Resiliency in military systems isn't a new concept, but it's taking on renewed importance as weapons systems become increasingly connected and cyberspace continues to develop as a war domain.

More and more, Defense Department leaders are looking at how to "bake in" cybersecurity to emerging systems and platforms, including by reexamining at the acquisition cycle and by looking to industry for cutting-edge technology and design that supports rapidly evolving requirements and withstands the contested spaces guaranteed in operations going forward.

"Within the concept of evolving cyber resiliency…there’s a transition between traditional kinetic warfighting operating environments," said Ron Foudray, vice president, business development, for Northrop Grumman vice president’s information systems sector. "If you think about legacy C4ISR, it’s kinetic operations, bombs on target and the like. But now you fold in non-kinetic things like directed energy, electronic attack and cyber payloads. The ability to manage your operational environment in that integrated or even just synchronized construct, having situational awareness, mission management and mission planning and even battle damage assessment. All of that information is in the environment with kinetic and non-kinetic coming together."

Meeting those needs is an area Northrop Grumman is investing in as leaders anticipate incoming challenges in cyberspace, unmanned systems and missile defense — all areas that require shared situational awareness and mission-planning to effect an outcome. It's about giving combat personnel opportunities to make decisions given all the resources they have, Foudray said Feb. 19 at the West 2016 conference in San Diego, California.

"We have a mantra of start, stay and return secure. It's the concept of designing [security] up front in a system, platform, sensor, component or anything within an operating warfighting piece of machinery," he said. "How do we start, up front in the cycle, to create make that secure? How do you keep it secure while it's out flying, or operating, or sailing in a shipboard environment, or on a network where it's operating? And then when it comes time to finish the mission and return it back, how do you know it doesn't come back with something malicious? So start, stay and return secure is important in resiliency."

SHOW REPORTER: See more from West 2016.