By Amy Guckeen TolsonApril 2, 2015
The enemy is no longer simply holding a gun or standing on a battlefield.
"The capabilities to prevent cyber attacks, to mitigate cyber attacks, and to make sure that the information we that have in our networks and across our processes (are protected) -- it's critical for us at this time," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Hughes, program executive officer, Command, Control and Communications.
Hughes chaired the "Systems Engineering and Acquisition for the Cyber Challenge" panel discussion, moderated by retired Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, at the AUSA 2015 Global Force Symposium & Exposition in Huntsville April 1.
Joining them on the panel were Kevin Fahey, executive director, system of systems engineering and integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; retired Maj. Gen. Galen Jackman, vice president, Raytheon; and James Woolsey, president of Defense Acquisition University. The panel addressed the cyber threat today and the ways Army and industry is working to combat that threat.
"Cyber is another warfighting domain," Fahey said.
The priorities of PEO C3T, which develops, acquires, fields and supports the Army's tactical communications network, are to deny, detect, react and restore, with four main initiatives: to provide authentication, improve situational awareness, network/system management, and simplification, while making the network more secure. The path ahead for the PEO involves empowering Soldiers' defensive efforts through a network that is cyber-hardened, anticipates threats and is self-healing, according to Hughes.
"We want to provide the best security we can to identify what we can do in an environment that is very, very, dirty," Hughes said.
It's a warfighting domain that is not only challenging for the Army and military, but industry as well, who too are the target of attacks. The cyber threat is constantly changing and evolving, and becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous, according to the panelists.
"Anything that has electronics in it is vulnerable to cyber attack. … I don't think we're going to get to where you have zero vulnerabilities," Jackman said. "Cyber resilience is all about managing that risk down."