AFIT hosts Cybersecurity and Safety Technical Interchange meeting

The Air Force Institute of Technology School of Systems and Logistics hosted the first-ever System Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) Cybersecurity and Safety Technical Interchange Meeting Oct. 22-23. (Metro News Service photo)

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The Air Force Institute of Technology School of Systems and Logistics hosted the first-ever System Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) Cybersecurity and Safety Technical Interchange Meeting Oct. 22-23. (Metro News Service photo)

The Air Force Institute of Technology School of Systems and Logistics hosted the first-ever System Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) Cybersecurity and Safety Technical Interchange Meeting Oct. 22-23. Sponsored by the Air Force Cyber Technical Center of Excellence, supported by the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and endorsed by Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, Air Education and Training Command commander, the meeting identified how U.S. Air Force program managers and engineers can use STPA to manage complex acquisition problems.

Created by Professor Nancy Leveson of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 2000s, STPA is a top-down, systems engineering hazard analysis that has been applied to a number of industries around the world. STPA’s ability to identify unsafe emergent system properties makes it ideal for analyzing complex weapon system interactions and cybersecurity requirements.

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Additionally, STPA includes humans as part the system and as such can be used to analyze technological systems with human operators, organizational systems, and sociotechnical systems.

The two-day Technical Interchange Meeting brought experts from Test Pilot School, 53rd Electronic Warfare Group, 412th TW Safety, Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Boston Cybernetics Institute, the U.S. Air Force Academy and MIT to discuss the application of System Theoretic Process Analysis to Air Force acquisitions.

The first day included a keynote presentation by Leveson, an introduction to STPA by Dr. John Thomas from MIT and an overview of STPA for Security, an adaptation of STPA for application to cybersecurity, by Col. William Young.

The second day discussed results from STPA pilot-programs conducted at multiple organizations across the Air Force Test Center. Led by Maj. Sarah Summers and Maj. Stephen Satava, with essential support from Capt. Daniel Schelkoph, Lt. Col. Daniel Montes and Col. William Young, this two-day event reached 138 participants (54 in-residence and 84 online) with the expectation to reach many more though online content and future courses.

For more information, Department of Defense common access card holders should visit https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/stpa.

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