Building cyber resilience across Tempest

09 March 2022

Leonardo is one of the founding partners of Team Tempest, which is providing the technologies, knowledge, skills and expertise to develop a Next Generation Combat Air System capable of operating in the 2040+ environment.

In addition to its role on the Tempest programme developing world-leading sensor and communications systems technology, Leonardo is implementing cyber resilience across the Tempest ecosystem, ensuring the system’s ‘digital backbone’ is secure-by-design.

Tempest represents a fundamental shift in enterprise connectivity and reliance – the way that information systems operate and interact in support of the mission – which is much more than an evolution of previous generation capabilities. The key challenge is how we prepare ourselves for as yet unknown future cyber threats; this means focusing on implementing Cyber Resilience into the whole programme – developing new approaches and methodologies to ensure that Tempest is robust and resilient against future and emerging threats, rather than focussing on specific security products that target today’s cyber threats. Simply aiming to build trust in systems in isolation is insufficient considering the nature of Tempest, and represents a legacy approach.

By developing and implementing a common approach, agreed and tested across all partners, we are setting the foundations for cyber resilience which flows from the Tempest enterprise down to individual products and systems in a consistent and joined up manner. The approach enables decision-makers to make effective decisions, and at all times maintain the ‘golden thread’ back to the mission goals and objectives.

In collaboration with our Team Tempest industry partners and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), Leonardo is also delivering cyber advantage – empowering the programme to maximise the potential of its technological innovation without exposure to cyber risk – which is critical to ensuring the freedom of action in any future conflict.

Allan Leggetter, Managing Director of Leonardo UK’s Cyber & Security Division, says: “Leonardo is driven by the ethos that cyber security is a critical enabler to future defence capabilities. That is why from our Cyber & Security Division we have invested in Tempest, to allow us to develop cyber resilience methodologies and processes which will ensure all the work Leonardo delivers is secure-by-design and can meet the threats of the future.

“We are excited to be a part of this uniquely innovative programme, and will be leveraging the lessons we are learning to deliver secure capabilities across Leonardo UK. Additionally, we will share the benefits of our experience with our external customers – for example, delivering cyber resilience to the UK Critical National Infrastructure and telecommunications markets.”

Max Wigley, who is Chief Technology Officer and National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Head Consultant of Leonardo UK’s Cyber & Security Division, adds: “Though ‘cyber resilience’ is often misused as just another buzz phrase for ‘cyber security’, it represents a complete shift in mindset with an entirely different approach. We need to think and act creatively to meet the threats of the future and ensure that security can enable, not hinder, the adoption of digital technologies. This means focussing on ensuring mission outcomes are met, even when under sustained cyber-attack. Systems and capabilities must be able to anticipate, withstand, recover and adapt to threats in real-time, and this is what our methodologies will deliver.

“At Leonardo, we recognise that all our work must be secure-by-design and deliver cyber advantage. As such, specialists within our NCSC-certified Cyber & Security Division provide support to our Product Development teams, implementing the most innovative cyber resilience approaches we are developing under Team Tempest, to ensure that our products are secure on delivery and can withstand future threats.”