in Defence

Airbus Group Innovations awarded £1.4m cyber protection study by Dstl.

Posted 23 March 2015

Airbus Group Innovations UK has been awarded a £1.4m cyber protection study contract by the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), as part of Dstl's Cyber Situational Awareness research project intended to develop and mature a Virtual Cyber Centre of Operations.

Above: Airbus Group Innovations UK's Kevin Jones and Ben Parish.

The contract will see Airbus Group Innovations, the corporate research and technology network of Airbus Group, develop a 3-D virtual world to enable collaboration and shared situational awareness. The Virtual Cyber Centre of Operations project will demonstrate how virtual collaboration might give commanders a better understanding of how they are being targeted by cyber enemies on the battlefield.

The VCCO concept aims to provide decision makers and SMEs with an overview of the shared cyber environment, so they can understand where the threats might lie, and how they might collaborate securely to defeat those threats.

Dstl’s Ben Parish (Cyber Situational Awareness Capability Adviser) said: ”We are pleased to be able to continue delivering excellent research on behalf of MOD through our industry partners. Cyber technologies are constantly evolving and it’s crucial for the UK’s Armed Forces to keep abreast of these developments. The research into the VCCO concept contributes to MoD’s understanding of how to be resilient to cyber-attacks and be better able to protect our interests in cyberspace.”

The challenge is that, as the threat and sophistication of cyber-attacks rises, there is an increasing threat to military capability. This contract will help study how British forces can stay ahead of the curve.

The VCCO concept will allow the military decision makers to call on experts anywhere around the world to help deal with cyber situations in real-time. This research will help in the design and development of a new generation of Security Operations Centres (SOC), which give forces the ability to counter cyber threats when they are deployed.

The contract, awarded until March 2016 and funded by Dstl has an initial worth of £1.4m and welcomes two SME subcontractors to the programme; MooD International and Xuvasi, who will provide visual analytics and event correlation data respectively. The collaboration between Airbus Group Innovations, MooD International and Xuvasi follows initial research by each supplier, previously funded through cyber themed competitions run via Dstl’s Centre for Defence Enterprise.

Dr Kevin Jones, Research Team Leader - Cyber Operations, Airbus Group Innovations, Newport, said: “This contract award follows four years of work with Dstl and the collaboration and cooperation of multiple stakeholders. As cyber threats continue to develop both in complexity and technological advancement we are proud to be part of the MoD’s next step into modern cyber defence and understanding.”

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