What Is Flank Speed?
“Flank Speed is the Navy’s enterprise cloud environment,” says Ed Austin, a public affairs officer in the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Digital and Enterprise Services.
It provides “a permanent, single-enterprise Microsoft 365 solution for modern operations, built on a highly secure operations and defense platform designed to support additional cloud capabilities into the future,” he says.
In his testimony, Harker pointed out that the initiative “will modernize our infrastructure to a more cloud-enabled, performant, and defendable network allowing data and information to move from anywhere to anywhere securely.
“It will also improve our overall cyber readiness posture by implementing key zero-trust architecture principles, securing devices and endpoints, establishing identity and user privileges, and introducing content and data rights management,” he added.
The Office 365-based system gives sailors, Marines, civilians and contractors access to Microsoft Teams, chat and remote work systems. It represents the Navy’s version of a broad new cloud-based DOD365 remote and in-person suite of tools, providing similar experience to the Commercial Virtual Remote environment created for the pandemic, with enhanced security measures.
How Does Flank Speed Help the Navy?
Flank Speed delivers “more secure collaboration, communication and productivity services with wide-ranging benefits, from remote work to improved network performance, built on a foundation of zero trust,” Austin says.
“It is designed to deliver 24/7 modern, cloud-based solutions that support a digitally connected workforce with ubiquitous data access and persistent information sharing,” he said.
Shifting enterprise collaboration and productivity services to an enduring, cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 solution “will provide world-class security and collaboration tools to improve productivity across our distributed workforce,” Harker said.
BryerJoyner described a number of key capabilities that become available in this approach.
“Once they have a Flank Speed account, users can access Teams, one terabyte of OneDrive storage, and productivity tools to include Excel, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint,” she told CHIPS.
“They will be operating in a secure cloud environment built on the advanced security principles of zero trust that supports unclassified data at the Controlled Unclassified Information level,” she said.
Prior to a March town hall meeting on Flank Speed, she said in a press release, “We’re incredibly excited to create an opportunity to connect innovators throughout the workforce in a meaningful way. In this hybrid workplace, it’s important to create these moments so that each individual can understand how they fit in this monumental digital transformation initiative.”