Navy Creates New Position to Manage IT, Cybersecurity Matters; Thomas Modly Quoted

Jeff Brody
Thomas Modly

The Department of the Navy has created the dual-hatted role of special assistant to the secretary of the Navy and chief information officer as part of a restructuring effort, Federal News Network reported Friday

Thomas Modly, undersecretary of the Navy, said the restructuring was the result of an external review in March, which found that the Navy’s warfighting capability faces an “existential threat” due to the service’s poor cybersecurity posture.

“The responsibility needs to be elevated to senior levels in the department,” Modly told reporters. “The entire concept of cyber hygiene and creating a more cyber conscious culture was missing in the Department of the Navy, and needed to be corrected immediately, which means you needed to elevate this to a much more senior level so that the resources could be aligned towards that.”

The special assistant secretary will oversee cyber and information technology issues across the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps and will be responsible for four new directorates led by a chief information security officer, a chief digital data officer, a chief data officer and a chief technology officer. According to an industry source, Aaron Weis, a senior adviser to the DoD CIO who led the development of the department’s cloud computing strategy, would assume the dual-hatted role.

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