Toward Intelligent Autonomous Agents for Cyber Defense: Report of the 2017 Workshop by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Research Group IST-152-RTG

Report No. ARL-SR-0395
Authors: Alexander Kott; Ryan Thomas; Martin Dra?ar; Markus Kont; Alex Poylisher; Benjamin Blakely; Paul Theron; Nathaniel Evans; Nandi Leslie; Rajdeep Sing; Maria Rigaki; S Jay Yang;
Date/Pages: April 2018; 48 pages
Abstract:

This report summarizes the discussions and findings of the Workshop on Intelligent Autonomous Agents for Cyber Defence and Resilience organized by the NATO research group IST-152-RTG. The workshop was held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 18â??20 October 2017. There is a growing recognition that future cyber defense should involve extensive use of partially autonomous agents that actively patrol the friendly network, and detect and react to hostile activities rapidly (far faster than human reaction time), before the hostile malware is able to inflict major damage, evade friendly agents, or destroy friendly agents. This requires cyber-defense agents with a significant degree of intelligence, autonomy, self-learning, and adaptability. The report focuses on the following questions:

  • In what computing and tactical environments would such an agent operate?
  • What data would be available for the agent to observe or ingest?
  • What actions would the agent be able to take?
  • How would such an agent plan a complex course of actions?
  • Would the agent learn from its experiences, and how?
  • How would the agent collaborate with humans?
  • How can we ensure that the agent will not take undesirable destructive actions?
  • Is it possible to help envision such an agent with a simple example?
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2018