Battle ready for the fifth domain

Cpl Mark Doran

With cyber security moving to the peak of global agendas, advanced training is continuing for personnel who will work in new cyber security roles. 

A group of personnel is attending the University of NSW Canberra cyber operations courses run by the Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS) at ADFA. Coming from varied corps, the students challenged themselves during the all-rank course in subjects covering passive and active cyber defence operations. 

The course will assist soldiers to incorporate cyberspace considerations into planning and operations while reinforcing the importance of security and defensive measures. 

Lt-Col Michael Mudie, of Cyberspace Operations at Army HQ, said the partnership with the ACCS proved to be critical for the development of Army's cyber capability. 

"The training provided by ACCS helped us rapidly grow a workforce to operate as part of a joint, combined or interagency force element, while enabling greater alignment with industry and academia best-practice," he said.LCpl Anthony Neale, of DFSS, is an electronic warfare operator with experience as an intelligence analyst. As a student on the cyber operations course he said many of the subjects were technical and in-depth, while others were more operationally focused. 

"We need to understand machine code, so there are a lot of ones and zeros, but the instructors are at the top of the cyber security game," he said. 

"Our reverse engineering course lecturer, Dr Cesare, is a highly accomplished researcher and although some of the theory may be basic for him, it was quite advanced for us. 

"It was the most difficult part of the course." 

LCpl Neale said cyberspace was the fifth warfighting domain. "Cyber operations are a farreaching capability and as our technology continues to improve and affect more of our life so does our need for information security," he said. 

LCpl Neale said he planned to implement the cutting-edge knowledge from the course into future training packages at DFSS.

"The school's thrust at the moment is for threat-centric modular training so we will be creating basic, intermediate and advanced packages we can deliver to Army, Navy and Air Force and provide awareness training for Defence civilians," he said.

Sig Alana Mannix, of 7CSR, joined RASigs hoping to further her career in information technology.When the information systems technician heard of Army's developing cyber roles, Sig Mannix said she began studying and attended cyber security classes at 7CSR.

"My friends might call me a geek, but I take it as a compliment," she said.

"I want to achieve a higher potential by working in cyber security, using my skills and experience to take down the rising threats to developing technologies and networks.

"Our future depends on us being able to defend our command and control networks.

"The course was insightful and challenging – I'm looking forward to using my new skills."

Originally published in Army Newspaper