Military Embedded Systems

Cybersecurity support is now part of Navy's 24/7 Watch program


November 17, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

PORT HUENEME, Calif. Officials at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) are adding a cyber incident response capability to its 24/7 Watch program.

“Cybersecurity tension is growing more each day,” says Phong Trinh, NSWC PHD Combat System Cybersecurity engineer. “PHD’s 24/7 Watch is established to provide combat system technical assistance to the Aegis and Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) ships. PHD is in the planning phase working with the 24/7 Watch to include support to Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The 24/7 Watch can be used to provide cybersecurity as well as combat system support, and it is the vehicle for ships to reach subject matter experts (SME) quickly.”

The 24/7 Watch - hosted by NSWC PHD - provides ships with access to command SMEs who cover a wide range of weapon system disciplines, provide continuous system monitoring, and conduct corrective actions when needed. This specialized form of distance support is a necessity to ensure the strength of the U.S. Navy, enabling the fleet to be combat ready at all times.

"Anytime ships experience suspicious cybersecurity events, they contact Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC),” Trinh explains. “NCDOC serves as the Navy’s cyber security service provider, maintaining watch across networks, managing incidents, and mitigating potential attacks. Oftentimes, they are the first to notify a ship when they detect suspicious activities on the Navy network, and likewise, are the first notified by a ship when the crew detects a problem. The ship can also use 24/7 Watch to contact PHD to receive assistance with conducting further investigation and collecting critical information.”

Trinh has worked closely with NCDOC and key stakeholders to include 24/7 Watch as part of the cyber incident response process. Moving forward, the NSWC PHD cybersecurity team plans to conduct a more formal exercise in spring 2018 to solidify the notification process across all organizations. In addition, the team is working with LCS to identify requirements for future cyber-related support.

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