DVIDS – News – NPS Conducts Comprehensive Study Bridging Cyber and Electronic Warfare

So, what can only the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), researchers have just completed a major fundamental study that examines the convergence of e-cyber warfare.

The TS / SCI study, commissioned by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), identifies a roadmap for addressing the technological and acquisition challenges inherent in ensuring American dominance in the future electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). It has the potential to inform Naval Research Enterprise’s investment portfolio for years to come, according to the NPS project manager, U.S. Navy commander. Chad Bolman, director of the University Cyberwarfare Center (CCW).

“The focus of this study was mainly on technology, in essence, the vision of the convergence of electronic and cyber warfare,” he said. “We have identified many current gaps – including some doctrinal and formal – and have recommended areas for investment with approximate estimates of resources, timing and, most importantly, how the gaps and proposed solutions interact.

“Having the best technology is the first step, but you also need to acquire, integrate and practice these technologies to be effective,” Bolman continued.

The study was requested by code 31 ONR (its Electronic Warfare [EW] section) as a means to direct investment in Navy technology in the short and medium term.

In close collaboration with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NWIC-PAC) over the past year, an interdisciplinary team of nine researchers – military and civilian, field practitioners and scientists – has brought their strong experience.

For example, NPS faculty members Brett Michael, chairman of the Cyber ​​Academic Group, and Rick Romero, who runs the Center for Joint Electronic Warfare Services, have brought extensive experience in EW and Cyber ​​Security, respectively. Lt. Col. Michael Senft, a lecturer in the military department of the Department of Computer Science, is a career officer in Army Engineering Networks. CCW faculty researcher Darren Rogers recently retired after a 24-year career in the Navy as a serviceman and information warfare officer.

“As part of the Navy since the early 1990s, I’ve seen firsthand how things have changed with the ever-networked world and the proliferation of technology that the Navy has used in electronic and information warfare environments,” Rogers said. .

Bolman emphasizes that it is the ability to enjoy such experiences and experiences that really distinguishes NPS, emphasizes that the university can conduct this research.

“NPS is by nature collaborative and interdisciplinary,” Bolman said. “Our ability to combine both deep academic experience and military practitioners in uniform with different types of fleet experience and communications with the Navy has indeed been the reason we have been selected to conduct this study.”

Following an initial review of the classified and non-classified literature, the NPS-NIWC team set up its extensive networks to interview experts on major combat commands, heads of research laboratories, and functional teams of various services.

“We spoke with Navy Cyber ​​Command, Army Cyber ​​Command and Navy Cyber ​​Command,” Bolman recalled. “In total, we conducted about 40 in-depth interviews to identify specific technological gaps in the convergence of e-cyber warfare.”

While the study delves deep into specific technologies and their platforms, the interview highlighted a common theme: location.

Deep down, this is reflected in the very definitions of two different disciplines (e.g., Joint Publication 3-0, Joint Operations), which have historically led to the creation of separate communities with different practices throughout the military.

“At some point these [conceptual] models become obstacles and systems do not communicate with each other, ”Bolman said. “After all, these are differences that our opponents don’t make.”

Achieving dominance in the EMS means not only providing secure access for U.S. troops and allies, but also the ability to lower and deny the technological capabilities of these adversaries. In addition, the proliferation of commercially available technologies has dramatically lowered barriers to entry for hackers who want to harm us.

“The Navy’s traditional views on EW and Cyber ​​take them to separate mines and are concerned about their defensive use,” said Lieutenant Matt Leaton, Navy’s crypto warfare officer and current Ph.D. student of the Department of Computer Science NPS. Having recent experience deploying as a crypto resource coordinator in the Naval Special Combat Development Group (NSWDG), he has provided personal experience in-depth research.

“Militant commanders are looking for more flexible, inexpensive and reversible response options to keep close adversaries at risk, and the rapprochement of EW and Cyber ​​is a key component of this strategy,” Litan explained. “Effective use of synchronized non-kinetic effects will require increased research and development, empowerment and closer integration with traditional disciplines of warfare. The purpose of this study was to help Navy research firms focus on the most important areas to give operational commanders an asymmetric advantage over our close rivals. ”

A key component of this, the study notes, is the simultaneous restructuring of acquisition processes to fully ensure the convergence of EW and Cyber.

Currently, acquisition models are structured around unique programs that create opportunities for a specific community of users. However, the introduction of a more modular approach would provide interoperability opportunities that could be integrated to achieve combined effects, according to Howard Pace, a professor of procurement management practice in the NPS Department of Defense Management.

“Building Common Technical Support Platforms (TRFs) to create opportunities with high integration and interoperability would be a good start,” he said. “TRFs are not new and are widely used in commercial software production. This is a good model to follow, as most of the features of EW and Cyber ​​require software. ”

“Implementing their model and incorporating their overall continuous iterative design and delivery process standard would increase our acquisition speed, allowing us to make changes and quickly enable feedback to end users, fighters,” Pace added.

However, the inclusion of such a model could require major changes in the way the Navy thinks about the acquisition process, he said.

“The convergence of EW and cyber capabilities will require a change of culture from what we have always done in the past, to saying that it is too much of a risk or that it is not specifically for my client,” he continued. “In an era of competition from great powers, I don’t think we can afford it.”

Once the study is complete, Bolman and his team will inform ONR of their findings.

This will create the ground for investment priorities that bring EW and Cyber ​​technologies together both in the short term, that is, over the next three to five years, and in the long term in seven years and beyond.

“Honestly, many of our recommendations aren’t huge rocket-building things, but the hardest part will be combining all these different capabilities,” Bolman said. “What they are doing is allowing us to defend our own platforms, keeping our opponents under threat anywhere in the world, not necessarily putting our main platforms or sailors at risk. This is critical.

Date taken: 02/16/2022
Publication date: 02/16/2022 12:14 PM
History ID: 414752
Location: MONTEREY, California, USA

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