Friday, October 17, 2014

Naval Academy Hosts Commander, U. S. Fleet Cyber Command

Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, delivered a lecture on the Defense Department’s cyber warfare program at the U.S. Naval Academy Oct. 16.

USNA’s Center for Cyber Security Studies hosted Tighe as part of their Cyber Lecture Series.

Tighe, a 1984 graduate of the Academy, addressed the midshipmen, faculty and staff at Alumni Hall and spoke about today’s cyber domain. 

“Collectively we have to recognize the reality of cyber threats, including disrupting and destruction of logistics, networks and equipment,” said Tighe. “Recovering from successful attacks can take long periods of time and many man hours.”

According to the DoD, plans are in place to increase their cyber domain security and operations to 6,000 people and 133 teams by 2016 to engage the rapidly evolving environment.

“The more dependent we become in cyber space, the more opportunities criminals and terrorists have to access to our systems,” said Tighe. “Largely, over time these attacks have warped from trying to get information, to disrupting operations. The most destructive attacks have kinetic effects, by gaining access over systems that control physical operating components.”

The Naval Academy began offering cyber operations as a major through the Center for Cyber Security Studies. Twenty-eight members of the class of 2016 are on track to graduate as the “plankowners” in that major.  All midshipmen at USNA are required to take two classes in cyber operations.

Tighe talked about the evolving nature of the cyber domain and the urgent need for users stay informed and educated of the risks and potential consequences of being uninstructed and unfamiliar.

Building that awareness is at the core of the mission of the Center for Cyber Security Studies, enhancing the education of midshipmen in all areas of cyber warfare and facilitating the sharing of expertise and perspectives in cyber warfare from across the Yard.

“What we have to do is limit the amount of exposure our people’s online behavior have towards creating cyber opportunities,” said Tighe. “It’s as small as not plugging in unauthorized equipment into computers attached to networks and systems, to not opening a link on an unrecognized email source. Unaware users are our biggest risk.”

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