Rob Smilie grew up in Bendigo and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1998 as a Maritime Warfare Officer. He is a Communications and Information Warfare Officer in Navy, specialising in Cyber Operations.
Q What does a typical day in your job look like?
I would love to say exciting, but I work in an office these days just like everyone else. When I was posted to Ships the days were generally very interesting with new challenges and changes every day on operations and exercises.
My current day is based around building Navy’s Cyber Operations capability to defend ships against cyber threats from high end state adversaries when we conduct maritime operations. I am also responsible for the ongoing cyber security and cyber awareness of all of Navy’s ships and personnel.
It is quite challenging as ships contain a complex mesh of networks and systems, including propulsion, generators, navigation and sensors and weapons systems. Cyber security considerations are needed for all of these and are not as straightforward as a normal corporate ICT system. We also work closely with our coalition partners such as the USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand need to ensure we are aligned in defending out ships and systems.
I have a small team to do all of this and we provide support to the Navy’s new Fleet Cyber Unit located in Sydney. It is a very exciting time to be involved in cyber operations and I am able to use my Maritime Warfare background along with my cyber security qualifications and experience to shape and build Navy’s requirements to ensure we can fight and win at sea.