What the Navy is Doing Now to Remain Cybersecure
What the Navy is Doing Now to Remain
By Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for
Information Dominance Navy Cybersecurity Division (N2/N6F4).
Washington D.C. — (NNS)
— October 22, 2015 — The cyber threat reaches beyond traditional information technology (IT)
networks and computers to systems that affect nearly every aspect of the Navy's
mission. Machinery control, weapons and navigation systems may be vulnerable, as
well as the networks and computers commonly used by Navy personnel.
Infographic depicting cyber
threats -- Video
To protect against these threats the Navy has made significant changes,
including how it is organized and how much it invests in cybersecurity.
In 2014, the Navy established Task Force Cyber Awakening (TFCA) to improve
cybersecurity after its network was compromised the previous year. The mission
of the task force was to take a comprehensive look at the Navy's cybersecurity
and make changes to improve its defenses.
TFCA established priorities for protecting the Navy based on recommendations
from industry, the cybersecurity community and stakeholders. Using these
priorities, the task force evaluated hundreds of funding requests for addressing
vulnerabilities, which resulted in $300 million being set aside in fiscal year
2016 for solutions that strengthened the Navy's defenses and improved awareness
of its cybersecurity posture. TFCA used the same approach to evaluate over 300
competing funding requests for the next five years of the Navy's budget.
One of these funding priorities was for control points which allow the Navy to
isolate portions of the network after a breach is detected. Much like the
watertight compartments on a ship, these control points will allow the Navy to
limit the impact of a compromise and keep adversaries from moving to other
targets in the network. These control points will also allow the Navy to
selectively limit connectivity for parts of the network if increased cyber
activity from adversaries is expected, similar to how ships set different
material conditions of readiness.
The task force also formed a Navy-wide group to implement the CYBERSAFE Program.
CYBERSAFE is modeled after SUBSAFE which is the rigorous submarine safety
program begun after the loss of the USS Thresher (SSN 593) in 1963. Like the
submarine program, CYBERSAFE will harden a critical subset of warfighting
components, which could be certain computer systems or parts of the network.
CYBERSAFE will apply more stringent requirements to these components before and
after fielding to ensure they can better withstand attempted compromises.
CYBERSAFE will also require changes in crew proficiency and culture to implement
Technical solutions alone cannot completely protect the Navy. The cybersecurity,
professional and general workforce are also key contributors to the Navy's
* Cyber workforce - To ensure the cyber workforce has people with the right
skills, the Secretary of the Navy is revising the Cyber Workforce Management
Manual. After this manual is approved, the Navy will identify updated training,
education and certification requirements for the cybersecurity workforce.
* Professional workforce - To reduce vulnerabilities in the computers that
control equipment, machines or weapons systems, the Navy identified positions
within the systems commands that will need cybersecurity training.
* General workforce - The Navy is bolstering its cybersecurity training to users
and leaders because defending the Navy is not only the responsibility of the
cybersecurity workforce, it is an all hands effort. Some examples of current
training being provided to the general workforce include cybersecurity training
for Surface Warfare Officer leaders, and officers at Submarine School.
In September 2015, the CNO established the Navy Cybersecurity Division on the
Navy headquarters staff to continue the transformation started by TFCA. The new
division will oversee the Navy's approach to cybersecurity, developing strategy,
ensuring compliance with cybersecurity policy and advocating for cybersecurity
requirements. The division will also evaluate and prioritize major investments
and manage the CYBERSAFE program.
Other organizations critical to the cybersecurity fight:
Navy Chief Information Officer - Establishes policy and guidance relating to IT.
* Developed the Navy's approach for evaluating and improving the security of IT
* Revised the Navy's policy for protecting information and information systems.
Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet - Operates, maintains and defends Navy
networks and conducts cyber operations.
* Began installing and operating the new technical solutions that have been
* Continued defending the Navy's networks, systems and data.
Information Dominance Forces Command - Organizes, mans, trains and equips the
* Obtained approval to add another Division Officer cybersecurity position on
CG, DDG, and LSD class ships;
* Conducted training and assist visits to prepare Echelon II commands for
cybersecurity and cyber readiness inspections.
Systems Commands - Strengthen cybersecurity throughout the lifecycle of systems
with the goal of "baking in" security from the beginning instead of "bolting it
on" after systems are fielded.
* Developed technical standards for building more secure systems;
* Helped develop and implement the CYBERSAFE Program.
The Navy continues to strengthen its cyber posture. But remember, the most
critical member of the Navy cybersecurity team is you.