Cyber security specialists investigate navy needs

Cyber security specialists investigate navy needs

NCdt S.L. Delaney, Contributor ~

Two weeks ago, representatives from the cyber security industry visited Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC).

They began their day by exploring Venture Division’s training facilities and engaging in a series of information sessions.

Staff in the Navigation and Bridge Simulator (NABS) described the training system capabilities to the visitors, and aspiring naval warfare officers brought the NABS to life with a real-time training exercise.

Venture instructors and the cyber security specialists discussed the cyber security requirements unique to naval fleet operations.

“When it comes to cyber security, it’s going to take everyone,” said Gary Perkins, the Government of British Columbia’s Chief Information Security Officer. “In order to protect our networks, we have to proactively address threats. The Government of B.C. alone sees 240 million unauthorized access attempts per day.”

After a few briefs at MARPAC, visitors boarded HMCS Calgary for a tour with the crew who highlighted the communications and monitoring equipment throughout the ship.

“When I transitioned to the civilian side of cyber security, my military background provided me with a holistic perspective of security,” said Christine Wilson-White, a Telus security consultant and a former communication electronics engineering officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  “Because of my experiences, I’m able to consider physical and cyberspace threats as different pieces of the same system.”

The future of cyber security within the Canadian Armed Forces is a focus of Canada’s new defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – which names cyberspace as a critical component of modern military operations and a recognized domain for operations, comparable to air, sea, land, and space. Canada’s cyber security considerations extend beyond national initiatives.

As Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Rose Gottemoeller shared at a convention earlier this year in Brussels that “NATO must be able to operate effectively in a new and constantly changing environment.” 

She explained that NATO’s approach to cyberspace is in keeping with its broader defence and deterrence mission, and that “our goal is to nurture, develop, and strengthen a stable and peaceful cyberspace.”

Forging relationships with cyber security specialists in the civilian sector helps to build awareness and mutual interest in pursuing Canada’s cyberspace operations.

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