I’m certain someone on the Internet has already thought of this but so far it’s been absent from the AICN comment section.
In “Deep Space Nine” we learned of a black ops organization that operates independently of Starfleet Intelligence. We saw it again in UPN’s “Enterprise” and we saw an Abramsverse version of it in “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
In each instance this secret organization was referred to as Section 31 (so named because it derives its operating authority from the Starfleet charter – Article 14, Section 31).
Section 31 has always been charged with dealing with "extraordinary" threats to the Federation.
I suspect this is why the U.S.S. Discovery sports the numerical designation NCC-1031. (The “10” part added of course just to make it more Halloweeny.)
If the ship is a component of the secret Section 31, that might also explain why the Discovery appears to make its home hidden in a hollowed-out asteroid.
“Star Trek: Discovery,” with a writers room headed by Trek vets Bryan Fuller (“Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager”) and Nicholas Meyer (“The Wrath of Khan,” “The Voyage Home,” “The Undiscovered Country”), hits the online streaming service CBS All Access in January.