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Security updates could slow Navy's computer network

Sep. 23, 2013 - 06:10PM   |  
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Sailors who have suffered through recent slow connectivity or limited access to parts of the Navy’s computer network should know the Navy’s top cyberwarriors are aware of the problem.

In fact, they’ve caused it. On purpose.

The fleet is “applying upgrades to enhance its network reliability and cybersecurity,” according to a news release issued late Friday night from Fleet Cyber Command — moves that will protect the network in the long run, but could create limited short-term network issues.

“There is and has been no operational impact by design,” said Lt. Joseph Holstead, spokesman for Fleet Cyber Command, in an emailed response to questions Monday. “For any administrative functions affected, workarounds would be in place when needed to carry on those administrative functions during upgrades.”

Holstead would not discuss the length of time sailors could expect slow connectivity and outages, nor the specific areas of the network that could see slowdowns, citing security reasons. Friday’s release says the issues could continue “over the coming weeks.”

The upgrades include “validating and verifying our network configurations, settings, security, and equipment to improve and ensure proper performance,” Holstead said. These are in addition to the software and hardware updates the Navy performs on its network on a regular basis.

Sailors having network problems can contact their usual local or network technical support personnel, Holstead said.

The upgrades are part of the Navy’s broad cybersecurity push, which recently included the development of the Department of the Navy Insider Threat Program.

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