Advanced Cyber Security Solutions for Maintenance Recovery Systems and Support Devices

NCMS Project #: 142109

Problem: Commercial vehicle and maintenance support device manufacturers are digitizing processes that were previously mechanical and introducing external communication ports and internet connections to machines that previously operated in isolation. But when everything including smartphones, maintenance support devices, in-cab computers and back-end systems are linked via the internet, the cyber risks increase exponentially.  In addition, once valuable data is gathered and stored within the backend telematics or maintenance servers, it can be accessed by a malicious party and used to either harm the vehicle, the commercial companies, or steal sensitive information whether personal customer data or corporate intellectual property.  

Benefit: Advanced maintenance support devices and test equipment are important tools for vehicle mechanics and road-side assistants to triage, quickly diagnose, and repair maintenance faults in a variety of commercial and personal vehicles.  The proposed solution will design and develop a more capable, cyber-hardened maintenance support device that enables protected vehicle recovery and maintenance operations resulting in more reliable repairs and increased vehicle availability.

Solution/Approach: This initiative will leverage advanced commercial cyber security software, modular open system architecture, security protection tools and best practices to ensure the security of a family of maintenance recovery vehicles and their on-board maintenance support devices and equipment.  Using the M88 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) as a surrogate, this effort will demonstrate how to reduce the possibility of a successful cyber-attack, and how to mitigate the potential consequences of a successful intrusion into other vehicles and maintenance support systems via wired and wireless entry points during maintenance activities.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Mitigate vulnerabilities 
  • Improve safety 
  • Reduce asset downtime and maintenance costs 
  • Increase cyber security protection 
  • Maximize warfighter lethality, reliability and durability 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Program Executive Office – Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) 
  • U.S. Army Project Director – Main Battle Tank Systems (PD MBTS) 
  • U.S. Army Product Director – Combat Vehicle Recovery Systems (PD CRS)

Industry Participation:

  • Leonardo DRS, DRS Land Electronics
  • Ricardo Defense
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • CBM+/predictive maintenance