Isaac R. Porche III

Photo of Isaac Porche
Director, Acquisition and Development Program, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC); Senior Engineer
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science, University of Michigan; M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science, University of California, Berkeley; B.S. in electrical engineering, Southern University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Isaac Porche is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation, where he currently serves as the director of the Acquisition and Development Program (ADP) in the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC). As a program director, Porche oversees over 25 million dollars of studies and analysis projects supporting the Department of Homeland Security and its components.  His areas of expertise include cybersecurity, network and communication technology, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, data mining, modeling and simulation, cybersecurity, rapid acquisition processes, and operations research techniques. As a former member of the U.S. Army Science Board, Porche has served several panels including ASB studies titled “Data-to-Decisions,” “Tactical Cyber,” and “Internet of Things”. He is also an adjunct instructor for Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, where he teaches a course titled “Technology and Policy of Cyber War.” Porche frequently contributes op-eds and commentary for news outlets on military, science and technology topics and has authored numerous RAND publications, journal articles and conference papers. He has testified before Congress on the topic of cyber threats and he personally led a congressionally mandated study on the multi-factor authentication  needs of the legislative branch. He is a senior fellow for the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. Porche earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Senior Fellow, George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security; Adjunct Instructor, Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Politics and Strategy; University of Michigan Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Council

Previous Positions

Project Engineer, General Motors Electric Vehicles; Transportation Research Engineer, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan; Associate Engineer, General Motors Advanced Engineering; member, Army Science Board

Recent Projects

  • Tactical Cyber
  • Role of the Reserve Component in Cyberspace
  • Maritime Tactical Command and Control AoA
  • TCPED Intelligence Cycle Process Study
  • Rapid Acquisition of Computer Network Defense Systems

Selected Publications

Yevgeniy Vorobeychik and Isaac R. Porche, "Game-Theoretic Methods for Analysis of Tactical Decision-Making Using Agent-Based Combat Simulations," Military Operations Research, 14(4), 2009

Isaac R. Porche III, Christopher Paul, Michael York, Chad C. Serena, Jerry M. Sollinger, Elliot Axelband, Endy Min, Bruce J. Held, Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World, RAND (MG-1113-A), 2013

Isaac R. Porche III, Shawn McKay, Megan McKernan, Robert W. Button, Bob Murphy, Kate Giglio, Elliot Axelband, Rapid Acquisition and Fielding for Information Assurance and Cyber Security in the Navy, RAND Corporation (TR-1294-Navy), 2012

Isaac R. Porche III, Jerry M. Sollinger, and Shawn McKay, A Cyberworm That Knows No Boundaries, RAND Corporation (OP-342), 2011

Isaac R. Porche, III, et al., Cyber Power Potential of the Army's Reserve Component, RAND (RR-1490), 2017

Isaac R. Porche, III, et al., Tactical Cyber: Building a Strategy for Cyber Support to Corps and Below, RAND Corporation (RR-1600), 2017

Isaac R. Porche, III, and Bradley Wilson, The Impact of Network Performance on Warfighter Effectiveness, RAND Corporation (TR-329), 2006

Leland Joe and Isaac R. Porche, III, Future Army Bandwidth Needs and Capabilities, RAND Corporation (MG-156), 2004

Honors & Awards

  • 2011 and 2012 Silver Award, RAND
  • 2008 Bronze Award, RAND
  • 2005 Finalist, Best Paper, 10th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Defense News; Investor's Business Daily; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Washington Times

Commentary: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Future Force; Newsweek; Project Syndicate; San Francisco Chronicle; U.S. News & World Report


  • A portion of a city model glows red indicating a cyber threat to infrastructure at the DarkMatter booth during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 26, 2017

    Fighting and Winning the Undeclared Cyber War

    Russia has executed deliberate intrusions into U.S. critical infrastructure since at least 2011. These systems have included government entities, commercial facilities, water resource plants, and aviation institutions. What actions or policies can the U.S. execute to improve security?

    Jun 24, 2019 Inside Sources

  • Cyber grenade

    Getting Ready to Fight the Next (Cyber) War

    Nation-states and their proxies are regularly spying and attacking in cyberspace across national borders. The U.S. and other Western societies that are being targeted should do three things: Be less vulnerable, be able to recognize and mitigate the impact of attacks faster, and be prepared to respond in kind to all levels of offense.

    Mar 3, 2018 U.S. News & World Report

  • The Indiana National Guard Computer Network Defense Team readies their workstations for the Cyber Shield 2016 exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, April 20, 2016

    Reservists and the National Guard Offer Untapped Resources for Cybersecurity

    More than 100,000 personnel in the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve have some degree of cyber competence, including thousands with deep or mid-level expertise. They could help defend the cyber terrain on which America's national security, prosperity, and democracy depend.

    Apr 18, 2017 TechCrunch

  • Dmitri Dolgov, principal engineer on the software team of Google's Self-Driving Car project, speaks during a presentation in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    The Brains Behind Autonomous Vehicles May Need a License to Drive

    Autonomous vehicles require exquisite software. To make this software secure, industry and government should consider educational standards and licensure requirements for the engineers who create it.

    Sep 27, 2016 VentureBeat

  • U.S. sailors assigned to Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command monitor, analyze, detect, and respond to unauthorized activity within U.S. Navy information systems and networks

    The Online Fight Against ISIS

    To prevail against ISIS in cyberspace, the United States and its cyber soldiers will have to be capable of reacting quickly, while being guided by an overarching strategy. Secretary of Defense Carter urged U.S. Cyber Command to intensify the fight against ISIS but it would also be wise to recruit civilian volunteers.

    Apr 1, 2016 Project Syndicate

  • Two teens using laptops

    The Military Should Increase Efforts to Find and Enlist Young Hackers

    Some notorious cyberattacks have been carried out by computer-savvy teens. They don't all have criminal intentions, they just have a particular aptitude for writing code and operating in cyberspace. The U.S. military should consider embracing and cultivating this pool of talent.

    Mar 10, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • Closeup of a hand using a digital tablet

    Following Online Footprints to Catch Terrorists

    Millions of people leave behind online footprints each day, giving law enforcement and intelligence experts the chance to construct a profile of who is more likely to commit violence in the name of a murderous ideology.

    Dec 28, 2015 Newsweek

  • World map, connected people icons, and binary code

    War on the Web

    While the U.S. Cyber Command is preparing the nation's defenses for the coming ramp-up in cyberwarfare-like attacks, the messages spread instantly by hordes of attackers through social media may not be receiving the attention they deserve.

    Jul 23, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Service members working in the Global Strategic Warning and Space Surveillance System Center

    Put a Cybercop on the Beat

    What remains vitally needed is legislation that would grant at least one capable government organization the authority to track cyber-intruders and -criminals with the same freedom and speed of maneuver that these adversaries enjoy, while protecting the civil liberties and freedoms that allowed the establishment of the Internet.

    Jan 22, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • car interior with a dashboard computer

    Sounding the Car Alarm on Hackers

    Security protections on vehicles have not kept pace with systems that control safety features, navigation capabilities, and wireless communication functions. Onboard computer networks will likely become much more attractive to hackers, whether their aim is to steal a car, eavesdrop on a conversation, stalk a potential victim, or cause a devastating traffic accident.

    Jun 30, 2014 The San Francisco Chronicle

  • Line handlers await the arrival of the Virginia class attack submarine USS Hartford

    How Do We Deal with a Flood of Data?

    Despite the value of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, the amount of data they generate has become overwhelming. If the Navy does not change the way it processes information, it will reach an ISR “tipping point”—as soon as 2016.

    Jun 23, 2014 Future Force

  • The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 resumed even as senior Australian officials warned that bad weather and a lack of reliable information were seriously impeding efforts.

    Why 'Big Data' Can't Find the Missing Malaysian Plane

    The failure to find the missing aircraft demonstrates anew the serious gaps in data coordination and challenges public assumptions about the thoroughness and simplicity of searching the world’s data for answers.

    May 1, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • DPU Soldiers conduct cyber defense exercise

    Cyberwarfare Goes Wireless

    For American audiences and policymakers alike, cyber activities in Crimea provide a chilling reminder that cyberspace is emerging as a 21st-century global battlefield.

    Apr 7, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province

    Satellites for Rent

    Reports earlier this year that the U.S. Department of Defense leased a Chinese satellite to support military operations in Africa sparked concern that the arrangement could compromise control over U.S. military communications, or, worse, allow Chinese intelligence gatherers access to privileged military data.

    Nov 8, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

  • A soldier with the Army's intelligence community demonstrated use of a portion of the Army's Distributed Common Ground System

    Calling for a Time-Out in the Army Intelligence Software Debate

    The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program has been getting much attention from Congress, and its future was the subject of a heated exchange between the Army's Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno and Representative Duncan Hunter in May.

    Aug 21, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Could Bin Laden's Death Prompt a Cyber Attack?

    A truly monumental attack that could cripple key U.S. computer systems — something akin to the Stuxnet worms attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, for example — would take many months of planning, significant expertise, and a great deal of money to pull off, writes Isaac Porche.

    May 6, 2011 and

  • Stuxnet Is the World's Problem

    The highly sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm suspected of sending Iran's nuclear centrifuges into self-destruction mode forces a difficult debate on whether longstanding firewalls in our country's democracy should be breached for the sake of national security, writes Isaac Porche.

    Dec 9, 2010 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists