U.S. Coast Guard Releases Cyber Strategy

Published Jun 16, 2015 8:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, released the service's cyber strategy on Tuesday. The strategy is designed at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to ensure the prosperity and security of the nation's Maritime Transportation System (MTS) in the face of a rapidly evolving cyber domain.

“While cyber certainly poses a number of unique risks and challenges, 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,” said Zukunft.

Cyberspace is an operational domain that integrates information and intelligence in support of Coast Guard operations. The rapid development of digital technologies has led to unprecedented efficiencies, but it has also come with serious risks. The Coast Guard's cyber strategy is a comprehensive framework that identifies three strategic priorities critical to the service's effort defending the maritime domain:

•    Defend cyberspace - Ensure the full scope of the Coast Guard's capabilities are effective and efficient by building and maintaining secure and resilient Coast Guard information networks;

•    Enable operations - Detect, deter, disable and defeat adversaries by developing and leveraging a diverse set of cyber capabilities and authorities; and

•    Protect critical infrastructure through a unity of effort to protect maritime infrastructure from attacks, disasters and accidents.

To ensure long-term success in combating cyber threats to the nation's MTS and infrastructure, the cyber strategy outlines a number of cross-cutting factors that support the Coast Guard's strategic objectives. Among these factors, the Coast Guard will focus on recognizing cyberspace as an operational domain; developing guidance and defining the mission space; leveraging partnerships to build knowledge, capacity and  understanding of MTS vulnerabilities; sharing of information; organizing for success; building a well-trained cyber workforce; and making thoughtful future cyber investments.

The Coast Guard will continue to adapt, as it has for the past 225 years, by employing this strategy to protect America's maritime interests in cyberspace, maintain advantage over adversaries and help maintain the safety, security and prosperity of the nation. 

“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 Zukunft.

View the Coast Guard's cyber strategy here.