The Cyber Academic Group (CAG) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is an interdisciplinary academic partnership providing direction and guidance for the Cyber Systems Operations curriculum. The CAG also serves as a focal point for cyber-related research conducted at the Naval Postgraduate School. The primary objective of the CAG is to offer educational programs, such as the Master of Science in Cyber Systems and Operations, to military Officers and government civilians. These programs are intended to enable graduates to substantively improve the ability of our Nation not only to support cyber-dependent missions and functions, but also to achieve focused objectives within the cyber domain itself. This is complemented by a synergistic linkage between cyber research relevant to the Department of Defense and U.S Government and the CAG’s graduate education programs. Student research topics address timely and relevant problems of sponsors and complement the longitudinal research efforts of CAG faculty members.
Faculty from the departments of Computer Science, Defense Analysis, Information Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Operations Research, and National Security Affairs are represented within the CAG, thereby ensuring education and research applied to the cyber programs are thoroughly interdisciplinary. Its members and their colleagues teach courses and conduct fundamental and applied research focused on a broad range of challenges in cyber systems and operations. As subject matter experts, they bring their knowledge and understanding back into the classroom and ensure that courses and student research are current and relevant.
Cyberspace is now a primary warfare area. Establishing US Tenth Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command, combined with the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2N6) forms an enterprise able to address the opportunities and challenges for Cyber Systems and Operations (CSO) within the Navy’s vision for the Information Dominance Corps (IDC). Reflecting a growing cognizance of the importance of cyber operations, other elements of the U.S. military and U.S. Government, such as the Department of Homeland Security, have created similar or complementary organizations. Optimization of the military and U.S. Government value of cyber for future operations will require leaders who both understand how to defend our networks from penetration and employ cyber capabilities to ensure an advantage in future operations. Essential to this objective is a cadre of officers able to address the broad range of cyber operations: computer network attack, defense, and exploitation; cyber analysis, operations, planning and engineering; and cyber intelligence operations and analysis.
We function as a normal academic department at a research university. Our students learn to be individual thinkers -- able to question, provide well grounded assessments, extract the essence of other works, and write well reasoned reports -- as they approach national security issues.
The CAG was established as the NPS academic home for multidisciplinary degree and research programs in Cyber Systems and Operations. Establishment of the CAG responded to the Chief of Naval Operations’ request to construct a world-class center of excellence in CSO at the Naval Postgraduate School and it is intended to provide the USN and other sponsors with an easy access point of contact for cyber activities at the NPS.
The Naval Postgraduate School vision is to be a national resource for the study and design of secure and resilient cyber systems and the conduct of cyber operations. The Cyber Academic Group is helping to fulfill this vision and facilitate the development of the NPS as a renowned national cyber center of excellence.
Under the CAG, the Cyber Systems and Operations (CSO) program is intended to provide the Navy and DoD with a comprehensive education, research, and operational support capability to ensure that cyber warriors will have in depth knowledge of the combination of focused and interdisciplinary concepts needed to meet current and evolving requirements for cyber operations and warfare. There are four synergistic components to the CAG:
- An educational component that spans undergraduate through graduate and executive levels, including the Master of Science in Cyber Systems and Operations, and a core of CSO courses for our Cyber degree programs.
- A supporting and synergistic interdisciplinary research and development program, including a Cyber Battle Lab.
- A research component, whereby, in its interdisciplinary role, the CAG will serve as an agora for cyber research and education. It will:
- Encompass the ongoing research, development, education, and experimentation at the NPS in cyber systems and operations,
- Establish a gateway for learning about ongoing and completed NPS student and faculty cyber research,
- Expand ways for those external to NPS to identify NPS experts on specific cyber topics and to map topics to experts,
- Enable stakeholders to introduce and discuss cyber problems with the NPS research community,
- Encourage cyber research initiatives and collaborations both within the NPS and with external partners, such as DoN, other DoD, government, universities, national labs, and industry, and
- Engage in cyber research projects involving its members and partners.
- The availability of our faculty to work and consult directly with military and civilian members of the Information Dominance Community and all other involved entities at all levels of classified work.
The Cyber Academic Group supports multidisciplinary research teams built around major national security challenges. Naval Postgraduate School faculty and staff have conducted research focused on a broad range of cyber topics for over thirty-‐‑five years. Our current cyber activities build upon decades of experience combining experienced military officers with faculty expertise in defense-‐‑relevant research. The Cyber Academic Group is committed to collaborations with sponsoring agencies, academe, and industry that leverage this unique pool of military and research talent in identifying and solving the grand challenge problems in the cyber realm.
The Naval Postgraduate School is creating a large-scale flagship cyber development and experimentation facility to be a cornerstone in its role as a Cyber Center of Excellence. Such an experimental capability will provide the Navy and the nation a holistic environment for educating, implementing, and integrating cyber defense research and infrastructure. In addition to a test and evaluation facility, the Cyber Academic Group’s Battle Lab will provide faculty and students with a robust cyber experimentation capability in a controlled, high-fidelity, real-world environment.
The Naval Postgraduate School has existing cyber infrastructure research partnerships with the University of Southern California, University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of California, San Diego, in addition to the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency. Through a dedicated effort in industry and university partnerships, the group can create robust collaborative research initiatives and extend resources to additional agencies as well.