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The Commanding Officer's Perspective on Protecting Shipboard IT Networks
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis explores the perceived need or lack of need for an active defense system afloat e.g., the covert analysis detection CAD system to protect shipboard networks from possible cyber-attacks. As hacking methods evolve, it is likely that nation-states and terrorists will attempt to interfere with or take control of shipboard systems remotely. This thesis builds on the work of previous NPS theses that suggest the Navy consider deploying a CAD system in the Aegis Combat System to secure better the system against potential cyber intrusions or attacks. This system could covertly detect intrusions of malicious programs and track their activities and behavior, deceive the malicious software, andor isolate it to keep it from causing irreparable harm while deceiving the attacker with regard to system status. The data would only be available to the CO and designated shipboard personnel. In order to determine a need for such a system, 10 current and former commanders afloat were surveyed. The overwhelming majority saw a need to defend ships from cyber-attacks. Most of them saw the benefit of a CAD system in the cyber defense of U.S. Navy warships. This thesis recommends the development of the CAD system for shipboard use.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE