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Cybersecurity and Information Assurance: Technological Approaches to Achieve Software and Mission Assurance
This presentation focuses on meeting real-word opportunities and challenges through software and systems technology, with a specific focus on software and information assurance. The presentation highlights technological approaches currently used to increase the level of confidence that software-enabled systems function as intended (and no more) and are free of vulnerabilities, either intentionally or unintentionally designed or inserted in software, throughout the life cycle. Software is a critical part of virtually all of today's economic, social, and military systems, driving much of their complexity and emergent behavior. At the same time, most software is tightly integrated with hardware in systems that must operate in the physical world. The tight coupling of systems and software creates assurance challenges across the acquisition life cycle. Software that does not function as promised or delivers unintended functionality poses significant risks to our national security. State and non-state actors are conducting disruptive attacks on defense systems by exploiting hardware and software vulnerabilities. A core underlying issue is, as Dr. Brooks noted, “software is unlike other forms of engineering as other forms of engineering are like unto themselves,” which has resulted in misunderstandings and disconnections among approaches taken by software and systems engineers in achieving system and software assurance for software-reliant systems. This presentation charts the evolving struggle to adequately define assurance in systems engineering activities associated with the acquisition, development, and sustainment of software-intensive systems in which software enables most of the functional capabilities. This struggle is most critical to the successful development of complex cyber-physical systems, but there are also significant challenges to the effective development, fielding, and sustainment of most computational systems. Industry, academia, and government are meeting these challenges with a rich set of ideas, technologies, and best practices. This presentation reviews work by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), the Department of Defense Joint Federated Assurance Center (JFAC), and the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to address software and mission assurance. The presentation also leverages knowledge gained from relationships with industry, academia, other FFRDCs, and government in their quest to pursue software and mission assurance in the face of the changing and expanding role that software plays as the building material for modern society.
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Kenneth Nidiffer (Primary Presenter), Software Engineering Institute, email@example.com;
Dr. Kenneth E. Nidiffer has over 55 years of government, industry, and academic experience in the field of software and systems engineering. Ken has successfully executed positions as a Colonel in the United States Air Force, Senior Vice-President at Fidelity Investments, Vice President of the Software and Systems Consortium, and Director of Technical Operations/Engineering at Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is currently the Director of Strategic Plans for Government Programs at the SEI. Ken received his BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, Indiana; his MS degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Ohio; his MBA degree from Auburn University, Alabama; and his DSc in Systems Engineering from George Washington University, Washington, DC.