American cybersecurity firm Shift5 has been awarded a contract by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to monitor the “cyber health” of weapon systems used on US Air Force aircraft.
The company has already integrated hardware and software solutions on the country’s warplanes to enable real-time onboard cyber intrusion detection and monitoring. It has also incorporated a defensive software toolkit that allows for active cyber threat hunting.
As part of the contract, Shift5 will continue to “configure, mature, and scale” its commercial solutions for US weapon systems. Its data-driven solutions are also expected to help operators maintain cyber resiliency and gain operational intelligence.
“The mission of the US Air Force is to fly, fight, and win via airpower anytime, anywhere. Shift5’s solution provides cyber-enabled air superiority,” Shift5 co-founder Josh Lospinoso said in a press release. “This is what it looks like when the military takes five steps forward in cybersecurity. The Air Force is leading the way in this domain and we are proud to partner with them.”
Meanwhile, Shift5 President Joe Lea explained that equipping the US armed forces with cyber security tools for weapon systems is essential, considering that many countries are now advancing in their cyber capabilities.
‘Well Postured’ for Cyber Attack
Lospinoso pointed out that defending air dominance in the cyber domain is one critical national security challenge that the air force faces. He made the remark amid reports of growing cybersecurity attacks targeting the US defense industry.
Earlier this year, security consultant Mandiant revealed that Chinese hackers had penetrated a company’s VPN technology between October 2020 and March 2021 to break into defense industry computer networks.
Despite increasing cyber security threats, Department of Defense presumptive chief information officer John Sherman claims that the US is “well postured” to defend its military against any potential cyberattack initiated by the Chinese government.
He aired his statement amid public debate about the effectiveness of the US when compared with Chinese capabilities, as well as increasing tensions with the Asian powerhouse over Taiwan’s sovereignty.