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CHIPS Articles: Task Force Cyber Awakening

Task Force Cyber Awakening
OPNAV N2/N6 takes the lead
By Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) - October-December 2014
Navy must fight and win in the increasingly connected and contested cyber domain. Task Force Cyber Awakening (TFCA) will gain a holistic view of cybersecurity risk across the Navy and address the fragmented and uneven efforts across our platforms and systems.

Cybersecurity needs to be the business of every Commanding Officer and an “All Hands on Deck” effort.

As we become more connected, the risk to our systems increases, but modernization alone will not keep our systems secure.

Cybersecurity must be a resourcing and organizing principle because the increasing cyber threat demands both cultural and organizational change.

TFCA will leverage expertise from across the Navy for a total force solution. We must shift from a mentality of “if you can afford it” to “must fund and sustain.”

Why
Recent real world events and attacks on our Navy systems make clear that the cyber threat is increasing. Our current approach, which prioritizes modernization over sustainment, leaves us vulnerable. Our increasing reliance on connected capabilities (i.e., beyond traditional IT networks to our warfighting control systems) has significantly increased the potential consequences of a cyber event.

Cultural and organizational changes will be needed to meet the threat.

TFCA
As directed by the Chief of Naval Operations, the overall TFCA effort will be led by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6). TFCA is tasked to deliver fundamental change to Navy’s organization, resourcing, acquisition and readiness by extending our cybersecurity apparatus beyond traditional IT to our combat systems, combat support and other information systems while aligning and strengthening authority and accountability.

TFCA has formed four Task Groups (TG), each with representation from across the Navy and Marine Corps:

  • TG Capabilities will look at major actions and assessments already underway or recently completed and will prioritize investments to ensure that we are taking the right steps in the near-term. TG Report due: November 2014.
  • TG CYBERSAFE will construct a program that is patterned after the SUBSAFE program. CYBERSAFE will apply to a hardened, very limited subset of components and processes and will include rigorous technical standards, certification and auditing. TG Report due: March 2015.
  • TG Navy Cyber Security will evaluate current authorities, methods and resources to identify enhancements required to ensure the application of rigorous technical standards, certifications and assessments across the Navy. TG report due: August 2015.
  • TG Technical will support the other TGs and will be comprised of senior engineers from the systems commands to ensure that robust, common technical standards and authorities are in place to drive cyber programs and systems.

Navy must fight and win in the increasingly connected and contested cyber domain. Task Force Cyber Awakening will gain a holistic view of cybersecurity risk across the Navy and address the fragmented and uneven efforts across our platforms and systems.

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