by LT Stephanie Young, June 17 – For more than two centuries, the U.S. Coast Guard has harnessed innovations and leveraged new capabilities to ensure safety, security and stewardship across the maritime domain. In continuing a proud history of responding to the nation’s maritime needs, the Coast Guard has fully embraced a new operating domain – cyberspace.
The Coast Guard’s commitment to cyberspace as an operating domain requires a comprehensive strategy that provides a clear framework for mission execution. Today, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft released his new Cyber Strategy, which aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s and Department of Defense’s plans and will guide the service’s efforts in the cyber domain for the next 10 years.
“Cyber is a new risk factor, but it does not interrupt long-standing and successful regimes for dealing with prevention and response to incidents,” said the Commandant at the strategy’s roll out held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. “This isn’t about looking for new authorities or missions. We’re doing as we’ve done for 225 years. We’re applying our existing authorities and skills to meet demand in emerging domains.”
The Coast Guard Cyber Strategy identifies three distinct strategic priorities crucial to the service’s mission: defending cyberspace, enabling operations and protecting infrastructure. In all of these efforts our goal is a common one: identify and address cyber risks to the maritime domain.
Defending cyberspace: To ensure mission success as effectively and efficiently as possible, the Coast Guard must protect information infrastructure and build a more resilient Coast Guard network.
Enabling operations: Cyberspace operations – both in and out of Coast Guard information and communications networks and systems – help detect, deter, disable and defeat adversaries. Robust intelligence, law enforcement and maritime and military cyber programs are essential to the effectiveness of Coast Guard operations and deterring, preventing and responding to malicious activity targeting critical maritime infrastructure.
Protecting Infrastructure: The maritime transportation system, and its associated infrastructure, is vital to America’s economy, security and defense. While cyber systems enable the maritime transportation system to operate with unprecedented speed and efficiency, those same systems also create potential vulnerabilities.
“While cyber certainly poses a number of unique risks and challenges,” said the Commandant, “I am confident that we can meet them in a way that benefits the marine industry, protects privacy and maintains the safety and security of our maritime environment.”
By employing its new cyber strategy, the Coast Guard will work tirelessly to achieve our vision for operating in the cyber domain: We will ensure the security of our cyberspace, maintain superiority over our adversaries and safeguard our Nation’s critical maritime infrastructure.