Defending Against Tomorrow's Threats

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Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) use subtle, sophisticated techniques to gain unauthorized access into networks. In order to protect the U.S. Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) from these threat actors, Marines need increased visibility into their data. Quickly identifying, investigating, and quarantining anomalies will be the difference between mission success and failure in an increasingly interconnected battlespace. Next-generation platform solutions could help the Marine Corps quickly address emerging threats while advancing several key tenets outlined in Force Design 2030.

In recent months, the Marine Corps has made significant progress toward meeting Force Design goals and objectives. Leaders across the force identified and divested high-cost, low-impact capabilities to allow Marines to identify, make sense of and act with the lethality and speed needed to stay ahead of the adversary. As this process of refinement continues, convergence and autonomy will play a crucial role in supporting the Marine Corps modernization journey.

Networks like DoDIN and MCEN evolve over time, but so do threats. Success hinges on effectively adapting to advanced threats and responding in kind. To achieve this level of readiness, Marines must have complete and total visibility into the network.

“You can’t protect what you can’t see,” said Kyle Dewar, director technical account management for Tanium. "At Tanium we employ a converged platform that enables MCEN C2 through a single console. We are currently fine-tuning automation in specific areas that will allow us to respond rapidly with confidence."

And while humans will never be completely out of the loop, semi-autonomous cybersecurity could help the Marine Corps reduce costs.

“When you’re looking at a particular threat event using Tanium’s platform, the data contextualizes how severe or how negligible the threat is,” Dewar said. “A theme within Force Design is creating a disparity between a response and a threat. You want a $5 response to a $10 dollar threat so you can make the most of your investments for the output. Flattening the network with convergence of usually disparate IT ops and security use-cases, and smart automation reduces, and in some case reuses, response to threats on the network.”

Identifying areas where the Marine Corps could achieve efficiencies of scale is central to helping the force modernize. Marines are then freed up to focus on driving other tenets and aspects found in Force Design 2030, such as “iterative planning and experimentation” around force projection in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ultimately, exercising global command and control relies on the convergence of people and data. Marines must have up-to-date information to win against future adversaries, whether they are at the tactical edge or in Quantico.

“If your systems or networks fail, then you’re going back to maps, acetate, and grease pencils. While very effective back in the day, you’re not going to get the precision and performance at scale needed in today’s digital environment,” Dewar said. ”As we expand into multi-domain operations, data will be even more critical. You need to have a platform approach, and Tanium can enable that visibility at scale with speed.”

Discover how Tanium is equipping the USMC to fight and win against today’s threats at

This content is made possible by our sponsors Carahsoft and Tanium; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Defense One's editorial staff.

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