Exploring a Threat-focused Acquisition Methodology using Multi-Criteria Decision Methods to increase delivery-cycles for Information and Cyber-related Capabilities Open Access
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The use of information has dramatically changed over the past decade. In addition to traditional cyber-attacks, there has been an increase in the use of social-media to spread misinformation and opinion through the internet. The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is actively developing capabilities to defend against these cyberspace and information threats. Unfortunately, one of the principal dilemmas of this challenge is the speed at which these threats can be introduced. Adversaries are not constrained by U.S. regulations allowing deployment of new threats simply by modifying an available commercial product or application. The DOD needs similar agility to deliver counter-threat capabilities while remaining compliant with regulations. This research centers on increasing the government’s delivery speed by adding a transformational threat-focused acquisition method to compliment the traditional capability-based development process. The DOD’s current resourcing, programming, and acquisition processes are studied to offer a pragmatic synergistic threat-focused approach to continuously resource, research, and provide the latest in available technology to the information environment. This recommended approach offers an institutional method to acquire technology targeting delivery within months while maintaining the inherent ability to annually transition these products into the traditional process for sustainability. To enhance the speed of the research and refresh capability, the use of multi-criteria decision models (MCDM) are evaluated to accelerate the assessment of alternatives and engineering trade-offs. A mathematical model is provided to assess the selection of decision criteria and moreover its impact on the final alternative selection. Sensitivity analysis techniques are then used to identify the points where outcome probabilities are subject to change given different criteria. Ultimately, a stable methodology to accelerate the DOD’s acquisition of cyber-unique capabilities is provided.