VIRGINIA BEACH -- Enemies can do massive harm to the United States with more than just bombs and guns - they can wreak havoc from their computers.
Power grids, banking and commerce systems, and aviation control networks have all been targeted in the past.
Various estimates have projected the global cost of cyber crime to be between $100 billion to $1 trillion annually.
Navy Cyber Forces, based in Hampton Roads, has 1,600 uniformed and civilian personnel committed to protecting U.S. intelligence and information operations systems.
At a change of command ceremony Friday at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, incoming commanding officer, Rear Admiral Diane Webber, said the job ahead won't be easy.
"Our most challenging days are before us as this country embarks on a path less well defined than those previously traveled, against an adversary more devious and elusive than previously encountered," Webber said.
Fleet Forces Command commanding officer Admiral Bill Gortney praised the work of Navy Cyber Forces.
"All of you out there are getting it done," he said. "You work tirelessly in a complex domain that moves at the speed of light to get it down. Cyber space has no geographic boundaries. The threats never stop. Thank you and keep up the terrific work," Gortney said.
Vice Admiral Ted Branch, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance and Director of Naval Intelligence, said in an interview with 13 News Now, "The threat is out there and the threat is real and these are our defenders of our systems, and our systems are critical to our ability to continue to operate our Navy. It's the dawn of the information age and warfare and as we've seen the cyber threats across the world, these sailors are at the forefront of that, and they'll continue to be the key to our success."