Cyber Warfare Training
Training humans to recognize cyberspace operations and respond rapidly and effectively is imperative, because mistakes have immediate consequences. The ever-evolving complexity of the combined cyber/kinetic battlefield drives a need to simulate engagements in high fidelity where each domain affects the other. We present a new simulation approach that integrates real and simulated cyberspace operations, wired and wireless virtual networks, live and virtual equipment and applications, and traditional kinetic warfare training simulators into a full, instrumented, synthetic cyber warfare training environment. The system allows trainee performance centered on awareness, reaction time and correct action (at all levels), along with the ability to work through a degraded cyber space environment and complete a mission, to be monitored and evaluated.
Most modern military systems are network-centric, and they must protect vast amounts of sensitive data as it is stored on devices or transferred over a network. Warfighters whose lives depend on these systems, rely on uncompromised data to arrive in a timely manner. It is clear that all future conflicts are going to involve attempts to disrupt information technology systems, which are necessary for communications and also for the operation of highly sophisticated weapons systems, most of which are computer driven. There is an urgent need for cyber warfare training as it can manifest itself in their operational environment.
Computer-based simulations have long been used to train troops and develop new warfighting techniques. Networked modeling and simulation systems realistically represent combat, from sensors and weapons systems to the tactical behavior of individual entities and military units. However, these traditional training systems assume that computer systems, communication nodes and networks are uncompromised, providing secure and perfect communications between entities in the virtual world. Changes to privacy, integrity, and availability of data due to cyber-attack are rarely if ever taken into consideration. Exercises have made clear the negative effects that result from such simplified modeling.
Cyber ranges, typically consisting of racks of hardware running virtual machines to represent an enterprise network, can be used to train network defenders. However, they lack a realistic representation of wireless battlefield networks with their increased vulnerabilities to disruption compared to wired environments. Nor do cyber ranges integrate with kinetic training systems, and they are thus unsuitable for training for the impact of cyber-attacks on classical warfare. The current disconnect between kinetic training and cyber training is a challenging problem. Training for modern warfare requires integration across all domains: land, maritime, space, air, and cyber.
In response to these challenges we offer a system that integrates real and simulated cyberspace operations, wired and wireless virtual networks, live and virtual equipment and applications, and traditional kinetic warfare training simulators into a full, instrumented synthetic cyber warfare training environment.