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CHIPS Articles: Cybersecurity: A Gold Line of Effort

Cybersecurity: A Gold Line of Effort
By Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs - November 9, 2016
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 8, 2016) – Throughout the month of October, organizations across the Navy highlighted the importance of cybersecurity through an awareness campaign for all Navy personnel to do their part to operate securely in a digital environment. At Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), cybersecurity is not just a theme of the month, but an everyday mission and represents a gold line of effort.

Last month, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson released a document titled “Navy Civilian Workforce Framework” providing greater detail of the gold line of effort outlined in his “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.” In the document, he explains a diverse and flexible Navy team of active duty, reserve and civilian personnel brings different perspectives, disciplines and solutions together to solve tough problems.

“We have an integrated team of military and civilian experts who work cohesively together to support the cybersecurity mission. SPAWAR's goal is to set the standards and emphasize the importance of cybersecurity throughout the Fleet,” said Rear Adm. David H. Lewis, commander, SPAWAR. "Cybersecurity must be at the core of our everyday tasks. Adhering to strong and standard cyber practices is essential when it comes to protecting our naval networks.”

SPAWAR builds, installs and sustains modern information warfare and cybersecurity capabilities. It is pivotal for SPAWAR to actively engage with the fleet to optimize interoperability and sustainability of the newest systems on ships and submarines serving throughout the globe. As the Navy’s information assurance technical authority, SPAWAR’s Office of Chief Engineer (CHENG) is constantly engaging in initiatives that ensure cybersecurity is an integral part of a system’s development from initial concept through installation and until decommissioning.

"SPAWAR engineers strengthen the Navy's Cybersafe program every day," said Mike Spencer, SPAWAR Deputy CHENG. "This major initiative is driving outcomes similar to NAVSEA's (Naval Sea Systems Command) submarine safety program known as Subsafe. Subsafe was designed to maintain the rigor, controls and safety of the Navy's nuclear submarine fleet. Now, SPAWAR is doing the same with our Navy's cyber fleet by protecting our ability to operate safely and effectively in cyberspace."

Earlier this year, SPAWAR finalized the first eight in a series of more than two dozen planned foundational cybersecurity standards that govern the vast majority of the sea services' systems and programs. These standards build upon existing, publicly available National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity standards, with additional information for Navy-specific implementation.

“Integrating civilian and military perspectives and experiences is critical to solving cybersecurity challenges," said Albert Mangles, cyber readiness team, Fleet Readiness Directorate. "It is important that the military and civilian team work closely together at sea and ashore in order to reach the best and most adaptable results. I am proud that I have the opportunity to serve by improving cybersecurity procedures and refining systems that allow our service members to get their jobs done.”

SPAWAR’s cybersecurity objectives and standards are met through the smooth integration of Fleet experience and civilian expertise.

“Having just come from the fleet, serving on USS Boxer as the information systems security manager and automated data processing officer, I recognize the hard work that needs to happen behind the scenes to make cybersecurity strong,” said Lt. Jennifer Chapman, cyber readiness team lead, Fleet Readiness Directorate. “The military-civilian teamwork demonstrated here at SPAWAR generates new technologies and approaches to cybersecurity.”

Lewis explains that the SPAWAR team continues to work diligently with the fleet, and other internal and external stakeholders, in order to maintain a competitive advantage through creativity of thought and approach to change.

“We need diversity in the Navy,” said Lewis. “Diversity brings tremendous talents to the table in order to sustain readiness in the field of cybersecurity. I am proud of the military-civilian team at SPAWAR for their work every day to prepare the fleet for potential cyberattacks and to refine our approach when considering this real threat. Their dedication and success embodies the meaning of a gold line of effort.”

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) is the Navy acquisition command that develops, delivers and sustains advanced information warfare capabilities for our warfighters. SPAWAR, along with its system centers, space field activity and its partnership with three program executive offices, provides the hardware and software needed to execute Navy missions. With nearly 10,000 active duty military and civilian professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, SPAWAR is at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition, keeping our forces connected around the globe.

Additional information on National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, including tips and resources for the use of local commands, can be found at a dedicated DHS webpage, www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month, or on the Department of Defense page, www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0415_Cyber-Strategy.

For Navy specific information about cybersecurity, visit www.navy.mil/local/cyberawareness.

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