HomeMission AreasCyber OperationsOverview 


Focus Areas

Global Information Network
group of people
  • Bring the net-centric vision to reality in tactical information networks
  • Achieve selected performance objectives for information access using a unified systems approach that considers transport, data strategies, services, information assurance, and applications
Information Assurance
  • Put high-assurance computing platforms into the hands of operational users
  • Create tools and techniques for the quantitative analysis of information assurance alternatives
Intelligence Systems
  • Create technology and system concepts to enable creation of an end-to-end Identification, Tagging, Tracking, and Locating (ID/TTL) system
  • Make advances in systems architecting leading to new, integrated, rapidly adaptable intelligence systems
Information Operations
  • Provide tools and techniques for access to denied information networks
  • Create tools and techniques for the systematic application of computer network attack to achieve predictable effects on denied networks


Many of the staff members supporting Cyber Operations programs are members of APL's Asymmetric Operations Department. Currently, more than 300 staff members are working on Cyber Operations programs. There is a broad mix of disciplines, but most of the professional staff are engineers or scientists. There is also a mix of formal education levels ranging from bachelor's degrees to master's degrees to Ph.D.s. A number of the staff have previous military experience.

Most of the staff who support Cyber Operations programs have education, skills, experience, and expertise in the following disciplines:

Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Systems Engineering
Computer Science
Computer Engineering

These staff members engage in the full range of system development, including:

Concept development
System requirements

Software development
System integration
System testing and evaluation

The specific staff skills utilized by the Cyber Operations Mission Area are listed below. In virtually every case, an additional requirement is the ability to effectively apply the fundamental principles of systems engineering in the context of the science and technologies associated with these skill sets.

  • Information system security, including expertise in:
    • Secure operating systems
    • Intrusion detection
    • Multilevel security/multiple security levels issues and solutions
    • Authentication (especially biometrics)
    • Steganography
    • Wireless security issues and solutions
    • Information system attack
  • Information system networking, including expertise in:
    • Ground-, air-, and space-based radio frequency communication
    • Mobile ad hoc networking
    • Internet protocol/multiprotocol label switching networking
    • Routing protocols and secure routing
    • Quality of service mechanisms
    • Network modeling and simulation
    • Communication electronics design
    • Network management and control
  • Information exploitation, including expertise in:
    • Database systems
    • Visualization
    • Knowledge representation and ontologies
    • Information retrieval and extraction
    • Machine learning
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Software development, testing, and integration
  • Computer processor and memory system design

(For a brief description of the composition of APL staff as a whole, see Our Staff.)