UMIS ImageWhen Australia’s naval fleet is at sea, protecting the ships’ operating systems from cyber threats is critical. That’s why the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) uses KBR’s cyber terrain mapping tool, Achilles.

The tool, developed in Australia earlier this year, is used to support Navy cyber-worthiness, or cyber-maturity and system integrity. Cyber-worthiness enables Defence platforms, systems and networks to continue operating effectively in contested cyber environments.

The KBR team analyses a system’s structure and its interfaces with other systems and components to identify ever-evolving cyber threats and detect potential cyber vulnerabilities. Achilles enables KBR to model the cyber environment and map system components and significant characteristics including computer networks, software and servers.

Using Achilles, the KBR team then produce 3D visualisations of the cyber system and its interfaces.

“This allows us to support Navy against contemporary threats and recommend improvements to the existing cyber-worthiness policy setting,” said Daniel Pilipczyk, KBR Delivery Manager. “Just like a map helps navigation in the physical world, cyber terrain maps assist in understanding and safeguarding against cyber threats to prevent impairment of critical systems and capabilities.”

To test the Achilles tool in a real-world environment during its development, the KBR team spent several days on board HMAS Adelaide conducting software audits and producing cyber terrain maps aligned to international cybersecurity standards and frameworks. KBR worked alongside RAN personnel to record data and map a visual hierarchy of potential vulnerabilities.

“The insights from this data allows Navy to anticipate and mitigate cyber threats and make informed decisions that maximise a ship’s availability,” Daniel said. “In turn, this can optimise maintenance periods for a ship’s systems and minimise downtime, allowing Navy to increase the time its vessels can be at sea.

“The repercussions of cyber threats can be severe and far-reaching – we are proud that KBR’s work is assisting the Navy with strengthening its systems and helping to safeguard Australia,” Pilipczyk said. “Working alongside Navy personnel on board an Australian vessel enabled us to understand Navy’s needs in more depth and see first-hand how they operate,” he said. “This not only helped us develop better-informed recommendations for the Navy and tailor KBR’s solution but it was also an incredible personal experience.”


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