U.S. military forces require resilient and reliable networks, information, and weapons systems to conduct effective operations. However, both the number and sophistication of threats in cyberspace are rapidly growing, making it critical to improve the cybersecurity of all Department of Defense systems in order to counter those threats and assure the DoD’s missions.

The Cyber Applied Research project, as part of the U.S. DoD Cyber Security Research program, focuses on innovative and sustained research in both cybersecurity and computer network operations. It develops new concepts to harden key network and computer components, and designs new and resilient cyber infrastructures. It also increases the military’s ability to disrupt, fight, and survive nation-state actors’ cyberattacks.

Additionally, the project will develop methods to measure the state of health in cybersecurity, and explore and exploit new ideas in cyber warfare for agile cyber operations and mission assurance, along with the ability to protect tactical networks, weapons systems, and platforms.

This effort is unique in that it integrates both the defensive and offensive cyber research from each of the services to develop interoperable, defense-wide technology options targeted to meet combatant command-level needs and requirements. More specifically, by increasing cross-laboratory collaboration, this program is able to take service-specific technologies and expand their applications to the joint forces.

The ever-increasing reliance on data transmission and networking has caused an increase in hacking attacks to cyber systems. As a result, cybersecurity is experiencing great demand, making it one of the hottest markets in overall defense electronics. Research to develop cybersecurity counter-technology and methods is expected to increase yearly over the entire forecast period and beyond.