IT and Networks

Navy zeroes in on network cybersecurity, innovation, cloud

Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) program manager Capt. Michael Abreu outlined three focus areas for the recompete effort: cybersecurity, innovation and technology adoption, and cloud adoption.

Speaking in broad terms regarding cybersecurity, to reporters during a round table Jan. 25 in Vienna, Virginia, Abreu said since 2013 the Navy embarked on a series of cybersecurity efforts to bolster Navy networks. They brought many of those capabilities to either initial or full operational capability over the last three years, with many still planned for executing in the next two years. Cybersecurity is still a top priority for the program, he said, and they are working with Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet to bring that capability to the Navy.

In terms of innovation and technology adoption, Abreu said the Navy operates on four- or five-year technology refresh cycles. They're looking at how to consume more from the cloud in a faster manner and take advantage of industry's cutting edge and technology trends in the IT marketplace, which change very quickly, he said. Additionally, the Navy must have some amount of flexibility to change three years from now because, as Abreu said, he can't predict what he'll need or what will be available three years from now.

As far as cloud goes, the opportunities in this space involve the possibility of driving costs down and then making rapid updates as necessary. The fact that industry can make changes and updates to the infrastructure faster than the government by using the cloud architecture is attractive, Abreu said. In terms of challenges, one is that data must be protected appropriately, which is related to FedRamp certification. Another, he noted, is getting data to the cloud, which involves acquisition approaches, technical approaches and policy approaches from a Navy leadership perspective.

The capabilities in cloud computing really weren't available three or four years ago for the Defense Department to readily consume, he said. DoD and the Navy have made strides in cloud service providers being certified to host DoD-level data, and now they can start moving data into the cloud. The idea is that hopefully the Navy can enjoy more affordable and more secure than what they currently have, Abreu indicated.

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