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Cyber — a warfighting fundamental

By Sharon Anderson - January-March 2019


As the Chief of Naval Operations reminds us in A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority V2.0 — “We are never out of the fight.”

And not only on and under the high seas — but in the air and space — and, alarmingly, cyberspace. Some would argue that cyberspace is where we as a nation are most vulnerable. Certainly, Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly makes this point in his column for this edition of CHIPS.

As we have seen in the news, nothing is off-limits to cyber criminals and rogue nation-states — hospitals, academic institutions, retail and financial organizations, industry and utility companies, and all levels of government — all are prime targets. Motives vary from stealing intellectual property for competitive advantage, espionage, ransomware and identity theft, spreading misinformation, to disrupting services which could cause civil chaos.

Not surprisingly, Defense Department websites, weapons systems and networks are under constant attack. Attackers are constantly probing for vulnerabilities to exploit. While the DoD and the Department of the Navy are ever vigilant in protecting information and networks, Mr. Modly believes there is room for improvement.

“We must therefore elevate the management of our digital strategy, information security, and information technology investments to the highest possible level in the Department of the Navy, and urgently prioritize and adequately fund efforts to reduce our vulnerabilities,” he wrote.

We are all responsible for the security of the IT resources we use, from email to the DON’s most sophisticated networks and systems. We must recognize that cybersecurity is fundamental to warfighting as well as national security and prosperity.

At the same time, the U.S. must double down in research and development to realize the full potential of the combined power of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing—which are “increasingly critical to naval lethality, readiness, and reform,” Mr. Modly wrote.

The good news is that the DON and DoD are collaborating closely to advance these groundbreaking technologies to ensure that the Navy-Marine Corps team remains the most technically and lethally capable in the world.

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Sharon Anderson

Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at chips@navy.mil .

For more information, see also:
Q&A with Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly, Department of the Navy CIO and CMO
Artificial Intelligence Experts Address Getting Capabilities to Warfighters
Generating Actionable Understanding of Real-World Phenomena with AI

TAGS: Cybersecurity, IA, InfoSharing, NEN, NNE, PED, Privacy, Social Media, Spectrum, Telecommunications, Wireless