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PACFLT Cyber Security Conference Highlights Cyber Capabilities

11 February 2016

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn

More than 160 cyber security specialists met at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Feb. 9-11 to discuss cyber readiness within the Pacific Fleet.

PEARL HARBOR - More than 160 cybersecurity specialists met at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Feb. 9-11 to discuss cyber readiness within the Pacific Fleet.

The Cybersecurity Waterfront Training Symposium, hosted by PACFLT, provided Hawaii-based afloat and ashore leadership and civilian cybersecurity workforce personnel with training and a better understanding of cybersecurity initiatives. The theme of the event highlighted the importance of “Bringing Actionable Cyber Capabilities to the Fleet.”

“We need the senior leaders to understand the importance of cybersecurity…” said Capt. Danny Sadoski, PACFLT deputy communications and information systems officer. “…that cyber is part of their business, and that it’s a warfare tool they have that they can use.”

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, kicked off the Navy information warfare–led event. “Because of the context of the challenges we face in the Pacific, I am focused on two key areas, one is defense and the other is offense,” Swift said. “From a cyber perspective, offense is a national risk and that is why the authority is held at the national level. My focus is also on defense to improve cybersecurity for the fleet.”

The information shared during the event was geared toward understanding and familiarization of increased volume and sophistication of cyber threats and to prepare to defend against these types of threats.

“I think it’s important to have events like this to answer questions about cybersecurity,” said Ensign Aaron Fleming, USS Chafee’s (DDG 90) cybersecurity officer. “It has opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn’t know in particular about the different cyber-attacks.”

Swift also emphasized the strength of the Pacific Fleet and the importance of cyber security, stressing a cultural change is necessary to be successful long-term.

“There will always be risk. Computers are playing a major role in nearly every aspect of our lives,” Swift said. “We have to attack and defend in the same way as our adversaries attack and defend.”

The symposium provided an opportunity for subject matter experts to discuss state-of-the-art techniques and current processes to provide feedback aimed at improving cybersecurity practices around the fleet.

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