Wichita, Kan. — High Touch Technologies had the pleasure of hosting U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Ronald Fritzemeier and Lieutenant Holly (Quick) Carey to discuss the current state of cybersecurity. In addition to visits at Wichita State University and Friends University, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce directed Fritzemeier to High Touch because of the company’s recognized expertise in providing full-scale security solutions.
Director of Internal IT Brian Straight led the presentation with a discussion of cybersecurity and the challenges with cloud-based systems.
Companies are focusing more on developing hosted solutions, but it is difficult for security-focused organizations, like the Navy, to trust sensitive data in the cloud. In many cases, cloud-based solutions simply do not meet the Navy’s strict cybersecurity requirements; however, the cost of regular hardware upgrades is becoming inefficient compared with the features and convenience of hosted solutions.
Technology development, in particular security, evolves quickly. Fritzemeier pointed out that the length of construction contracts can make software solutions difficult for the Navy. It can take years to build a vessel after approving technology designs. When delivered, some software can be out-of-date in terms of usability and security.
High Touch Senior Vice President of Technology Solutions Kevin Colborn brought up the rapidly growing mobile landscape, raising the question of how the Navy handles mobile device security. Mobile application development and security is growing at High Touch.
According to Fritzemeier, “It’s difficult to maintain network hygiene. While it’s easy to train someone not to touch a switch on a ship, IT discipline is more difficult. Recruits don’t consider computer safety the same way, since everyone is so familiar with computer systems.”
Both Straight and Fritzemeier agreed that user education is one of the easiest ways to improve cybersecurity. In some cases, red team tactics, where cybersecurity experts attempt to gain access to sensitive information with the knowledge of a select few upper-level executives, are one of the most effective solutions. In this case, users learn the errors of cybersecurity mistakes through their own actions.
When it comes to security, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. As cloud-based systems continue to grow, the challenge of adapting cybersecurity policies and best practices around sensitive data will be a difficult hurdle for highly sensitive data owners like the U.S. Navy, and an area for experienced security providers, like High Touch, to grow.
Pictured left to right: Jeff Lucas, Brian Straight, Admiral Ronald Fritzemeier, Lieutenant Holly (Quick) Carey, Kevin Colborn, Wayne Chambers