Defense

Navy CIO memo promises accountability

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Navy CIO Robert Foster has issued a memo updating acceptable uses of Navy IT in an effort to stamp out insecure IT practices. The memo echoes recent emphasis from Defense Department officials that commanders will be held accountable for IT failures under their watch.

"Appropriately controlling access to, and personal use of, DON [Department of Navy] IT resources is a leadership issue," the memo states. "Commanders, commanding officers, civilian leaders and officers in charge must ensure users use DON IT resources in an acceptable manner and in accordance with policy."

The memo was signed Feb. 12 and published Feb. 23. It forbids the introduction of unauthorized software on networks, and prohibits sailors from doing their own bypassing or testing of firewalls.

"Communications using, or information stored on, DON IT are not private and are subject to routine monitoring, interception, and search," the memo states.

The Navy has tried to reckon with its sprawling IT footprint via a five-year cybersecurity plan that U.S. Fleet Cyber Command released in May 2015.

"Every single sailor on board any ship still poses a potential risk to that network" when they establish a secure socket layer (SSL) connection to an outside website, Capt. David Bondura, formerly the command's assistant chief of staff, said last June. That was the month that Foster, a former deputy CIO at the Department of Health and Human Services, replaced John Zangardi as Navy CIO. 

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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