Out of Security Concerns, Navy Tells Midshipmen to Look to the Stars

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The United States Navy is now requiring its midshipmen to learn a skill that seems more relevant in the 19th Century rather than the 21st century: how to navigate by the stars. The training is limited to just a few hours, but will serve a critical function. Computers aboard a ship are susceptible to cyber attacks and Navy personnel need a backup system should the computers fail. On the open ocean, this means looking to the stars. The Navy taught celestial navigation until 2006 and re-instituted classes for current ship navigators in 2011.

European leaders in Russia and Germany have also implemented “low-tech” solutions to the growing threat of cyber-breach, with both nations reporting in 2014 that they would use manual typewriters in place of email for their most sensitive documents.

Companies need to determine what their back-up plan is should their computers go under. Reliance on technology is good, but recent events have demonstrated that no system is completely safe and companies should have measures in place to address the scenario when the computers go down.