With cyber attacks continuing to make headlines, BAE Systems’ Independent Research & Development (IR&D) teams have focused on expanding protection for cyber ranges, including the National Cyber Range Complexes (NCRCs). As a part of that effort, the team developed an Automated Containerized Cyber Environment (ACCE) in order to simulate real-world cyber threats.  

The NCRCs were established under the Obama administration to protect and defend the nation’s critical information systems. These closed-loop testing centers provide cyber environments used for threat portrayal and data analysis simulations to support the requirements of cyber test and evaluation, training, and mission rehearsal. 

ACCE would provide the NCRCs and other cyber ranges with advanced technology to support their cyber attack testing. The tool allows BAE Systems software engineers to design a model of a cyber environment, upload that information to the automated web service, and run cyber mission attack scenarios. During the testing, cyber defense engineers track and monitor the scenarios. 
“Our goal in creating ACCE was to develop a tool to train cyber range operators and increase their capabilities in defending their networks,” said Timothy Morris, Information Warfare and Automated Systems’ chief engineer. “At BAE Systems, we protect those who protect us, and the cyber ranges are critical to national security. They protect vital information systems that support Department of Defense missions and operations around the world.” 

When the testing is complete, BAE Systems engineers will provide the cyber range results in a risk matrix which identifies areas of high level concerns with a plan of actions and milestones for reducing those areas of risk. This will strengthen the cyber environment to prevent real world cyber attacks. 

The process of recreating a cyber environment—particularly one for secure information—is complex, but BAE Systems’ engineers understand the value of the task. “We are supporting mission success,” added Morris. “Our incredibly talented team is leading the development of this cutting-edge technology, delivering the most current tools for our Department of Defense partners.”

The secure, scalable server used to host the model cyber environments protects the information being uploaded and tested. In addition to cyber attack testing, ACCE can be used as a live action cyber training environment. 

BAE Systems provides the U.S. government with enterprise IT, engineering, and system integration services, advancing technologies and supporting evolving mission requirements. Adding the ACCE program to the company’s products provides a competitive advantage against cyber attacks. 

For more information on ACCE, please contact Timothy Morris at timothy.r.morris@baesystems.com.