Navy developing preplanned cyber network incident procedures

The commander of Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet is calling for a decentralization of the Navy’s cyber operations.

In a distributed fight, the force can’t afford to pull in a lot of data to a central location to be aggregated, correlated and acted upon, Rear Adm. Michael Gilday said Feb. 21 at the AFCEA West conference in San Diego.

“We can’t move terabytes of data back to a central location in order to do that aggregation and collection,” he said. Those analytics have to be distributed, as well, he said, and the force must be decentralized much like how the fleet fights in a distributed manner.

Along those lines, the fleet is pushing forward with a key initiative in 2017 it’s calling cyber hardened strike group. This is under the guise of detecting, reacting and restoring the network with a primary focus on developing preplanned response and pushing the authority and the ability to fight through down to the ship level, said Ruth Youngs Lew, director of Communications and Information Systems for U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the same conference on Feb. 23.

This new push will provide personnel with preplanned responses, isolation procedures, cyber technical aides, and cyber capability and limitation tactical references so they can perform their duties at the ship level, she said.

Lew discussed the notion of “netcoms,” describing it as a fairly new construct that’s being established at Pacific Fleet at the headquarters level and for ships. Essentially, netcoms considers a network’s condition and its vulnerability to threats, sets conditions based on this information, and establishes procedures for how operators move and maneuver through the network as far as isolating the different steps the fleet may take.

This and associated efforts involve getting procedures in place and developing their proficiency, she added.

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