USNA Cyber Center

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USNA Cyber Center

Postby Arkad » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:17 pm

What would your vision be for the USNA Cyber Center if you were asked to help lead it?
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:14 am

Arkad wrote:What would your vision be for the USNA Cyber Center if you were asked to help lead it?


It's been up and running for a little while now, correct? What is the current "vision" or focus of the center?
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Arkad » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:27 am

The Center exists and the building is still under construction. Here's a link to the website. Canvas still looks pretty blank...what should we paint on it? https://www.usna.edu/CyberCenter/index.php
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:05 pm

Arkad wrote:The Center exists and the building is still under construction. Here's a link to the website. Canvas still looks pretty blank...what should we paint on it? https://www.usna.edu/CyberCenter/index.php


If I were king for a day, I'd try to develop a nationwide military culture where we don't look at cyber warfare as something isolated from the larger context of modern warfare. Sure, we have air warfare, land warfare, undersea warfare, etc., but there is a general shared level of understanding within the joint community on the opportunities and risk inherent to those traditional physical domains.

So I guess that would be my first mandate: To foster a shared understanding among tomorrow's leaders on the opportunities and risks inherent to operating within cyberspace.

Another mandate would be to create an environment where those future leaders can think creatively and innovatively to address the challenges posed to the U.S. and allies in operating within an asymmetric, dynamic environment that inherently favors the attacker/adversary.

And finally, I'd push to study how other countries view cyber warfare and how it affects their choices/missions/objectives. For example, Russia doesn't approach cyber warfare and information operations as separate disciplines... they seamlessly integrate those capabilities in ways we fall woefully short. We could learn a lot about how they organize information warfare, and since that's supposedly our specialty, we need to recognize when someone else has a competitive advantage in that area.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby yoshi » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:18 pm

Vision would be to produce URL leaders capable of understanding cyber warfare (those things espoused by Sum1), but also capable of understanding where cyber warfare needs to exist within the Navy organizational and joint structure in order enjoy success. I personally believe this is the most visible challenge to Navy's cyber future. Future URLs need to be able to access and command and control the effects and outcomes cyber is able to provide. They need to be intimately familiar with, embrace, and instinctively call upon cyber warfare, just as they would other warfare areas. Ultimately, they will need to understand what should be physically taken out of FCC/C10F (Navy Title 10 options) and repatriated to Navy command and control in the places and manner which enable Navy-specific operations alongside other warfare areas, as well as what should remain in MD (Joint and Title 50). Navy cyber needs to intrinsically reside within the Navy corpus, utilizing the same C2 structure and avenues the other warfare areas do. This provides a shared operational sight picture; unity of goals and unity of command. If today's midshipmen are to make good use of cyber as future Navy leaders, it will have to be their cyber, in their commands, supporting their decision; not that of an outside #'d fleet or a specific designator.

Identify and define the Navy's 'cyber commons', in contrast from joint and agency cyber. Build a distinct culture of Navy cyber; centered on Navy needs, apart from joint/agency needs, processes and uses. Create Naval leaders capable of governing and utilizing the Navy's cyber commons.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:13 am

yoshi wrote:Vision would be to produce URL leaders capable of understanding cyber warfare (those things espoused by Sum1), but also capable of understanding where cyber warfare needs to exist within the Navy organizational and joint structure in order enjoy success. I personally believe this is the most visible challenge to Navy's cyber future. Future URLs need to be able to access and command and control the effects and outcomes cyber is able to provide. They need to be intimately familiar with, embrace, and instinctively call upon cyber warfare, just as they would other warfare areas. Ultimately, they will need to understand what should be physically taken out of FCC/C10F (Navy Title 10 options) and repatriated to Navy command and control in the places and manner which enable Navy-specific operations alongside other warfare areas, as well as what should remain in MD (Joint and Title 50). Navy cyber needs to intrinsically reside within the Navy corpus, utilizing the same C2 structure and avenues the other warfare areas do. This provides a shared operational sight picture; unity of goals and unity of command. If today's midshipmen are to make good use of cyber as future Navy leaders, it will have to be their cyber, in their commands, supporting their decision; not that of an outside #'d fleet or a specific designator.

Identify and define the Navy's 'cyber commons', in contrast from joint and agency cyber. Build a distinct culture of Navy cyber; centered on Navy needs, apart from joint/agency needs, processes and uses. Create Naval leaders capable of governing and utilizing the Navy's cyber commons.


I agree with much of what you've said, except for the (my view) over-emphasis on "Navy needs" versus "joint needs." We don't fight and win wars in the Navy, we fight and win wars jointly. This distinction is even important when it comes to cyber because Navy cyber is arguably no different than Army/Air Force/Marine cyber (offensive), and only marginally different defensively. That's the basis of my argument for why we should consolidate those capabilities, maybe into its own service. Again, the services would retain their comms stuff, but all the on-net, offensive, and threat-based defensive stuff can be consolidated to take advantage of the economy of scale. It would also reduce the barriers we currently have in leveraging cyber and IO in ways that are mutually beneficial. The Navy doesn't do IO, but the Army, Marines, and (kind of) the Air Force do. We need to be able to merge those information related capabilities if we ever want to use either effectively.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby yoshi » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:50 am

I wouldn't dispute your perspective on how things should be; in fact, i agree. I'm even a proponent of a cyber service. However, the Navy doesn't perceive IO as written in joint doctrine and (sometimes) executed in other services. One could argue IO wasn't ever fully accepted in the Navy. Thus, our resultant view is not of cyber as one of several IRCs to be leveraged through a J39/COCOM B2C2WGs, but as a stand alone warfare area. Accordingly, if cyber is to be fully meaningful and integral to broader Navy operations (non-cyber operations), making it so would be best supported by combining certain cyber operations (Navy specific, non-intel) with all the other warfare area operations in the same command structure (all the tools for one JFMCC/#'d Fleet). We already do this, to some extent, at the CSG level (IWC and other warfare commanders), but how could we make cyber operations more meaningful for that CSG Commander, the #'d Fleet Commander, the JFMCC? Believe USNA cyber center would be the place to construct that vision and challenge those future leaders who will answer this question in the future.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:30 am

yoshi wrote:I wouldn't dispute your perspective on how things should be; in fact, i agree. I'm even a proponent of a cyber service. However, the Navy doesn't perceive IO as written in joint doctrine and (sometimes) executed in other services. One could argue IO wasn't ever fully accepted in the Navy. Thus, our resultant view is not of cyber as one of several IRCs to be leveraged through a J39/COCOM B2C2WGs, but as a stand alone warfare area. Accordingly, if cyber is to be fully meaningful and integral to broader Navy operations (non-cyber operations), making it so would be best supported by combining certain cyber operations (Navy specific, non-intel) with all the other warfare area operations in the same command structure (all the tools for one JFMCC/#'d Fleet). We already do this, to some extent, at the CSG level (IWC and other warfare commanders), but how could we make cyber operations more meaningful for that CSG Commander, the #'d Fleet Commander, the JFMCC? Believe USNA cyber center would be the place to construct that vision and challenge those future leaders who will answer this question in the future.


I agree with your model of capability and C2 dispersion, but you're going to run into the same problems (in the near term) that we did at the combatant command trying to argue for execution authorities. The number of people trained and ready to get on net is a low density, high demand asset that gets doled out by cybercom as they see fit. Unfortunately, with the elevation of cybercom, they now get to weigh their own priorities against those of the other supported combatant commanders. It's a ridiculous model. That's why I like the idea of a separate service with its own cyber component assigned to support the combatant commanders just like their other traditional components (NAVEUR, USAREU, etc.). The C2 is just so convoluted and commanders don't understand the process and procedures (when codified ones even exist) to get support. Hell, cybercom-sponsored classes were still teaching staffs how to request cyber effects using a process cybercom all but ditched like 3 years ago.

At the end of my pontificating I realized we've veered off topic :) Sorry, Arkad!
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby Sum1 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:03 am

It just occurred to me that it would be incredibly important to make sure there is a strong undercurrent of ethics and technology integrated into the vision. Just because we can do something doesn't mean its right, and just because it might be legal doesn't mean it is the best means of getting at a problem.
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Re: USNA Cyber Center

Postby navyguy2 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:15 am

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.
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