Army

June 20, 2014

EPG’s network forensics makes impact at Army’s NIE

Tags:
Ray Ragan
U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground

The Army Network Integration Evaluation, NIE, is a large-scale, semi-annual field evaluation of network and non-network capabilities. The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground, USAEPG, traditionally provides test and evaluation support and instrumentation to NIEs. However, with NIE 14.2, the latest evaluation, USAEPG provided the additional support of a network forensics team that made a positive impact on network troubleshooting, reliability and network protection.

FORT BLISS, Texas – The Army’s semi-annual, large-scale Network Integration Evaluation, NIE, saw the technology of network forensics make an impact at NIE 14.2, the latest NIE, which concluded earlier this month.

The Fort Huachuca-headquartered U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground, USAEPG, traditionally provides expertise in instrumentation for technology-based systems and is the Army’s designated tester for C4ISR systems, as part of the Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC. USAEPG supported the U.S. Army Operational Test Command, under ATEC, during this latest NIE. This year, in addition to supporting with instrumentation, USAEPG brought a network forensics team to the technology-centric field evaluation.

“The [network forensics] team we took out there brought a commercial-off-the-shelf suite of software,” said Sgt. Maj. John Herring, senior enlisted advisor for USAEPG, “and produced a state-of-the-art package that was accessible by everyone who was out there.”

“Our military relies on networked systems to fight and win our nation’s wars,” said Col. Tim Karcher, USAOTC chief of staff. “Network forensics tools that EPG brought to the fight allow us to look inside the network, to peel back the onion, and quickly resolve problems during these types of test events.”

According to Ed Watt, an Army Civilian and project engineer with USAEPG, network forensics offers network operators and systems administrators the ability to monitor network traffic and data in real time. This allows technology professionals to establish a baseline of how normal network traffic should behave on the monitored network. This capability enables these professionals to identify network issues quickly, such as improperly configured or failing equipment and unauthorized use, among other network issues.

“When you start cleaning up the small things, the network gets better, data goes faster, all of a sudden, it’s a force multiplier,” said Watt, referring to the value of an efficient network for military operations.

The network forensics team provided support to all the participants of NIE, in essence creating a help desk-like support element for the event. Participants asked the network forensics team for assistance in characterizing or optimizing their respective network, whether carrying data or voice, at the tactical or operational levels. The network forensics team responded to nearly 100 requests for assistance, all with successful outcomes, according to Ari Nguyen, who is also an Army Civilian and project engineer with USAEPG.

“It’s a very good help desk tool, with very quick turnaround,” said Nguyen. “If something was acting up, you may not know it at the application or user level, but for them [the network forensics team], they could see it [network issue] pop up.”

Offering a Soldier’s perspective, Herring said network forensics should be considered for all future network exercises, evaluations or demonstrations, because of the fidelity of the information available to operators, engineers and evaluators.

Network forensics makes it easy to troubleshoot problems, tune a network, recover lost data and enforce network integrity.

“When people were probing the network, those guys could see all that,” he added. “It’s a phenomenal tool for commanders to use.”

Network forensics, though relatively new, is increasingly becoming the tool of choice on civilian and corporate networks, offering not only network tuning, but also intrusion detection. This tool is considered a proactive network protection tool, as it allows network operators to identify unusual network traffic and respond to compromised systems well ahead of more traditional means of detection, like antivirus.

“Any large-scale network test could benefit from this [network forensics],” said Watt. “There is a niche and it needs to get filled; people need this information.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Scout-1954

FINAL ISSUE: Scout newspaper prints final edition after more than 61 years

Times are changing. Gone are the days when a kid stood on the corner waving the newspaper and crying out the latest headline. Gone are the days when news could wait until the presses had finished rolling. Today news is instanta...
 
 
Jennifer-Caprioli

Scout on the Street

Joan Vasey Managing Editor As managing editor of The Fort Huachuca Scout for the last eight years, I’ve seen a lot of transitions as military and civilian personnel have come and gone, including Scout reporters. Threaded thro...
 

 

Plan now for gate changes beginning Aug. 3

Significant changes to installation access at Fort Huachuca will begin Aug. 3 including a return to the original gate names and background checks for all individuals 18 years and older without an approved form of DOD identification. What is now known as the Main Gate, will return to its historical name, Buffalo Soldier Gate, and...
 
 
Julianne E. Cochran

Help wanted: Enlisted aides in valued roles for Army leaders

Julianne E. Cochran An Enlisted Aide Training Course instructor shows a student the specifics of setting up a general officer’s uniform during a practical exercise. WASHINGTON – Enlisted aides are considered an elite group ...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Vacation Bible School attracts 130 attendees this year

Stephanie Caffall From left, Trey Roberts, 10, John Pecic, 9, and Kyla gross, 7, hold Bible point signs during snack time. The Bible point on July 16 was God has the power to forgive. Fort Huachuca’s Main Post Chapel hosted i...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>