National Security Innovation Network, Cyber

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Hacks is currently hosting “Reality Bytes: Visualizing Cyber Operations,” a virtual competition, through May 25.

The competition began on May 9, and it focuses on developing concepts, technologies or systems to improve the ability of personnel to visualize, monitor and respond to cybersecurity events.

“NSIN Hacks connects military problems with skilled problem solvers to solve DoD problems over a short, intensive time period,” said Kedar Pavgi, NSIN program manager. “At the end of a hackathon, winning teams continue developing their technology solutions with the DoD to accelerate the delivery of affordable, integrated and interoperable capabilities for the military.”

“Reality Bytes” offers a total prize pot of $70,000, consisting of four awards: two $25,000 awards for winners in the startup track and two $10,000 prizes in the student track.

“Great problem-solving skills and an innovative spirit really set the winners of these competitions apart from others,” Pavgi said. “Anyone can participate in NSIN Hacks and join a team to help solve real-world military problems. Any other skills tied to the key technology verticals – in this case, being cybersecurity and AR/VR – would also be useful for the problem solvers.”

Competitors have two focus areas: hardware and software/data.

The hardware focus involves questions of AR/VR technologies in visualizing cyberspace operations, interfaces that manage and control cybersecurity operations, commercial-off-the-shelf technologies that enhance user experience, and how these technologies can be applied to field scenarios.

The software/data focus addresses issues such as fusing and visualizing data sets in cyber operations, visualization tools that track/monitor threats, and using HUD or gaming interfaces to present data, among others.

The National Security Innovation Network is a Department of Defense program that seeks to bring defense, academic and industry innovators together to collaborate and develop solutions to national security issues.

“The NSIN Hacks program has been an effective way for our DoD mission partners to source new technology and concepts for key modernization priorities,” Pavgi said. “For this problem set, our goal is to find solutions that can reduce the cognitive burden on our front-line personnel and make them more effective as they pursue their missions.”

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