DARPA’s EDICT would boost WAN resilience

DARPA’s EDICT would boost WAN resilience

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is expected to launch a new research effort next month to develop new technologies to strengthen the resilience and security of military wide-area networks (WANs).

DARPA said it anticipates that the program, called the Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission Communications (EDICT), will be the subject of a broad agency announcement  in the next few weeks.

According to the notice, the objective of EDICT is “to bolster the resilience of communication over IP networks solely by instantiating new capabilities in computing devices within user enclaves at the WAN edge.”

“It is envisioned that systems developed within the program will combine real-time network analytics, holistic decision systems and dynamically configurable protocol stacks to mitigate WAN failures and attacks on the fly, in a mission-aware fashion.”

DARPA said the EDICT project would address the military’s dependence on network technologies to fulfill its mission despite the vulnerability of WAN networks to hardware and software failures, sabotage, denial of service attacks and attacks from malicious code embedded in network devices.

When networks are brought down by such attacks, said DARPA, “users may have no cyber situational awareness concerning the nature or extent of the problem, including the knowledge of which users have been affected and what networking capabilities remain available.”

The lack of information makes it difficult for commanders to assess the impact of such events and to adapt mission plans, according to DARPA. “Therefore, new approaches to providing reliable communication are needed.”

Protocols considered “in scope” for the EDICT project include those at the network, transport and application layers of the five-layer network reference model.

In anticipation of an official kick-off, DARPA said it will host a Proposers’ Day Dec. 8 to provide information on an anticipated BAA to organizations interested in responding to the opportunity.

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