PANAMA CITY, Fla. –
Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) is at the forefront of information technology (IT) innovation as the Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Network has recently became the first Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center (WC) to implement a local Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to support telework for the Command’s RDT&E Network.
With the previous Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) becoming obsolete and lacking the advance next-gen and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) functionality needed for the latest cyber threats, the NSWC PCD team of Robert Ludwig, network enterprise architect, Nicole Hendrickson, system engineer, and Daniel Martir-Negron, network engineer, came together to bring about the WC newest IT capability. They will be using the Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) which is the industry's first fully integrated, threat-focused NGFW.
“[This NGFW] delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint,” said Ludwig, who designed, configured and implemented this project. “Not only does the local VPN capability help meet the demand of expanding teleworking conditions for the RDT&E customer and operational base but also was more cost effective solution to stay with Cisco versus retooling with another brand/product.”
This capability allows RDT&E projects and programs to continue their vital work from anywhere by establishing a secure remote network connection.
“Providing these types of technologies to [our] engineers and scientist, allows them to continue working in the current hybrid work environment,” said Ludwig. “They have and still are able to rapidly deliver solutions for the warfighter on-site or from an approved telework location.
NSWC PCD will be the first WC to use this technology for VPN access to the RDT&E network.
“[We are now able to] benchmark and chart a new course with other WCs because we have already navigated through the integration/configuration pains of this new technology, said Ludwig. “We have already began collaborating with other WCs on our integration steps as they begin or consider migrating to the Cisco Secure Firewall solution.”
The mission of NSWC PCD is to conduct research, development, test and evaluation, in-service support of mine warfare systems, mines, naval special warfare systems, diving and life support systems, amphibious/expeditionary maneuver warfare systems, other missions that occur primarily in coastal (littoral) regions and works to Ensure Warfighting Dominance in the Littoral Battlespace.
“Whether the capability is needed on-site or via teleworking, providing reliable RDT&E network access bodes well in supporting efforts across various labs because not every lab or research project works/runs eight to five operations. Many of the efforts incorporate locations and customers across the globe in various time zones,” Ludwig said. “The IT Division aims to bring more technological innovation and functionality to the RDT&E network to better serve our customers. Currently, we are researching several new technologies that will allow us to the support the workforce to meet current and future warfighter missions.”