Navy to track cyber attacks in real-time

Thursday - 2/17/2011, 1:34pm EST

By Jared Serbu
Reporter
Federal News Radio

Shortly after the Navy's cyber command achieved full operational capability in November, its commander told an audience that a key challenge in defending the military's networks was that none of the armed services had adequate knowledge of what was happening on their own networks.

That's beginning to change, said Rear Adm. William Leigher, deputy commander for the Tenth Fleet, the Navy's component of the U.S. Cyber Command. Leigher said in an interview with Federal News Radio Wednesday the service will turn on a new system next week that will give the Navy its first real-time view into all traffic coming in and going out of its networks.

"The piece that's been a huge leap forward is our work with our command down in Norfolk, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, and what they've done to put our defensive sensor operation into a real-time perspective," he said. "So within a few days we're really going to be able to see real-time penetration attempts into our network and understand what that means over time."

Leigher said the new monitoring system would become active Tuesday. The new system follows on the heels of additional steps the Navy has taken to gain better situational awareness on its networks. In December, Navy cyber command opened a new 24-hour operations center to let watchstanders see what was happening internally on Navy networks and make better operating decisions. Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, Navy cyber command's leader, said at the time that the center would be 85 percent operational by March.

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