Navy Wants to Unplug from Some Networks to Stay Ahead of Cyberattacks


SAN DIEGO -- For the Navy, the best defense against a high-tech enemy may be a low-tech strategy.

After decades of building equipment, aircraft and ships designed to communicate with each other and back to shore, the Navy is now looking to "selectively disconnect" its systems to minimize vulnerability to cyberattacks, said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

"We're going back now and trying to selectively disconnect things and slow down some of these connections and only do it where we think it makes sense, where it's safe to do it," Selby told an audience at the AFCEA West conference in San Diego. "We've got to be more judicious with the things we connect to the internet or to shore, those kinds of vulnerabilities."

Speaking to following his briefing, Selby acknowledged that reaching this network-optional goal was a multi-step endeavor and could take a long time.

"[Naval Sea Systems Command] is in the process of finding out which systems should be disconnected and which systems should be hooked up, so that's kind of an ongoing process," he said.

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