Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, John Basso, Pat Romanski, Glenn Rossman, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2AD) in Military Domains and in Cyberspace

By

220px-B-2_leading_Valiant_ShieldSince 9/11, the US has invested heavily in high-end technologies to counter military threats. We have all been amazed at some of the breakthroughs that have been made. Eleven years of fighting on multiple battlefields has given us the opportunity to test these new technologies in places and ways that were never possible before. Throughout these many campaigns however, we have had the luxury of constant, assured access to cyberspace. Sure – there was never enough bandwidth for data-thirsty military operations, but we were basically un-contested in the cyberspace domain throughout our wars and other military activities. Whatever we wanted to do, cybersapce was more or less always usable. As we wind down and try to move these bandwidth-intensive technologies and advancements to counter other potential adversaries, we should understand that owning the cyberspace domain will not always be possible. Our dependency on this connectivity might just be our Achilles heel.

Anti-Access Area-Denial or A2AD is just a fancy acronym for an old military priority: getting control of the area you are going to operate in (air, sea, cyberspace, etc.) and making sure you deny that area to your adversary. DoD’s entire Air-Sea Battle is an effort to identify how we will defeat our adversaries A2AD capabilities such as missiles, mines, or cyber attacks. Whether you are operating from a submarine or driving an unmanned vehicle, the domains – air, land, sea, undersea, space – are highly dependent on the cyberspace. And cyberspace is both an exponential force multiplier AND a critical vulnerability.

We can’t train without it and we can’t fight without it. But Cyberspace for DoD (defined as our interconnected information technology) has vulnerabilities. Professionals realize with any vulnerability, there are opportunities. But to take advantage of the opportunity we need clear, open analysis of the vulnerability and ways to mitigate them.

The following reviews some gaps and key emerging technologies that will help reduce critical shortfalls:

  • We must have a back up plan – the ability to operate in limited, degraded bandwidth environments. Years ago when I worked at one of DoD’s teleports, we scoffed at the idea of using HF to communicate; it was just too small a pipe for any meaningful communications. Now we are reexamining how HF might play in an A2AD environment.
    • The Navy is using a program called the Battle Force Tactical Network (BFTN) to develop a capability to use the HF and UHF radio spectrum to provide line of sight and beyond line of sight network capability in a SATCOM deprived scenario. In operational exercises with our allies, we are testing HFIP and Sub-Net Relay and experiencing data rates of 120kbps and 1.92Mbps, respectively. Not enough to do high-end imagery, for sure! But enough to keep us connected by chat, email and share a common operational picture, with some web-replications and a limited amount of VoIP and video. This isn’t really new technology; we have had these capabilities for a long time (although there are some neat new-tech enablers that are making this less painful than it used to be). The real interesting part about this is that we are actually testing it and exercising it with our allies again.

 

  • Backup plans also apply to infrastructure and data. This calls for well engineered solutions to fast data storage and access and recovery capabilities like those provided by Cleversafe. There are many other gaps that must be addressed to form holistic engineering solutions to backup and security needs for the enterprise. We will save those for a future post since there are so many elements to review, but it is important for any in industry to understand that the military needs your continued innovation in this area.

 

  • Understanding the state of the enterprise is so difficult that DoD has spent millions of dollars and years of effort and can only marginally show what networks are RED/GREEN/YELLOW in a way that is useful to the commander.
    • Tools are needed that show the health and status of these architectures and that will plug and play with existing networks.
    • Tools are needed that can show how these networks are connected in an operational sense. For example, if a network is down (RED), does it impact an existing mission? This is not easy, since it connects network status tools to complex OPLANS and changing Task Force designations.

 

  • The data sets are so large and complex it’s impossible to pull out critical insights with the current architecture. Tools that enable multilayered analysis will be of value, especially when using some of the limited bandwidth techniques discussed above. Any plan that depends on big-bandwidth to port huge amounts of data back to a common analysis center is fraught with problems in an A2AD scenario.
    • I like the technologies used by Thetus Corporation. They have a product called Savanna, which provides search, visualization, discovery, analytic and production tools. It also organizes the data in meaningful ways. I think that a test of how this could be distributed and synchronized across a tactical network with coalition or OGO would provide some interesting results. See a video of this at http://www.screencast.com/t/Ls0vo62IIM. To be able to do this type of analysis during an A2AD environment, we must practice it first and establish clear guidelines on how the analysis is performed when the bandwidth is degraded.
    • Other key technologies which can help address this need include those from MarkLogic, Cloudera, Cleversafe, and Terracotta.

 

  • “Pervasive Interoperability” will be a cornerstone to all future military campaigns. It’s hard to picture many scenarios where DoD would operate alone. Visualization tools are needed that clearly display a meaning across a coalition that includes numerous partners – including other Governmental organizations (OGO) or other nations.

 

  • Speed of decision and speed of action is also a key requirement in modern military campaigns. This means IT systems must be engineered to be fast and responsive. Expect much more use of modern in-memory and advanced caching solutions. This is also a strong point for Terracotta.

As we move forces and capabilities to new areas of operation, we need to view each one with the lens of “how will it work in a contested cyberspace”. Each new technology insertion should demand a complimentary review of how it works in A2AD environments. The smart technologist will be able to answer that question as new capabilities are rolled out. We cannot blindly assume the cyberspace will be ours for future campaigns.

Do you have technologies you believe can address key mission needs of the DoD? If so, let us know about them here.  Are you looking for new technologies to help architect solutions to these mission needs? Search for the latest technology here.  We also link to many of these tech leaders below and at CTOlabs.com

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...