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Secure, survive, strike The Navy’s new approach for cyber dominance

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy this month highlighted the values the service is using to shape its cyberspace investments and improve its day-to-day digital posture, including what one official described as the ability to “fight hurt.”

The Cyberspace Superiority Vision, announced Oct. 28, contains three tenets: secure, survive and strike. The pillars, according to the documents, are “fundamental to maintaining maritime dominance” and ensuring Navy and Marine Corps operations proceed smoothly across increasingly cyber-contested environments.

The right cyber investments are critical, officials say, as the U.S. positions itself for a fight against technologically advanced opponents such as China and Russia after decades of focusing on counterterrorism and less-equipped forces in the Middle East.

The superiority plan was teased earlier this year by Chris Cleary, the Navy’s principal cyber adviser.

“It’s not only important that we build the foundation — data science, all the things that enable almost everything that we do right now — but how do we really apply this to warfighting techniques,” Cleary said last month at the Defense Talks conference in Pentagon City. “We talk about secure, survive, strike.”

The three factors are meant to work in concert, producing a sum that is great than its parts. The combination is also meant to fortify cybersecurity, shielding sensitive information from prying eyes, while providing commanders the tools they need to virtually reach out and ding a target.

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