Cyber Defense

Army launches cyber research alliance

The U.S. Army is launching a cybersecurity alliance that will fund research academic and industry research to “explore the basic foundations of cyber space issues in the context of Army networks.”

The Army’s Research Laboratory said Oct. 10 it will fund a “collaborative research alliance” for at least five years at between $3.3 million and $5.2 million annually. An agreement was reached in September with a consortium led by Penn State University that also includes Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University and the University of California campuses at Davis and Riverside.

Along with the Army Research Lab, other service participants in the cyber research alliance include the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Army officials said a key element of the cyber research will be “risk, detection and agility” as well as the “human element.” John Pellegrino, director of the Army lab’s collaborative research, added that the research must account for “human attackers, cyber defenders and end users.”

The alliance’s risk research will focus on developing models for dynamic risk assessment on Army networks. Detection research will target new approaches to adapting to threats and development of algorithms as new cyber threats emerge on the battlefield, according to Alexander Kott, the lab’s associate director for science and technology.

Agility research will support cyber maneuvers designed to rapidly adjust Army networks and cyber defenses to defeat or mitigate attacks. “We are influencing and guiding the research community toward developing research skills particular to” Army requirements, Kott added.

Army officials said broader, theoretical cyber research is needed because “future Army networks will be heterogeneous and convergent, comprising a wide variety of fixed wired networks, mobile cellular networks and mobile ad-hoc networks.”

While the Army expects “pockets of near-term results,” the alliance’s charter is a “long-term commitment to laying a framework towards solutions in the future, 10, 15 and even 20 years away.” To that end, the research agreement includes a five-year renewal option.

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