Recognizing the need to address the growing threat of attacks on its cyber networks, the U.S. Army launched the Cyber Collaborative Research Alliance in 2013. The alliance – comprising the Army Research Laboratory and a consortium of university partners – conducts research to advance the theoretical foundations of cyber science in the context of U.S. Army networks. In the Army’s own words, research into cybersecurity is critical due to “the growing number and sophistication of attacks on military cyber networks coupled with the ever-increasing reliance on cyber systems to conduct the Army’s mission.” The ultimate goal of this research is the rapid development of cyber tools that could be used to dynamically assess cyber risks, detect hostile activities on friendly networks, and support agile maneuvers in cyber space in addressing novel threats.
Among its current activities, the alliance is developing a “mathematical formalism” as a representation of cyber tasks that will provide a common framework for reasoning in the categories of Risk, Detection, and Maneuver. It is also developing a theoretical understanding of the socio-cognitive factors that impact the decision-making of the user/soldier, defender/analyst, and adversary. Such understanding, according to the alliance, will lead to an asymmetric advantage in cyber domains against known and unknown attackers.
Forecast International estimates that the Army will spend around $45 million on Cyber Collaborative Research Alliance activities over the next 10 years. Funding will gradually rise from 2016 through 2023, when spending will peak before slightly declining over the next two years. Still, funding can be expected to later increase as the alliance matures in the years ahead.
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