Navy Aims to Overhaul Its Cybersecurity Systems

Navy Aims to Overhaul Its Cybersecurity SystemsThe U.S. Navy released a memo last week outlining a proposed overhaul of their cybersecurity systems across the board, in response to a rise in such technological threats from China. At the heart of the memo was an intense focus on updating a network infrastructure that largely relies on computers and communicative technology from the 1990s, and has been revealed as vulnerable to repeated attacks from foreign actors seeking information on advanced weapons systems and other information critical to the Navy’s war-fighting abilities.

The memo is the first response to a scathing audit conducted last fall on the Navy’s cybersecurity systems infrastructure, in which the service largely failed. Among other areas of concern, the audit highlighted a branch of the armed services that routinely have difficulty adapting and responding to increasingly advanced digital attacks by China and other state-sponsored foreign actors, who have left the Navy “bleeding like a sieve” as Navy Secretary Thomas Modly called the present state of the maritime service. “Our adversaries gain an advantage in cyberspace guerrilla tactics within our defensive perimeters”, Modly continued, “Once inside, malign actors steal, destroy and/or modify critical data and information. The point of infiltration is often not the target location.”

The memo itself calls for an evaluation of current staff and reactive cybersecurity measures, as well as the length and extent to which they are being successfully followed. In a further effort to ensure improvement in this critical area of our national defense, the Navy has agreed to begin reviewing its supply chain contractors, on both a prime and subcontractor level, to ferret out any vulnerabilities before they even reach the vessels and ships in the fleet.

As a trusted contractor to the U.S. Navy, OTEK continues to seek new technology avenues to better serve our armed forces. As with other branches of the military, the navy relies heavily on instrumentation and control processes, which in turn are controlled by a galaxy of digital and analog instruments in each individual vessel or ship—and nearly all of these are hackable by foreign agents. And while our New Technology Series (the NTM’s) offers the latest in wire by wire, streamlined and efficient plug and play replacements for the plethora of obsolete meters crowding these vessels, the NTM’s are still subject to a host of NRC mandated cybersecurity provisions that are both costly and time-consuming in terms of implementation.

Our Solid-State Analog Meter (SSAM) on the other hand, was designed specifically as a counter to challenges in cybersecurity systems while still being able to retain the technological power and efficiency of the more vulnerable digital meters. The SSAM essentially functions as an analog device, powered and operated by the same award-winning technology that runs our highly successful NTM series—and this is achieved by way of containing no microprocessors or other critical digital assets that are gateways to cybercriminals. We took this unique design and wedded it the latest LED technology available, using pure white displays over which any multitude of scale plate covers can be placed for unlimited customization displays.

Major design features of the SSAM include a 4 ½ digit LED display (completely customizable with a range of languages and colors) at 0.1% accuracy, 100% signal powered by 4-20mA or 10-50mA current loops, our patented signal fail alarm that alerts the operator in the event of a signal or power loss, optional isolated H.V. SPDT dual alarms for enunciator panel lamps, as well as loop power burden of less than 5V. As with all our products, the SSAM is very receptive to consumer-driven customizations and carries the OTEK lifetime warranty.

If you have any interest in the SSAM or any of our other Mil-Spec products, please call (520) 748-7900 or email our sales office: