As the new federal fiscal year begins, cybersecurity analysts and industry leaders predict that electronic warfare and managed services will top the U.S. government’s priority list to improve cybersecurity during the next fiscal cycle.
Lockheed Martin, one of the five major cybersecurity contractors for the federal government, told Fifth Domain that they are focusing on signals intelligence and electronic warfare in the new year, which began Oct. 1.
Cybersecurity and electronic warfare “can disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive and destroy adversaries’ electronic systems,” Deon Viergutz, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s cyber division told Fifth Domain in an email. “The ability to dominate the electromagnetic spectrum allows militaries to not only establish control, but also keep soldiers out of harm’s way by providing offensive and defensive techniques from remote locations.”
Russia’s use of electronic warfare during its 2015 invasion of Ukraine exposed how the Department of Defense needs to boost its own digital combat tools, Brad Curran, an analyst at Front & Sullivan previously told Fifth Domain.
The White House’s new cybersecurity strategy states that the federal government will boost efforts to lawfully gather evidence of criminal activity and disrupt criminal networks through new legislation. It could translate into a greater need for tools that can manage large amounts of data, such as artificial intelligence.
But along with the expected increase in electronic warfare, analysts and firms are predicting a rise in managed and cloud based services.
Raytheon, another of the five major cybersecurity U.S. government contractors, said they expected the federal government to need more managed security operations.
“Concepts like security operations center-as-a-service, and others are gaining momentum due to the desire for scalability. Federal agencies will continue to look to contracted service providers for expertise and support,” John DeSimone, a vice president for cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon told Fifth Domain in an email.
Curran said he expects the federal government to save money by using more cloud-based services, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure.
The Trump administration has seen an increased in shared services, said Suzanne Spaulding, a former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security who now works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“Which services they will ultimately centralize is hard to see,” Spaulding said. She added the decision-space is “is tricky because at the end of the day, cabinet secretaries also need to be accountable for their own cybersecurity.”
Distributed cloud-based communications is a key priority of the Department of Homeland Security, according to the agency’s 2017 industry guide. The department also said they were looking to invest in metrics for cybersecurity effectiveness and data capture of networked devices.