SAN DIEGO -- The Navy has a compelling need for shipboard assurance systems to maintain a secure environment, the service's top command-and-control acquisition official told an overflow audience here at the annual Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association-West conference. AFCEA is an industry group.
Last year, the Navy installed host-based security systems on 348 ships to monitor, detect and deter network cyberattacks. Rear Adm. Jerry Burroughs, program executive officer for command, control, computers, communications and intelligence at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command headquartered here, said SPAWAR remains "crushed" by demands from the fleet to maintain a secure environment for Navy computers, which he considers his top priority.
Burroughs said the cyberattackers the Navy has to deal with use inexpensive tools readily available on the Internet, and the service must adopt similar practices. "We need simple commercial off-the-shelf solutions -- the cheaper the better," Burroughs said, as well as the ability to rapidly field those tools.
His organization is responsible for shipboard applications, so simplicity and rapid fielding are priorities. SPAWAR plans to set up an online applications store that will allow users to easily download software from a central location, according to Burroughs. He cited the Ozone Widget Framework, developed by the National Security Agency to host and download applications, as a good example to follow.
The renewed focus on operations in the Asia-Pacific region highlighted in the new Defense Department strategy that President Obama announced earlier this month will require more bandwidth for ships operating in the area, Burroughs said. At the moment, he said the Wideband Global Satellite System can handle the demand, but he would like to see more satellite spot beams that can be focused on small geographic areas.