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Breaking Bad: Reforming Cyber Acquisition via Innovative Strategies

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Technical Report

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Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The acquisition of offensive cyber operations tools presents unique challenges and opportunities. For the development of cyber programs, the traditionally slow pace and high costs of Department of Defense acquisition can be improved upon via the implementation of innovative acquisition strategies. Within the current acquisition framework, techniques such as embedded certification teams, utilization of national laboratories, omnibus contracts and support contract vehicles can all be tailored to improve the process. Looking outside the current acquisition framework and organizational culture, cyber tools could be developed and acquired via crowdsourcing, outsourcing, fly-offs, and public-private partnerships. Analyses of these eight innovative techniques demonstrate that legitimate options to rapidly develop and acquire effective offensive cyber operations programs not only exist, but they are within reach today. By convincing the acquisition institution to further adapt its processes, and by mitigating certain security risks associated with these techniques, the acquisition community can leverage these innovative strategies to revolutionize cyber development for the Department of Defense.

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