Northrop Grumman Launches Cyber Center

By Sarah Sicard

By Sarah Sicard

Northrop Grumman, in an effort to address its clients' most dangerous cyber threats, announced on Nov. 19 the launch of its new Advanced Cyber Technology Center.
The center is designed primarily to increase speed and resiliency when it comes to attacks on its clients' networks, said company executives speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 

"The ACTC is a new way of combining expertise from a force of more than 2,400 cyber professionals with an array of intellectual property from key partners across the government, industry, and academia to address our … toughest cyber challenges," said Vern Boyle, director of technology at Northrop Grumman's cyber division.

"We are an increasingly cyber-dependent society," said Shawn Purvis, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's cyber division. "The center's charter is to create a more mature differentiated offering that will respond to our customers most critical challenges."

"Vulnerabilities in our information infrastructure pose significant threats to our national and economic society," she added.

Threats will continue to grow. Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, costly and harder to detect, said Dennis McCallam, director and distinguished technical fellow of Northrop Grumman's cyber division.

"The dynamic nature of the cyber threat requires a new approach to the problem — one that leverages expertise and technological innovation from every mission area of our company," Purvis added.

Not only is this happening in the commercial sector, but also globally on the state level. She cited the recent breach of the State Department as one of many examples of unacceptable cyber attacks. Moreover, "cyber threats can and have changed the battlefield dynamics," she added.

The eventual goal is to preserve mission critical functions while under attack, Boyle said. McCallam said there are dangers such as aircraft in combat losing navigation abilities.

Northrop Grumman executives said the center will allow its analysts to be better trained and equipped. There are not enough cyber security analysts to address thethreats seen today, McCallam said. A mixture of well-trained analysts and automated systems is the key to addressing threats in a timely manner.

The ACTC has four regional cyber technology hubs: two in the United States, one in Australia and one that opened recently in the United Kingdom.

Executives said the ACTC is the next step towards ensuring that the company maintains cyber programs to address the global threats that are constantly evolving.

"Through the ACTC, we can collaborate across our global presence to develop strategic capabilities that address a variety of customer and mission needs," Purvis said. "We're pursuing the best, most innovative ideas and investing affordably to bolster our nation's cyber resiliency."

Topics: C4ISR, Cybersecurity, Intelligence

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