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GCN : September 2015
[BrieFing] Distributed denial-of-service attacks can be a minor inconvenience compared to more malicious cyberattacks, but they pose enough of a threat that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for innovative ap- proaches to mitigate their effects. According to a recent broad agency announcement, DARPA’s Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3) program is seeking private-sector input on “fundamen- tally new DDoS defenses that afford far greater resilience to these attacks, across a broader range of contexts, than existing approaches or evolutionary extensions.” DARPA lists five technical areas for which contractors can submit responses that focus on lessening the effect of DDoS attacks and improving recovery time, including: • Devise and demonstrate new architec- tures that physically and logically dis- perse these capabilities while retaining (or even exceeding) the performance of traditional centralized approaches. • Develop new cyber agility and defen- sive maneuver techniques that improve resilience against DDoS attacks by overcoming limitations of preconceived maneuver plans that cannot adapt to circumstances and exploring deceptive approaches to establish a false reality for adversaries. • Produce a response time of 10 sec- onds or less from attacks and at least a 90 percent recovery in application performance compared with hosts that do not have XD3 capabilities. DARPA officials believe the military, commercial network service providers, cloud computing and storage providers, and enterprises of all sizes can benefit from XD3 concepts. Responses should consider a wide range of network and service contexts, such as enterprise networks, wide- area networks, wireless networks, cloud computing and software-defined networks. The announcement does not include detection and mitigation of DDoS-related malware on hosts or networked devices. Responses are due by Oct. 13. To read the announcement, go to is.gd/ GCN_DARPA. • DARPA wants to take the sting out of DDoS attacks BY MARK POMERLEAU 10 GCN SEPTEMBER 2015 • GCN.COM BY KATHLEEN HICKEY READ ME What: Forrester Research’s 2015 U.S. Federal Customer Experience Index Why: Political opinion, the effectiveness of legislation and the efficiency of agency operations are all influenced by people’s experiences with government transactions. Forrester’s CX Index found that 18 federal agencies and programs ranked significantly lower for customer satisfaction when compared to the private sector. On average, the government agencies ranked “poor,” with the National Park Service and U.S. Postal Service tied for best of the bunch and the Department of Health and Human Services’ HealthCare.gov portal placing last. Compared to companies in 17 industries, the federal agencies overall had the lowest average CX Index score, worst reported experiences and uneven quality from one agency to another. TAKEAWAY Forrester suggests agencies focus on key components of CX quality: making the customer feel important and valued, resolving customers’ problems quickly, using clear communication and making efforts to fully understand customer needs. CX leaders should assess which drivers most directly affect the quality of a specific experience and start with the ones that show the highest importance but the weakest performance. Agencies should then insist that CX improvement proposals directly address those drivers so that decision-makers can allocate funding appropriately. NAVALIMAGINGCOMMANDSHUTTERSTOCK 0915gcn_006-011.indd 10 9/3/15 9:01 AM