A U.S. Navy officer specializing in cybersecurity
Image: U.S. Navy/ Chief Petty Officer Jon Dasbach

Navy unveils its first cyber strategy

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday released its long-awaited cyber strategy, as the service tries to revamp its efforts in the digital domain after years of personnel and readiness issues.

The strategy is a more detailed version of the two-page Navy Cyberspace Superiority Vision that was released last year. The document was expected to be unveiled earlier this year but was delayed until the Defense Department released its latest cyber strategy.

"We are focused on aggressively enhancing our cyber enterprise, while fostering cooperation and collaboration with our allies and partners,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement.

The blueprint, devised by the Navy’s principal cyber advisor and chief information officer, features seven distinct lines of effort focused on bolstering the service’s cyber posture.

The areas identified in the document include: secure critical infrastructure and weapon systems; improve and support the cyber workforce; conduct and facilitate cyber operations; defend enterprise IT, data and networks; partner to secure the sprawling defense industrial base; and foster cooperation and collaboration.

"Our strategy reaffirms our commitment to warfighting excellence within cyberspace," according to Chris Cleary, the service’s outgoing principal cyber advisor. "We are prioritizing the defense of our cyber enterprise and data while conducting and facilitating cyber operations across the globe."

In an interview earlier this year with Recorded Future News, Cleary admitted the Navy had fallen “behind” the other armed service branches on cybersecurity — which has forced it to shift some of its contributions to the country’s digital defenses and multiple policy prescriptions from Capitol Hill.

“We are all ears on this,” said Cleary, who is leaving his post this week after three years on the job. His replacement has not been named yet.

“We always acknowledged that there was more work to be done. The other services just moved more aggressively out on their own plans,” he said.

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Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak

is the senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. Prior to joining Recorded Future News in 2021, he spent more than five years at Politico, where he covered digital and national security developments across Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community. He previously was a reporter at The Hill, National Journal Group and Inside Washington Publishers.