USNA Cyber Center

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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:40 am

navyguy2 wrote:Not saying it's not useful, but how does having this specific major support the non-cyber areas of an 1810? I'm constantly hearing from JO's that all they want to do is cyber and having this major won't stop the question. Additionally, how will this impact retention? I can imagine that USNA Ensigns are eager to utilize their cyber degree but instead they'll be in DIRSUP or NSA Watch positions....Not saying those are less important but the community is doing a little bait-and-switch by stressing the importance of cyber to these Sailors and then put them in a non-cyber billet.

This is undergraduate education... not a guarantee of what you're going to be doing in the Navy. There's a plethora of economics and english majors running around driving ships and doing very little related to their specific degrees.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby navyguy2 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:57 pm

Not an accurate comparison - main difference being that the Cyber center is teaching cyber from a military perspective vice a general cyber degree (like an economic/EE degree). The Navy is pretty much making Cyber Warfare Officers without a supporting career pipeline.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sleeper » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:20 pm

Bring in guest lecturers from industry who are already defending the nation in cyberspace, often with better methodologies and higher effectiveness than government counterparts.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby VQ Bubba » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:08 pm

I can't help but feel like the whole concept is a work-around for a failed inclusion of Cyber Operations/Warfare concepts into post-commissioning training and operations. USNA does not have an Air/Surface/Subsurface/Ground Warfare major...mainly because USNA is first and foremost an undergraduate degree-granting institution and not a tactical-level school house.

I'd prefer to see them slot the midshipmen back into Computer Science or other engineering tracks...and train all of them (from English Majors to Electrical Engineers) in the basic concepts of Cyber Warfare via the professional development programs, just like it's done for the other domain-specific areas.

Every time we set up a Cyber-specific "box" like this, we perpetuate the dangerous impression that Cyber is the "other" someone else's problem and separate from the "real" fight.

Moreover, when I look at the delineated Student Outcomes from the website:

Cyber Operations Major

Student Outcomes

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline

(b) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution

(c) An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs

(d) An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal

(e) An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security, and social issues and responsibilities

(f) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

(g) An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society

(h) Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, continuing professional development

(i) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practices

I don't see much that connotes to a classic BS/BA undergraduate sounds far more like a bad hybrid of CompSci for non-engineers, what JPME Phase 1 should cover, and a couple of months of ToastMasters training.

If Big Navy wants USNA to go back to the future and return to old days of focusing on training Amidshipmen for life at sea...fine, but then extend it to the other warfare domain areas. If not, focus on a deep-dive into an educational field a la all the other academic majors...and then train our officer corps properly on how to best understand and integrate cyber operations into Naval operations. We don't train midshipmen to be Surface Warriors at USNA...we educate them and give them a (somewhat) controlled environment to practice leadership and to learn a smattering about the breadth of the Navy. What is so different about Cyber that it necessitates this level of effort?

So...if I'm king for the day, I'd move this resource lock, stock, and barrel to the Naval War College and incorporate much of the course of instruction into our post-commissioning training events.

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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:18 am

navyguy2 wrote:Not an accurate comparison - main difference being that the Cyber center is teaching cyber from a military perspective vice a general cyber degree (like an economic/EE degree). The Navy is pretty much making Cyber Warfare Officers without a supporting career pipeline.

I have no idea where you're getting this idea that the major is specific to the military and that we're setting up midshipmen to fail. This is the major's description from the Cyber Center website:

"the Cyber Operations major provides a basic foundation in computer architecture, programming, data structures, networks, internet, database systems, information assurance, cryptography, and forensics. The technical aspects of the program are balanced with additional courses and electives emphasizing applications in areas such as policy, law, ethics, and social engineering."

How is that threatening in any way? That's really vanilla stuff that will set a graduate up not only for work within the military but also outside of it. It looks like a great major.

Here is a list of classes: ... ourses.php

SY110 Cyber Security I
SY201 Cyber Fundamentals I
SY202 Cyber Systems Engineering
SY204 Systems Programming & OS Fundamentals
SY301 Data Structures for Cyber Operations
SY303 Applied Cyber Systems Architecture
SY304 Information Operations, Social Engineering, and Hacktivism
SY306 Web & Database Cyber Operations
SY308 Security: Fundamental Principles
SY310 Networking & Mobile Computing
... and more ...

All of these are relevant no matter what your job is. Some of them are heavy in coding (python, c++), others seem focused on engineering and systems design. I have no idea how that curriculum could be accused of being taught "from a military perspective" when corporations are being asked to defend their networks from intrusions day in and day out, and others are getting paid A LOT of money to red team those defenses for those companies.
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