Navy CIO: Don't worry about shakeups at the top

U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Joshua J. Wahl 

Navy Department CIO Aaron Weis had a message for sailors and civilians working on technology for the military service: don't worry about changes at the top, including the recent departure of Acting Secretary Thomas Modly.

"We’ve all gotten new bosses, COs, CEOs, CIOs, etc. We can be assured that just when we are comfortable with our surroundings, something will change," Weis wrote in a statement on the Navy CIO website.

What does the change mean for mission?

"The answer is: Nothing," Weis wrote.

The chief information office also released guidance covering telework, information security and health information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance said DOD employees should immediately inform their supervisor if they test positive for COVID-19. Supervisors then can notify "appropriate persons within the chain of command designated as need to know for COVID-19."

The Navy’s guidance on telework stressed using encrypted email when discussing PII and to not send private information via collaboration platforms, personal email, shared drives.

"We support a record number of teleworkers and [have] accelerated the use of collaboration tools due to the COVID-19 challenges. I’m confident that we will transition with new leadership equally well," the guidance stated.

According to separate documents, the Navy wrote it had begun blocking access to media websites, such as YouTube, Netflix, and Pandora, and is considering blocking social media websites, including Facebook and Instagram "to maximize operational bandwidth available for COVID-19 response," according to a document on the effective use of remote work option.

The guidance also bans using commercial communication services such as Gmail, Zoom, and WebEx for official business.

"The potential vulnerabilities open the door for our adversaries to collect information that could be used against us. Getting the job done at the expense of information security is unacceptable. It is better that work be delayed than be done in a way that compromises information," the document states.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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