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NATO Board Evaluates Predictive Tools for Network Defense
U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya

NATO Board Evaluates Predictive Tools for Network Defense

By Javier Chagoya

NPS’ own Information Technology and Communications Services (ITACS) hosted the NATO Science and Technology Organization Information Systems Technology-129 (IST-129) Board meeting on the university campus, June 13.

The IST-129 committee consists of cybersecurity experts from varied NATO member countries, NPS’ own Chief Information Officer Joe LoPiccolo is one of them. The committee is charged with identifying predictive methods in cyber to help defenders anticipate and thwart adversarial attacks.

The discovery process for the committee’s research has been an exhaustive, world-wide expedition, as they look for cogent, predictive analysis tools for the cyber domain. Interestingly, their search revealed a far too reactionary approach to network defense.

“We have reviewed hundreds of papers from leading experts in the field of cyber predictive analysis,” said IST-129 Committee Chair Dennis McCallam. “We have fact checked each one and have dug deep into each of these proposals to ensure the validity of the work. And while there are some predictive analysis methods being devised approaching success, there is precious little that has been discovered in our investigations.”

Ultimately, McCallum and the IST-129 committee he steers hope to shorten the adversary’s window of opportunity, highlighting technology and techniques that provide timely mission impact alerts to operators and commanders protecting the nation’s cyber domain.

“We are characterizing the current research on predictive analysis in the cyber domain to develop a comprehensive roadmap for a set of methodologies, technologies and tools to defensively counter adversarial cyber operations in real-time,” said McCallam, a Northrop Grumman Fellow and adjunct professor at George Mason University.

The group will be recommending several activities to continue such analysis, and will finalize those over the course of the next set of meetings, scheduled in Munich, Germany in December of this year.


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