US Marines Create “Blue Team”

The United States Marine Corps today announced the creation of a Marine Corps’ Adversarial Cyber Assessment “Blue Team” (MCAT).

A Blue Team is a group of people who identify security threats and risks in the operating environment and analyze the network environment and its current state of security readiness. 

Using their findings and expertise, a Blue Team will typically provide recommendations that integrate into an overall community security solution to increase a customer’s cybersecurity readiness posture.

MCAT was established by Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA) and comprises eight to ten people from a variety of backgrounds, including cybersecurity, computer engineering, and information technology.

In a memo authorizing the new adversarial Blue Team designation, Commander of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command Maj. Gen. M.G. Glavy said that the newly formed Blue Team will support Marine Corps Systems Command’s (MCSC’s) Programs of Record (PoRs), which enhances acquisitions’ cyber testing and evaluation capabilities.

The new team is authorized to perform evaluator, tester, and aggressor roles in accordance with the Mission Focused Cyber Hardening memo released in October 2019 by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment.

“This capability strengthens our acquisition cyber footprint while also enhancing our Corps’ operational cyber resiliency,” said MCTSSA commanding officer Lt. Col. Michael Liguori.

“The cyber ‘Blue Team’ is another example of MCTSSA’s dedication to support MCSC and our Corps’ cyber efforts in contested environments.”

MCAT will assess the security and defense of MCSC and Program Executive Officer Land Systems PoRs for systems in the field and for those that are still in the developmental test phase. 

“I would agree that having the first cyber ‘Blue Team’ designation for the Marine Corps is an important step and I’m proud be a plank owner,” said Gunnery Sgt. Patrick McKelvey, staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Test and Certification Division.

“It also enables MCTSSA to potentially increase manning for Defensive and Offensive Cyberspace Operators, those with the 17XX military occupational specialty, to support the mission.”

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