Navy Aims to Add Cybersecurity Assistant Secretary

The Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Rainier, left, performs a replenishment-at-sea with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain in the waters west of the Korean peninsula in 2013. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Declan Barnes, U.S. Navy)

Testifying today in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee which is reviewing the Navy’s FY2020 Defense Authorization Request, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said the service branch is sending a proposition up to Congress to add a fifth assistant secretary to address cyber needs.

The additional assistant secretary, Spencer said, would have the authority to organize and undertake the solutions the Navy needs regarding cyber and technology.

“It’s there, it’s present, it’s not going way,” Spencer said when speaking about cyber, adding that the Navy wants to strike a balance between being defensively agile about cyber, and offensively agile.

In addition to the Navy’s desire to add another assistant secretary to the fold, the Navy is currently in the process of taking remedial actions with its supplier base when it comes to cyber protection and classified information.

“Rest assured, when it comes to classified information within the Navy itself, we are good at that. Where we’re concerned about is out in our contractor, cleared contractor base,” Spencer said.