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Federal Cyber R&D Needs

Review of all federal agencies and their cyber mission needs continues to underscore the importance of understanding the unique mission demands of federal agencies. While all require cyber capabilities that enable confidentiality, integrity and availability of information, each have different missions and serve different fields and therefore their cyber programs vary.
But an analysis of mission needs and articulated R&D efforts indicates quite a bit of commonality in functional goals, which means summaries of overall federal cyber R&D needs can be instructive. Our review of federal agency cyber strategies and published S&T plans produced the following list of overarching R&D areas:

  • All federal enterprise customers ask for better visualizations. And they have for years.
  • All federal enterprises have a continuing need for enhanced automation and security information management.
  • Ability to view results of Audit (see the “Consensus Audit Guidelines”).
  • Better ability to execute orders in networks and computers
  • Technologies that can support new, well thought out exercise programs designed to test and improve readiness
  • Technologies in support of training programs for the command and also training requirements for all subordinate organizations
  • Requirements to ensure training for 100% of the workforce
  • New inspection, verification, validation requirements for the entire IT enterprise
  • Enhanced cross domain guards
  • Technologies supportive of enhanced career path policy and establishment of a cyber cadre
  • Tighter linkage to national counterintelligence authorities
  • Technologies to support enhancements to red-teams and more robust penetration testing teams
  • Ability to ensure orders given are received and acted upon.
  • Better models and simulations. These are needed to evaluate the impact of decisions.
  • In DoD, better models and simulations of the GIG are required to assist in combat training on the GIG.
  • Technologies enhancing identity management, authentication, authorization
  • Technological means to combat insider threats.
  • Scalable trustworthy systems
  • Enterprise-level metrics (including measures of overall systems trustworthiness)
  • Approaches for sufficient assurance relevant for all aspects of system lifecycle
  • Enhanced ability to fight insider threats.
  • New means to fight malware and botnets
  • Global-scale identity management
  • New means of knowing system provenance (relating to information, systems and hardware)

These needs may inform your R&D plans and market strategies. Please let us know if you would like to discuss any of these further.