The planning, coordinating, integrating, synchronizing, directing and conducting of network operations allows for network protection and enables capabilities such as electronic and physical attack to deny or manipulate information and/or infrastructure for intelligence collection and other efforts.
Army Cyberspace Operations include a broad spectrum of capabilities and initiatives that provide tactical decision makers with the assurance, awareness and protection needed to operate effectively in the cyberspace environment and the ability to exploit, deny and disrupt the adversary's use of it.
The cyber domain continues to grow, and the DOD has identified cyber as a defense domain much like air, land, maritime and space; however, unlike the other domains there is not a specific military service to deal with cyber.
A wide ranges of actors, from nation states to individuals, engage in malicious cyber activity. Terrorist groups, criminal organizations and individuals at home and abroad have stated desires to unleash cyber attacks against the United States, to steal sensitive information, and to work to undermine the economy and threaten national security.
The Army must account for Cyberspace Operations in a tactical environment, like a Tactical Operations Center where military specific operations occur. The tactical environment provides unique challenges to the Army from a defensive and offensive perspective.
The breadth of the Cyberspace Operations environment requires collaboration across organizations and rapid development of a variety of capabilities in order to stay ahead of new and emerging threats.
CERDEC provides Soldiers with state-of-the-art tools and techniques for offensive and defensive cyber operations. CERDEC looks at challenges such as mitigating threats posed by voice, video and data services available on the Internet that could affect Internet-connected devices.
CERDEC support to the Army's cyber mission includes research of overseas contingency operations technologies and the implementation of a standardized software framework and specifications. This support reduces the timeline and costs required for the development of new capabilities and reduces operator-training requirements.
CERDEC provides continued information superiority and ensures that mission critical information is available, connected and secured in an environment of information warfare attacks and unintentional disruptions. Assurance against disruption can include detecting malicious code against zero-day attacks that exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities; enabling information sharing across multiple security boundaries properly; and developing, testing and evaluating intrusion detection, user authentication, cryptography and biometric capabilities.
In order to accomplish these tasks, CERDEC is a part of APG's unique laboratory capabilities networked together to support cyber offensive and defensive development efforts. CERDEC uses its facilities to develop large-scale network visualization; conduct modeling, simulation and emulation; ensure compliance and accreditation; perform supercomputing; and develop tools for information assurance.
Although CERDEC’s cyber capabilities play a key role in APG organizations’ ability to support the Soldier, a number of other factors demonstrate why APG is recognized as a key contributor to Army cyber.