Military Embedded Systems

Communications and cyber challenges persist in military and defense realms, study finds

News

December 11, 2020

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Communications and cyber challenges persist in military and defense realms, study finds
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner.

WASHINGTON, D.C. and CARLSBAD, Calif. Even as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) makes changes to improve its communications technologies, a new study -- conducted by the Government Business Council, the research division of Government Executive Media Group and communications company Viasat -- reveals that a number of challenges remain in the military's quest to deploy a successful military communications technology strategy for the multidomain battlefield. 

Findings from the second annual "State of Military Communications" study reveal that respondents report the top three causes of defense-communications technology deficiencies in their agencies are limited funding, incompatibilities with legacy architectures, and cultural complacency. Additionally, the study authors report that cultural complacency was also cited as the number one reason why defense agencies continue to contract with companies from the traditional defense industrial base (TDIB) as opposed to companies from the so-called new defense industrial base (NDIB).

Study respondents said that secure connectivity is the top factor that must be addressed in defense communications techology: When asked about their agency's preparedness for a cyberattack on defense communications infrastructure, confidence levels of those surveyed were low, with only 39% of respondents indicating that they were "moderately confident" in their agencies' preparedness, with 16% saying they were "not at all confident" and only 8% reporting feeling "extremely confident."

On the topic of acquisition, 52% of respondents suggested that increased participation from nontraditional companies -- including those from the NDIB -- in the DoD acquisition process could expose the military to the most up-to-date technology and business processes.

"As the defense landscape evolves, global military prowess will no longer be determined by artillery alone; command over information -- and the digital channels that convey it -- will determine the victor," said Daniel Thomas, director, Research & Strategic Insights, Government Business Council. "This year's 'State of Military Communications' survey continued to highlight the need for the DoD to increase its communications modernization efforts to remain competitive against global adversaries to drive real-time decision-making and information sharing."

The entire report can be accessed on the ViaSat website

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