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DOD employs AI tool for cybersecurity directive

DOD employs AI tool for cybersecurity directive

Cybersecurity Tool

The Department of Defense (DOD) is now using a tool developed by Army Cyber Command to fulfill a key directive in President Joe Biden’s artificial intelligence executive order. The directive instructed the Secretary of Defense to develop, test, evaluate, and deploy AI capabilities to discover and remediate vulnerabilities in critical U.S.

Government software, systems, and networks. U.S. Cyber Command (Cybercom) is leading this effort in collaboration with Army Cyber Command, using the Panoptic Junction (PJ) tool. PJ was initially developed in response to Lt.

Gen. Maria Barrett’s guidance to reduce complexity for the workforce and automate tasks on a scalable level.

A “tiger team” of cyberspace operations, AI, and machine learning experts analyzed how to automate key parts of the continuous monitoring process.

DoD advances ai-driven cybersecurity tools

This process is crucial for detecting “living off the land” tactics, where actors use legitimate tools for malicious purposes.

Automating these tasks enables authorizers, system owners, and cybersecurity service providers to maintain a continuously updated view of system vulnerabilities. The development of PJ involved a partnership between the Army Cyber Command Technology and Innovation Center Lab, industry partners, and Cybercom.

Upon evaluating PJ, Cybercom found it suitable to meet the requirements of Biden’s executive order. Booz Allen Hamilton was tasked with building the tool, while the C5ISR Center serves as the “tool champion” and recipient.

Major General Lorna Mahlock, commander of the Cyber National Mission Force, Cybercom’s sub-unit tasked with defending against digital threats, emphasized the importance of this initiative. She noted that adversaries targeting critical infrastructure aim to disrupt services and gain military advantage.

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Although PJ’s development preceded the disclosure of the Volt Typhoon threat, the working group adjusted PJ’s focus to include these techniques. The tool uses AI-driven access to integrate threat intelligence with continuous cybersecurity monitoring tools, enabling rapid detection and response to malicious activities.

The Army Cyber Command highlighted the importance of continuously monitoring IT systems to enable faster detection, rapid response, and comprehensive vulnerability management while reducing operational complexity. Multiple assessment iterations began in April, with a final prototype expected to be delivered in July.

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