Tactical Cyber Defense

The tactical network – the lean, mean, mobile, resource-constrained architecture that lives in the remote, austere, and often isolated environment – has always been somewhat of a different animal when it comes to cyber operations and network dynamics. Simply put, networks in the tactical space often perform functions in very different ways than large-scale, enterprise networks.

As such, the tactical network often falls out of consideration when organizations think of new ways to implement emerging technology. As a result, many packages of new solutions with once-helpful intentions end up being heavily specialized for these resource-rich, well-connected powerhouse networks, leaving implementation in the tactical space an exercise best left to the reader.

Tales of Interoperability

We still feel the echoes of this shortcoming in foresight today – namely in the accursed word “interoperability”, a term whose recent reputation has been blighted by a latent campaign of shoehorning bloated, overburdening technical solutions into small, constrained, austere areas with grace and impunity.

For many large-scale cyber defense initiatives (Zero-Trust being a great example), we are already finding ourselves on a similar trajectory to that of ill-fated interoperability. Notions of the future of cyber defense are quickly eclipsing the native capabilities of the tactical network. The proposed solution? Find a way for the tactical space to support more.

The ZKX approach: do more with less

Helix is a comprehensive policy enforcement software platform meant to bring unrivaled security to the tactical network, the resources it contains, and the users (and devices) that depend on it. Helix’s capabilities ensure that whatever the environment – whether it’s zero-trust, complete isolation, or merged with tens of mission partners – Helix not only serves as a focal point for securing your operations but also elevates the security of the existing technology solutions on your network.

Tested. Validated.

The Helix platform has received validation from various branches of the U.S. military. Helix has been exercised at the Naval Information Warfare Center’s (NIWCs) Cyber Advanced Naval Technological Exercise (ANTX) 2022, where our concept for a tactical zero-trust architecture received high-performance marks and conceptual validation. Helix has also been fielded as a part of U.S. Army Futures Command’s Project Convergence 2022 (PC22), where our zero-trust concept was tested in a tactical hybrid network with limited resources and intermittent connection. Helix was able to protect tactical network resources with minimum compute and throughput requirements and minimal burden on the end user.

ZKX Solutions is currently involved in further field testing, where the Helix platform will be used to support a merged, tactical mission-partner environment. Helix will dynamically enforce access policies for resources and instantaneously respond to changing network conditions: allowing merged users access to certain data resources when they meet the criteria to do so, and later denying those same users access to those same resources when they fall out of compliance.

Built for the tactical arena

ZKX Solutions is creating a breed of solutions purpose-built to sustain and foster tactical network operations. Traditional methods see big businesses overinflate their solutions in order to oversell to well-resourced enterprises around the globe. When portions of those enterprises need to forward-deploy, they are left with a suite of solutions that do not translate to the deployment space, and most often turn back to the same providers that caused this problem in the first place. The top-down model for technology in the tactical space does not work. ZKX Solutions is building cybersecurity technology that goes bottom-up.

There is no better way to prove a solution’s worthiness for real implementation than to have it thrive in the tactical arena. ZKX Solutions has proven not only this, but that our platforms and technologies scale into the larger enterprise network structure. ZKX Solutions is doing more with less and supporting the tactical cyber defense space in previously-unthought ways now and into the future.