DR. ALEXANDER KOTT earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1989, where he researched AI approaches to invention of complex systems. He serves as the US Army Research Laboratory’s Chief Scientist in Adelphi, MD. In this role he provides leadership in development of ARL technical strategy, maintaining technical quality of ARL research, and
representing ARL to external technical community. Between 2009 and 2016, he was the Chief, Network Science Division, Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, ARL, responsible for fundamental research and applied development in network science and science for cyber defense. In 2003-2008, he served as a Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) Program Manager. His earlier positions included Director of R&D at Carnegie Group, Pittsburgh, PA. There, his work focused on novel information technology approaches, such as Artificial Intelligence, to complex problems in engineering design, and planning and control in manufacturing, telecommunications and aviation industries. Dr. Kott received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award, in October 2008. He published over 80 technical papers and served as the co-author and primary editor of over ten books.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) received the first salvos in the battle for cybersecurity as early as three decades ago. In terms of technology history, it was an astonishingly long time ago. Before most people ever heard of the Internet. Before there were web browsers. Long before the smartphones. Back in 1986, the laboratory withstood attacks by Markus Hess, a Soviet-sponsored hacker who had successfully penetrated dozens of U.S. military computer sites. In his bestselling book, The Cuckoo’s Egg, the pioneering U.S. cyber defender, Cliff Stoll, describes how he monitored the hacker’s networks activities in the fall of 1986: “He then tried the Army’s Ballistic Research Lab’s computers in Aberdeen, Maryland. The Milnet took only a second to connect, but BRL’s passwords defeated him: he couldn’t get through” (Stoll 1989).
An ever increasing number of battlefield devices that are capable of collecting, processing, storing, and communicating information are rapidly becoming interconnected. The staggering number of connected devices on the battlefield greatly increases the possibility that an adversary could find ways…