Security at the Edge Cyber Challenge

13 July 2022

Submissions Closed 06 May 2022 11:59 PM ET

U.S. Citizens Only


Purpose
SOFWERX, in collaboration with SOF Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate Network and Data Management Capability Focus Area (NDM CFA), will host a series of events to identify technologies with automated capabilities that provide edge device endpoint security, cloud security to protect data at the edge, and network edge security within SOF operational environments.

Background/Synopsis
In austere environments, edge computing devices provide the ability to handle processing on the device or local server and transmit only the relevant data by eliminating latency, which is essential for SOF Operators. Unfortunately, edge computing devices are designed to prioritize functionality and connectivity over security. This makes SOF Operators’ edge computing devices extremely vulnerable to sophisticated nation state threat actors’ cyber attacks. Edge computing devices can take essentially any form and endpoints are everywhere due to the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The SOF Operator needs to ensure they are making decisions based on trusted data and have protections against zero day attacks. The need for protection against advanced persistent threats (APTs), nation state sponsored cyber attacks, data integrity capabilities, and overall zero trust solutions for the main three components of edge computing devices are critical for the current and future SOF operational environments.

Why You Should Participate
USSOCOM seeks to enter into non-FAR or FAR-based agreements with Industry, Academic, and National Lab partners whose solutions are favorably evaluated by USSOCOM S&T Subject Matter Experts. As such, these events are considered competitive in the same manner as a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) or Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO), and solutions will be evaluated independently of one another primarily for technical merit. This serves dually as notification of the intent to research the feasibility of an agreement under 10 U. S. Code, Section 2371b and/or Section 2371b(f), and as notice of pre-solicitation activities IAW FAR 5.204.

Event Timeline
Completed Phase 1 – 05 April 2022 Virtual Collaboration Event (CE): SOFWERX will host a Virtual Collaboration Event (CE) with Industry, Academia, and Laboratory partners focused on the upcoming Cyber Challenge. During this event, Warfighters and S&T NDM CFA Scientist and Engineers (S&E) will interact with potential solution offerors and further communicate the operational needs. Participation in this event is not mandatory, however, it is designed to provide insights to ensure potential offerors understand the problem set(s) fully and to increase the likelihood of matching their technologies with Warfighter needs. The CE is also an opportunity for attendees to meet and form partnerships that may provide a more comprehensive solution. If you do not wish to participate in the event, you are free to submit your technology for review in the Cyber Challenge after 06 April. 

Completed Phase 2 – 07 April 2022 to 06 May 2022 Submissions Open: Interested respondents who have technologies that can demonstrate automated edge device security for austere environments and that meet the needs of USSOCOM are encouraged to submit their solutions for USSOCOM review. To submit your technology for potential Phase 4 attendance, please follow the submission instructions that will be near the bottom of this webpage after 07 April.

Completed Phase 3 – 09 May 2022 to 23 May 2022 Downselect: USSOCOM will downselect those respondents/submissions they feel have the highest potential to satisfy their technology needs. Favorably evaluated submissions will receive an invitation to attend the Cyber Challenge o/a 24 May.

Phase 4 – 13 July 2022 Security at the Edge Cyber Challenge: During the Cyber Challenge, selected participants will demonstrate automated edge device security for austere environments in a Capture-the-Flag type event. If the USSOCOM evaluation panel favorably evaluates a solution, negotiations for Phase 5 may immediately begin.

Phase 5 – Path Forward: Successfully negotiated awards may fall under any combination of these categories:

  • Other Transaction Agreements under 10 U.S. Code, Section 2371 or 2371b* (prototyping/production follow-on)
  • Procurement contract for experimental purposes 10 U. S. Code, Section 2373
    Business to business research and development agreement as a sub-award (15 U.S. Code, Section 3715)
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (15 U.S. Code, Section 3710a)
  • *An award under 10 U. S. Code, Section 2371b may result in the further award of a follow-on production agreement without additional competition based on successful prototype completion. The Government may make this follow-on production award even if all successful prototype criteria are not fully met during the prototype project.

How You Can Participate
Government, Industry, Academia, National Labs, and Non-Traditional Attendees

  1. Review Security at the Edge CE Stakeholder Brief: Click Here to Download

Questions?  
For event-related questions, please contact Lindsay Horst, lindsay.horst@sofwerx.org

-