Focus on Cyber

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

Focus on Cyber

Last week I spoke at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Hampton Roads Maritime Information Technology Summit.  MSC interactions at the AFCEA event were part of our continuing effort to reach out to partners, exchange information and ideas, and collectively address and solve common problems.

This forum included a focus on cyber challenges that government and industry are facing, and corresponding opportunities to find solutions.

Gen. Darren McDew, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, noted in recent testimony to Congress:

“Cyber threats pose the greatest threat to the Nation’s decisive logistics advantage.  The logistics enterprise is more susceptible than other military organizations based on our unique relationship with commercial partners…Cybersecurity standards must advance beyond the minimum requirements and facilitate a collective framework to defend against competitors and adversaries.  Our challenge is everyone’s challenge.”

At MSC we are tackling cyber challenges head on but must partner with industry in order to “Bend the Curve” and increase our capability.  Cyber-focused areas where we seek to maximize our collaboration with industry include:

  • Accelerate data throughput to afloat platforms;
  • Create a single-architecture, scalable, simple-to-operate afloat network;
  • Develop embarkable maritime communications kits;
  • Provide a secure and collaborative environment with industry that can reduce cyber and OPSEC threats;
  • Produce resilient navigation systems that cannot be detected and are less vulnerable to exploitation; and
  • Enable rapid validation of emissions conditions.

Everyone has a role to play in advancing our cyber posture.  We must think cyber integration in everything we do and in all our work areas to include: contracting, engineering, finance, program management, resource allocation, training, readiness, and our innovation and experimentation groups.  A sustained focus on cyber is essential to our mission success.

I’ll close by extending my appreciation to those who attended the technology summit and exchanged ideas and solutions with our industry partners.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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