Reinforcement Learning for Industrial Control Network Cyber Security Orchestration

John Mern, Kyle Hatch, Ryan Silva, Jeff Brush, Mykel J. Kochenderfer

Defending computer networks from cyber attack requires coordinating actions across multiple nodes based on imperfect indicators of compromise while minimizing disruptions to network operations. Advanced attacks can progress with few observable signals over several months before execution. The resulting sequential decision problem has large observation and action spaces and a long time-horizon, making it difficult to solve with existing methods. In this work, we present techniques to scale deep reinforcement learning to solve the cyber security orchestration problem for large industrial control networks. We propose a novel attention-based neural architecture with size complexity that is invariant to the size of the network under protection. A pre-training curriculum is presented to overcome early exploration difficulty. Experiments show in that the proposed approaches greatly improve both the learning sample complexity and converged policy performance over baseline methods in simulation.

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