academia to illuminate common issues and find solutions.
Laura Rodgers, Senior Manager for Cyber Compliance at the North Carolina Military Business Center, said Chris brings a unique perspective that can't be found anywhere else. "He puts some structure on this nebulous thing called cybersecurity, and then he's got the technical chops to help too. He's been very helpful to the North Carolina defense industrial base and we've benefitted greatly from his expertise and insight."
After meeting Laura on a webinar presentation, Chris offered to attend a weekly class put on by Laura so he can answer questions from her students. He attends each week and stays on late to answer questions. "There are just not many out there who are that committed to national security," added Ms. Rodgers.
Chris graduated from Atlanta's Morehouse College in 1982, a historically Black men's liberal arts college. That year, Chris joined General Dynamics, where he worked on early electrification efforts for the M1 Abrams tank and the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
While working at General Dynamics in Detroit, Chris joined the Navy, where he received valuable training and education that furthered his career. He remained in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1984 to 1990. During Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Chris was at the Tank Automotive Command where he oversaw all the secondary spare parts for the Army. Chris was the most senior person of color, having been promoted quickly to GS-14, the second-highest civilian Federal government employee ranking.
"I may not have a uniform on, but if I do my job to the best of my ability as an acquisition professional, giving the tools to the warfighter, then they have a chance of doing their duty and going home safely to their families," Chris said of his work during Operation Desert Storm. "That is my motto, and that is what I've been following ever since."
Chris was appointed to the Army's civilian staff at the Pentagon, where he worked on acquisition management from the government side. He says his time working at the Pentagon and living in the Washington, DC area was a career highlight. In 1997, Chris joined the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)'s Cybersecurity and Program Management Office, just as the military command was transitioning from Crystal City, Virginia, to San Diego. His duty was to procure and manage cyber capabilities for the program offices at SPAWAR, becoming both a subject matter expert and an acquisition manager.
Then, after 30 years in government, Chris moved to DAU to pass on his knowledge. "I look at myself as a conduit of information, almost like a router. That is why I always come back and say, 'Sometimes you have to be that subject matter expert, sometimes you have to be the facilitator, and sometimes you just have to take notes."
After 37 years with the Department of Defense, Chris officially retired in April 2022 and recently moved to North Carolina. Chris plans to return to DAU as a part-time Intermittent Professor to complete his work on a curriculum for cybersecurity requirements in the Defense Industrial Base. There is no one better placed to strengthen cybersecurity in the Defense acquisitions supply chain and workforce.
He also hopes to be a bridge between the East and West Coasts' military businesses. In his spare time, he and his wife Agnes plan to volunteer with the local public school district to support teachers.
About SynED CyberHero's Series
SynED's CyberHero's series is a monthly column published nationally that highlights individuals who quietly go above and beyond in helping to secure our nation and communities by developing cyber talent. SynED is a national non-profit that identifies and highlights emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers. SynED is the proud recipient of the 2021 Association for Career & Technical Education Business-Education Partnership Award.
Anjuna | February 17, 2022
Anjuna Security Inc., the Confidential Cloud company, today announced that Israel's Ministry of Defense (MOD) has entered into the public cloud for the first time with Anjuna's software, which offers the strongest data security available. With Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, the MOD can leverage Confidential Computing features available in cloud servers that eliminate exposure of data in use to insiders, malicious software and bad actors. Sensitive data and applications remain fully encrypted with Anjuna– without the need for any software modifications–and stay isolated and in full control of the MOD.
The decision from the Israeli MOD represents a critical milestone for far greater adoption of the public cloud by organizations in regulated industries or those with highly sensitive data. To date, many companies and government organizations have held back from the public cloud because of security concerns and control issues. The stringent testing and subsequent selection by the MOD signals that with the widely available Confidential Computing technology already in cloud infrastructure and software from Anjuna, the public cloud is now secure enough for organizations with the strictest level of security and regulation.
"With Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, we are able to leverage Confidential Computing to achieve public cloud scale, agility and economics and maximum data security immediately, without having to recode or refactor applications," said the Infrastructure Cloud Group Leader for the IMOD. "This will allow us to quickly move important workloads across public clouds without compromising the high level of security necessary to achieve our mission."
Confidential Computing is the hardware-based capability that public cloud vendors, including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, have added to their servers to enable customers to secure data at runtime when it would otherwise be exposed. Protecting data and applications during execution closes a gap that effectively shuts out unauthorized personnel and creates a trusted environment within the public cloud that is under the control of the customer.
Israel's MOD, which oversees most of the Israeli security forces and is responsible for the overall security of the Israeli nation, including the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), assigned a red team to conduct a thorough evaluation of the Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, using compute-intensive AI workloads as the initial application. Test considerations included the ability to secure against rogue or accidental insiders, third parties, criminal hackers and nation-states. The solution also had to be commercially available now, run across multiple cloud platforms and make both migrating applications and administration simple.
In addition to fully securing workloads in public clouds without modification, the Anjuna Confidential Cloud software is attractive to the MOD because it provides a single, uniform encryption platform that protects all three states of data: storage, transit and execution. With Anjuna, organizations do not need to rely on the many different encryption schemes for each application and system, which causes undue confusion and complexity. The Confidential Cloud software provides a consistent data perimeter that also eliminates the risk of exposing encryption keys during runtime.
"Israel's Ministry of Defense is among the most advanced and stringent security organizations in the world, so it is a tremendous advantage for them to now be able to turn public clouds into fully trusted environments capable of securely processing sensitive data. With Anjuna, it is both feasible and practical to make the public cloud at least as secure as private infrastructure. We are proud to add the IMOD as a customer."
Ayal Yogev, co-founder, and CEO of Anjuna
Anjuna Confidential Cloud software makes the use of Confidential Computing transparent to applications and operations, enabling their use without modification. It supports all applications, regardless of size or computational task. With Confidential Computing, companies can secure highly sensitive data, such as state secrets, AI code, intelligence and security details, personally identifiable information (PII), financial information and intellectual property.
Anjuna Security makes the public cloud secure for business. Software from Anjuna Security effortlessly enables enterprises to safely run even their most sensitive workloads in the public cloud. Unlike complex perimeter security solutions easily breached by insiders and malicious code, Anjuna leverages the strongest hardware-based secure computing technologies available to make the public cloud the safest computing resource available anywhere. Anjuna is based in Palo Alto, California.