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Federal Executive Forum: Progress Report on Cybersecurity in Government

Cybersecurity Cybersecurity is a high-profile issue both in and out of the government sectors, as evidenced by the Sony breach and President Obama’s focus on cybersecurity in his recent State of the Union address, to name just a few examples. It was therefore fitting that the topic of a recent Federal Executive Forum focused on cybersecurity in government, profiling successful cyber programs and focusing on the current and future state of cyber.

The forum was moderated by Jim Flyzik of the Flyzik Group, and included panelists MG Joseph Brendler, Director of Plans & Policy, J-5 US Cyber Command; Ronald Pontius, Deputy to Commanding General, US Army Cyber Command & Second Army; Jeff Eisensmith, CISO, Dept. of Homeland Security; Rick Howard, Chief Security Officer, Palo Alto Networks; David O’Berry, Worldwide Strategic Technology, Office of the CTO, Intel Security and Chris Steel, Chief Solutions Architect, Software AG Government Solutions.

Jim Flyzik kicked off the radio program by asking panelists for some examples of where progress is being made in terms of cybersecurity initiatives within each agency or vendor client agencies. MG Brendler highlighted progress being made within the J-5 US Cyber Command in terms of building the cyber mission force, the adoption of advanced technologies, the implementation of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), as well as advances in partnerships both inside the government and with industry. Eisensmith said that the largest area of success at DHS was ongoing authorization—moving away from a risk checklist towards a model of ongoing authorization which allows mission owners to implement an event-driven paradigm using tools like CDM. Pontius said that there are many Army initiatives focused on cyber, particularly on people. The Army has recently approved a new cyber branch—the first new branch in 25 years—and has stood up a Cyber Center of Excellence. The Army is also working to partner with industry and academia to inform where cyberspace operations should be, not only for DoD but for the nation.

Steel said that the increasing media attention on high-profile cyber breaches has driven awareness of the importance of cybersecurity among Software AG Government Solutions clients. In addition to an increased focus on perimeter security, he’s seen an increase in the number of applications with security “baked in” as well as an increased focus on cybersecurity by developers. O’Berry echoed Steel’s comments on the move away from focusing on protecting the perimeter towards enabling security standards within applications, as well as a focus on actionable best practices.

To watch or listen to the entire broadcast, visit Federal News Radio. For information about Software AG Government Solutions cybersecurity resources, visit the Software AG Government Solutions website.

 

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