Just like traditional information technology (IT) such as personal computers and phones, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) weapon systems are also vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Even though many weapon systems are air gapped (not directly connected to the internet), cybercriminals can exploit external interfaces such as radios, radars, and maintenance ports to gain access to weapon systems’ internal computers, networks, and data.
Once a weapon system is exploited, attackers can disrupt or degrade a weapon system’s operation.
Obviously, this is not a desirable situation for the welfare of all due to weapon systems supporting critical missions like nuclear command and control and position, navigation, and timing.
On the recommendation of CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies) and others, it’s critical for the DOD to address weapon system cybersecurity at the beginning of the acquisition process by defining cybersecurity requirements and designing systems to meet them.
Taking these recommendations to heart, the DOD updated acquisition policies making it part of an acquisition program managers responsibility for designing, and testing weapon systems to meet cybersecurity requirements.
Federal contractors have also come under fire for not doing more to secure weapon systems. Critics contend that federal contractors must think beyond large-scale technical upgrades and instead focus on promoting incremental changes that can measurably reduce risk – now.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, a whole new cultural change is necessary to improve weapon systems security. For instance, a new mindset for federal contractors will require more than a flip of a switch because the cybersecurity of weapon systems is perhaps the single most important digital transformation initiative across the entire government.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Weapons Systems Cybersecurity Training Bootcamp, a 3-day interactive training course that covers everything from core weapon systems to Network Enabled Weapon (NEW) system cybersecurity.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly three dozen courses in Cybersecurity Training. This includes cutting edge courses like:
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