By Cryptologic Technician Networks Second Class Kenneth Schwab

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) –Lt. Daniel Balance, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) N3 mission capabilities manager, participated in the Young Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEAN) Panel at the Department of the Navy (DON) Information Technology East Conference at the Hilton/The Main, on April 25.

The Young AFCEANs are members aged 40 years and under and a subchapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. AFCEA is a non-profit organization that seeks to advance professional knowledge in the field of cyber, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence.

Lt. Ballance was joined by Chase Horvath, representing IBM, and Alex Shiroma, representing Nutanix. They answered questions related to cloud-based data storage and the roles that artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially play in the future of cyber defense. The panel was moderated by Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan White, assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Command, Control, and Communications Engineering Center.

As discussed on the panel, the security of the cloud and AI each present both opportunity and challenges for those in technology industries as well as those in charge of the security and defense of DoD networks. While the cloud allows for dissemination of accurate information across multiple locations, decreasing the risks involved in miscommunication, it is not without its complications.

“Moving to the cloud, we realize that we can’t use the same methods that we’ve used in the past to defend networks and perform incident response,” said Ballance. “The game has changed a little bit.”

“In order to successfully defend cloud-based architecture, the principles of network defense and incident response must be implemented in the new policies and procedures developed for the Cloud”.

As the topic turned to AI, Ballance expressed that the technology presents an opportunity that could significantly improve network defense through automation.

“Right now it’s a very manual process,” he said. “AI allows us to offload labor intensive, well-known problems to the machine. This allows us to utilize our most precious resource – human capital – to focus on the really complex and multi-faceted problems. AI enables us to push the boundaries of what our cyber defense workforce is truly capable of.”

NCDOC’s mission is to execute defensive cyberspace operations and enable global power projection through proactive network defense and reports operationally to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. For more news and information from Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, visit or follow us on Twitter @NCDOC_PAO.

Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 16,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 27 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 29 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy’s Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.