ORLANDO, Florida — As part of a rapid development and acquisition process, the Army conducted its annual cyber security assessment of the Unified Network Operations prototypes, known as UNO, to validate cyber security and provide improvement recommendations to securely operate in cyber-contested domains ahead of product delivery.
The Army’s Project Manager Interoperability, Integration and Service — or PM I2S — at the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, led this annual cyber security assessment of UNO, including the Ruggedized Application Platform–Tactical Radios software, known as RAP-TR at the National Cyber Range. The National Cyber Range is a DOD cyber support center in Orlando, Florida that helps the Army assess cyber threat impacts and advance national system cyber security.
UNO, the Army’s innovative set of software applications, consolidates and streamlines capabilities to make it easier and faster for Signal Soldiers to plan, configure, monitor, manage, secure and maintain the health of the Army’s upper and lower tactical internet systems, keeping Soldiers connected, informed, safe and lethal. As part of the UNO suite of tools, RAP-TR is an operationally hardened commercial tablet that hosts and integrates multiple applications for lower-tier tactical network operations.
In line with the Army’s network modernization strategy to enable decision dominance in future Multi Domain Operations, Product Manager Tactical Cyber and Network Operations, or PdM TCNO, assigned to PM I2S, is leveraging the middle-tier of acquisition strategy to develop and deliver this integrated set of network operations tools to simplify and enhance network operations, from the tactical edge through corps.
PdM TCNO’s cyber security strategy includes annual cyber security assessments of the UNO middle-tier of acquisition prototypes and other PdM product line systems. The PdM’s Network Operations Systems Security and Experimentation Team has led these annual assessments every October throughout the Army’s continual network operations development.
A key part of this cyber security assessment is to address potential vulnerabilities and identify mitigation steps, including software improvements and additional vendor software requirements. NCR cyber systems engineers and red teams, working alongside the PdM TCNO cyber security team, leveraged a cyber tabletop methodology, which simulates incident scenarios with hands-on participation, to identify cyber threat vectors that could potentially render UNO MTA software products vulnerable to cyber-attacks at the software application level.
During a visit to the NCR assessment, Mr. Maier, PM for I2S, highlighted the value-added in discovering and mitigating cyber vulnerabilities early in the development process.
“The National Cyber Range provides a great capability and opportunity to stress systems and identify cyber and information assurance vulnerabilities very early in a program’s lifecycle,” Maier said. “Given the importance of network operations in the Army, these annual assessments help support the Army’s Network Cross Functional Team’s goals for a secure tactical communications network.”
PM I2S will continue the annual assessments as a way to mitigate technical risk as the office heads towards the delivery of the UNO program of record, planned for fiscal year 2024.
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, develops, acquires, fields and supports the Army's mission command network to ensure force readiness. This critical Army modernization priority delivers tactical communications so commanders and Soldiers can stay connected and informed at all times, even in the most austere and hostile environments. PEO C3T is delivering the network to regions around the globe, enabling high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications to a user base that includes the Army's joint, coalition and other mission partners.