A critical cyber tool – Project Ike was officially delivered to US Cyber Command, after initially being developed by DARPA.
Project Ike is a prototyping effort that got its start under the name Plan X in 2013. After DARPA, it was moved to the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office in July 2019 with an award to contractor Two Six Labs for $95 million dollars.
In early April 2021, the program finally moved under the Joint Cyber Command and Control (JCC2) program management office.
The JCC2 program seeks to integrate data from a variety of sources to help inform and support commanders’ decisions, measure readiness down to the individual level, visualize cyberspace and provide situational awareness of forces in operations at all echelons.
This is exactly what the Project Ike is aimed at. Two Six Labs coordinated its efforts with the Strategic Capabilities Office to improve the system.
The developer says that with Project Ike, standardized military processes are finally brought to the cyber warfare domain. Whether that’s for Cyber Command or other agencies and partners, Ike can identify risks, streamline responses and track the outcome.
When Project Ike was initially transitioned to the Strategic Capabilities Office, it was a specific tactical capability. The office sought to scale it to the highest strategic levels to drive the visualizations that come from tactical data.
JCC2 will leverage the Project Ike prototype as one of the baseline capabilities for battle management and continue to work toward an integrated joint cyber C2 solution.
Two Six Labs envisions Ike as an app-based model orchestration platform in which a user can access all types of information and data feeds from a single dashboard to provide better situational awareness and decision aids for commanders.
Currently, with today’s technology, this requires several systems, and Ike would combine them.
In future phases, the developer plans to use machine learning in order to train the system to make recommendations on a course of action for a particular commander or cyber team.
It also could recommend what a potential network could look like in several months from a bandwidth perspective or service interruptions.
Moreover, from a strategic level, Ike allows commanders to see both offensive and defensive teams operating in cyberspace as well as friendly and adversary forces.
Project Ike is being used by operational forces, thousands of them.
In essence, the system is aimed at making cyber warfighting as simplified and streamlined as possible for the US and its allies. Be it for defensive or offensive operations.
Currently, JCC2 is achieving its goal of developing new capabilities and creating a development environment and infrastructure and integrating situational awareness capabilities.
The entire scope of activities and efforts of JCC2 is unknown, as there’s very few details that are released, but it appears quite ambitious and facing any future potentiality.