While Cybersecurity Awareness Month has come to a close, U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) reminds everyone that cybersecurity is a year-round habit.
Throughout October, CGCYBER ensured cybersecurity tips and best practices were disseminated through your local channels. However, the command has been diligently expanding its cyberspace capabilities all year long.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month
This October CGCYBER ensured cybersecurity messages reached units through Pixel Dashboard, social media and the Maritime Commons blog.
Cybersecurity awareness is a collaborative effort aimed at increasing knowledge on beneficial cybersecurity practices, understanding cyber threats, and empowering users to enhance their security.
Organizations within the maritime environment are advised to adopt fundamental cyber hygiene practices like multi-factor authentication, strong password policies, and patch management. Cyber criminals and advanced persistent threats continually target the maritime environment. Timely information sharing is pivotal to raise awareness of cybersecurity trends and developments, enabling defenders to protect against them.
Cyber Mission Specialists
In June, the Coast Guard officially launched the cyber mission specialist (CMS) rating and Cyber Mission Management (CMM) Warrant Officer Specialty. The new rating enables members to pursue a career in Cyberspace Operations and brings the service in line with other military branches which offer cyber career tracks for noncommissioned personnel, while recognizing the need for a dedicated and specialized cyber workforce.
Expansion of the cyber workforce, to include cyber mission specialists, is vital to the success of the service’s cyber strategy. Defense of Coast Guard networks and protection of the Maritime Transportation System includes performing defensive operations to test network defenses and defenders.
Enlisted members from any rating can apply to be a CMS, provided they are an E-4 and advancement eligible, slightly higher than the E-3 threshold for many other ratings. New recruits and senior members interested in pursuing the cyber rating are encouraged to build expertise and credentials to make them attractive applicants in the future.
CGCYBER Centralized Service Desk
In August, the Coast Guard established CGCYBER’s Centralized Service Desk (CSD) as an individual USCG command. Establishment of the CSD as an independent command provides an essential pipeline for junior officers in the cyberspace officer specialty to compete for command level opportunities. It is the Coast Guard’s information technology (IT) and electronics help desk.
The CSD’s mission is to provide users with improved service and support, actions as the front door to centralized Command Control, Communication, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I) support services across the Coast Guard.
Cyber Protection Teams
In August, the Coast Guard also established three Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) as individual commands. These deployable teams support the second line of effort from the Cyber Strategic Outlook: Protect the Marine Transportation System. The Coast Guard currently has two CPTs based out of Washington, D.C., and one in Alameda, Calif.
In April, the Coast Guard officially chartered the Auxiliary Cyberspace Flotilla 054-22-12, signifying a pivotal moment in the guardianship of the digital seas. Headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, a team of auxiliarists from around the country maintain a collective portfolio of industry, government, and military experience within the cyber and information technology spheres. Each member of this flotilla is a holder of multiple cybersecurity certifications, positioning them as a formidable force in support of the missions of the Coast Guard Cyber Command.
For more information, visit the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Official Web Portal at https://www.cgaux.org/ and explore their vital role in securing our digital future.
In October, the Coast Guard announced its new Cyberspace military qualifications insignia and equivalent civilian pin had been approved for members of the CG Cyberspace workforce. The Cyberspace Insignia represents the complementary nature of the elements of the Cyberspace Workforce who design, build, configure, secure, operate, maintain, sustain, defend, and protect DHS/USCG, Department of Defense, and US cyberspace resources; conduct related intelligence activities; enable Coast Guard operations; and project power in or through cyberspace.
In the News
Coast Guard adds first new insignia in over 20 years
New Cyber Mission Specialist enlisted rating expands cyberspace career opportunity
Coast Guard unveils new cyber mission rating
Commandant Instruction 1200.3
General Messages - 378-23_ALCOAST.pdf - 2023 (sharepoint-mil.us)
OFCO 022-23 Establish Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCC) Centralized Service Desk (CSD) Saint Louis, 1790 Cyber Protection Team, 2003 Cyber Protection Team, and 2013 Cyber Protection Team
U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Strategic Outlook