US Army Publishes New Installations Strategy, Examining Need For Cybersecurity On Base

The US Army published its new Installations Strategy in December of 2020 which examines the need for cybersecurity on bases – particularly when proceeding with the installation of IoT technologies.

“Our installations are not a safe haven,” said Andrew Nelson, director of the Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s International Research Office in London, at a recent conference. “Particularly as we incorporate more technology and smart-cities infrastructure, we’re introducing vulnerabilities to the installation via cyber-physical threats we previously haven’t had to deal with.”

The Army Installations Strategy has the goal of improving base life so as to better support multi-domain operations.

“… we’re introducing new capabilities, new information, new data streams, that we can utilize in ways to improve the ways we operate our installations in ways we are able to provide our installations in terms of training and force projection from installations,” said Nelson.

The Army is currently piloting a number of “smart” projects, such as the Virtual Testbed for Installation Mission Effectiveness (VTIME). VTIME will gather existing data streams regarding various factors on base – such as mold detection, building energy use,  and water treatment – and display them in a virtual console. The console will give administrators a tool that allows them to understand and assess risk to a base for anything from environmental health to explosive blasts.

“Future Soldiers will expect installations to modernize at pace with civilian sector smart cities initiatives,” states the Army strategy. “Opportunities that leverage technology through creation of data-informed, smart installations will allow the Army to pivot from an industrial-age paradigm, characterized by rigidity and purpose-built specialization, to a data-rich, reconfigurable, and technology-enhanced information-age construct.”