Cybersecurity Challenges and Opportunities Discussed at WEST 2023

Ardalyst leadership attended WEST 2023 at the San Diego Convention Center Feb. 14-16, meeting with industry leadership, attending keynote presentations, and openly discussing today’s dynamic cybersecurity environment. 

WEST 2023, co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), is the premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast. The theme for this year’s conference was “Readiness, Capability and Capacity: How Do the Sea Services Match Up Against the Future Threat?”  

The conference brings together tens of thousands of leaders in military, government, industry, and academia to discuss information warfare, integrated warfare, near-peer challenges and associated creative and agile solutions. 

Top DoD leadership outlined how critical partnerships will be in helping the services maintain a strategic edge of readiness against evolving threats in the form of foreign adversaries, particularly China. 

Navy Adm. Sam Paparo, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, discussed evolving threats during his keynote presentation on day one of the conference. He noted the Navy is constantly facing threats to its infrastructure, technology, and personnel. 

“I do have concern about potential cyberattacks to U.S. infrastructure and data systems that could exacerbate our ability to deploy the force rapidly in response to operational warning of any act of aggression, and I think that it requires unending vigilance in our cyber systems, in our port systems, and it requires a greater focus on ensuring that more of the fleet is ready to deploy on a moment’s notice,” Paparo said. 

In addressing the industry partners in the room, Paparo said, “We’re looking for your assistance to harness America’s creative and innovative spirit.” 

Ardalyst continues to innovate and deliver real, deployable solutions for the pacing threat. Ardalyst has worked with Accenture Federal Services, Microsoft, Mandiant, Trellix, Gigamon, and others to assemble a forward-looking team of the most skilled minds and capabilities in the industry to tackle the all-threat detection-in-depth problem afloat and ashore across IT and OT.  

“We have assembled the Partners of Choice for the Next 10 Years, instead of the past ten, to 

deliver cyber defenses in Denied-Degraded, Intermittent, and Limited environments,” said Ardalyst co-founder and CTO, Josh O’Sullivan. “We have built a team that has the maritime DCO scar tissue, has the right operational and technical competency, and the integrated set of capabilities to rapidly tackle the challenges DoD leaders discussed at length at West 2023.” 

Ardalyst leaders Seth Simmons, John Schofield, and O’Sullivan engaged with dozens of partners, DoD leaders and industry collaborators throughout the week.  

“Being at West is such a great opportunity to connect with government and industry for warfighting solutions in and through cyberspace,” said O’Sullivan. “West provides an incredible diversity of great minds and influencers in industry. In talking with them, they all agree…cyber IS where the fight will be first and we are going to need to be able to fight thru it. And Ardalyst – with our partners and experience – is leading the way in meeting the fleet where it is and designing and building the capabilities we need today.” 

Navy Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Mike Gilday, ended West 2023 with his final day keynote address, where he discussed “driving adaptation and effecting change.” ADM Gilday was very pointed in his remarks, and indeed the week was filled with a lot of messaging about China. Said Gilday, “Drawing a thread for the next 30 years, China is the pacing threat. It’s good to have someone breathing down your neck.” 

Today’s cybersecurity threats – particularly those that affect our supply chain – are real. They are not going away. Ardalyst has built the bridge to industry to meet the immediate fleet readiness challenges in terms of cyber resilience, mature capabilities, and automation needs for now and into the future. 

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