Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Department of Defense

Insights from SOF Week 2023


By maintaining effective collaboration and innovation, the U.S. furthers its quality defense. This year’s SOF Week conference was held May 8-11 in Tampa, Florida. Organized by the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation (GSOF) and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the event offered attendees an exhibition hall and extensive networking and educational programming to discuss advanced physical and digital security measures within defense operations.

The Importance of People

The Marine Forces Special Operations Command is initiating a new program called Cognitive Raider. This initiative’s goal is to operate parallel to the Marine Corps by making a difference on the battlefield through a robust workforce. There are several traits the Cognitive Raider initiative is looking for in applicants. Individuals must be prepared to secure assets against adversaries and be able to operate, not only as an individual, but also as a part of a team. Other vital traits are professionalism, dependability and modesty in relation to their achievements. The Marine Forces deliberately select candidates who display character and are prepared to learn special skills that build the organization up for success.

As the military aims to advance along with the dynamic evolution of technology, they must prepare for significant and unpredictable changes. Agencies may need to repurpose existing technology and investments to gain results in new areas that were previously considered low priority projects.

Carahsoft SOF Week Recap Blog Embedded Image 2023Artificial Intelligence Driving Innovation

In the digital age, and in the U.S. specifically, the economic ecosystem is digitally connected. This makes cybersecurity vital to every part of daily life. Bad actors can utilize AI’s abilities to hack software before defensive tools have been put in place; however, there are ways to mitigate these challenges.

AI technology drives efficient capability by improving agency understanding of technology and by accelerating decision-making. While humans can only make a few decisions a minute, AI can make hundreds of thousands of precise calculations and execute accordingly. This makes AI helpful in performing penetration tests to identify security weakness for offensive cyber operations. In finding these weaknesses, agencies can get ahead in the cybersecurity battle against threats.

Innovation in U.S. Central Command

Innovation is a vital part of the national defense sphere, and emerging technology can be leveraged to drive agency growth. This means employees must be properly prepared to use new software. To achieve this, agencies need to implement mechanisms and processes that encourage employees to enact change.

Team collaboration can help agencies reach grounded conclusions. Having tech partners is vital, as agencies can swap information on their respective expertise to help each other accomplish their goals and optimize processes. Schuyler Moore, the Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Central Command said she collaborates with other team members “…consistently to scan and ask folks about what processes are working, and what good ideas [they] have that might improve on how we do things.”

To best support timely tech updates and modernization, agencies should begin by shifting the organizational structure to create new pipelines and entities to sustain long-term innovation. In addition, agencies should prioritize projects in correlation with the shifting agency needs. By utilizing recurring exercises and group conversations, organizations can coordinate employee efforts and set expectations on priorities and goals.

Collaboration around new technology drives important innovation for national security. By facilitating the sharing of these ideas, SOF Week has spurred on new defense developments and shared knowledge.

 

To learn more about the topics discussed at SOF Week, view Francis Rose’s full Fed Gov Today episode co-sponsored by Carahsoft.

*The information contained in this blog has been written based off the thought-leadership discussions presented by speakers at SOF Week 2023.*

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