REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT)-- Just about everyone is aware of cyber risks these days, from data breaches to computer viruses.
But weapons systems used by war fighters are also at risk for cyber attacks. So leaders at Redstone Arsenal say a unique cyber campus coming to the arsenal will combat the problem in new and aggressive ways.
The US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is already a leader in cutting-edge weapons work. They've recently acquired two buildings at Redstone they plan to dedicate to this cyber project, and it's already underway.
"Because this is a fairly new and evolving threat, we tend to bolt that on at the end once we've fielded a system," explained Cyber Lead Rob Goldsmith. "That's very expensive and it's not optimal."
He says that's why at this new cyber campus, experts will design cyber security into aviation and missile platforms from the start. Around 45 team members are already working at the facility, but Goldsmith explained more work is needed before they can hire more and bring on additional agencies. He says it won't just be AMRDEC, but other entities around the arsenal all centralized in this location.
"What we're trying to do is bring together multiple disciplines and physically co-locate them so we aren't stove-piping our expertise," he said. "We're actually looking across the whole platform, not just the software or just the hardware."
He said this kind of teamwork and togetherness can help them attack cyber issues from all sides.
"We want to facilitate an interaction between the offense and the defensive side of cyber," he said. "One of our biggest problems we have with cyber is that we're not talking to each other... the more we open up the lines of communication, the more secure we are going to be."
He says there are many challenges when dealing with cyber threats, but the work planned for this cyber campus will surely make a difference.
"It's going to, I think, get at [those challenges]... in a way that nobody is doing across the Department of Defense today," said Goldsmith.
The campus is expected to be fully operational in 2017.