National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Discussion of Selected Topics from the Restricted Report
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
Page 48
Suggested Citation:"Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
Page 49

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Conclusions Improvements needed at the scale necessary to ensure a secure and reliable supply of microelectronic components for USAF weapon systems cannot be ef- fectively implemented at the program level. Delegating supply chain risk manage- ment to the program offices not only results in costly duplication of effort but also creates nonuniform implementation of policy and practices and presents yet another threat vector. For a supply chain risk management and threat assessment program to be ef- fective, it must be authorized, implemented, and monitored from the highest levels of the USAF. The threat to USAF microelectronic components spans the entire life cycle of USAF weapon systems. Security and reliability start at the earliest stages of research and development through acquisition of the system to sustainment of the platform. Each phase of the life cycle is currently organizationally distributed across the USAF. The plethora of existing and new SCRM policies imposes many challenges for program offices regarding implementation and determining acceptable risk responses. The tasks are compounded by the complexities of the supply chain as highlighted throughout this report. New requirements on handling critical com- ponents, the prevalence of counterfeits, analyzing vulnerabilities, and determining appropriate risk responses are time-consuming and potentially overwhelming to the engineering resources available to the program offices. Current policy requires that program offices obtain all-source intelligence information on potential threats, determine the level of risk to their weapon system, and then proactively develop risk mitigation strategies that may require alteration of their program plans through the 48

Conclusions 49 implementation of countermeasures. This level of attention requires considerable manpower and expertise. However, due to limits in staffing and technical expertise, program offices are performing these functions without a detailed understanding of the potential vulnerabilities in the platform and therefore, unknowingly assum- ing risk. The current program efforts are genuine but lacking in experience and qual- ity to implement the policies and achieve meaningful results. These observances represent a “best effort” by the programs but fall short of being effective. Due to the imbalance in the cost-benefit trade-off, it is not in the program’s best interest to proactively look for vulnerabilities within its systems. However, by providing standardized, approved assessment tools and access to both component expertise and threat information through a central organization that is resourced appropri- ately, the USAF would realize reduction in time and effort and generate improved results in both system security and reliability. The assessment of threats facing the microelectronics community is daunting, but the USAF can mitigate many of the immediate challenges by implementing better OPSEC policies for all weapon systems—not just those in the early stages of the acquisition life cycle. Protecting program information must become a prior- ity. Finally, the USAF is not facing this challenge alone. The whole of government approach outlined in the MINSEC program should be fully leveraged by whatever approach the USAF develops to address the challenge of ensuring secure and reli- able electronics in USAF weapon systems.

Next: Summary of Findings and Recommendations »
The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $60.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

High-performance electronics are key to the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF’s) ability to deliver lethal effects at the time and location of their choosing. Additionally, these electronic systems must be able to withstand not only the rigors of the battlefield but be able to perform the needed mission while under cyber and electronic warfare (EW) attack. This requires a high degree of assurance that they are both physically reliable and resistant to adversary actions throughout their life cycle from design to sustainment.

In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop titled Optimizing the Air Force Acquisition Strategy of Secure and Reliable Electronic Components, and released a summary of the workshop. This publication serves as a follow-on to provide recommendations to the USAF acquisition community.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!