There have been many events to mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month, from Twitter chats to Two Factor Tuesday. One event that stands out for information security leaders in the federal government was a conversation between Ann Barron-DiCamillo, Director, US-CERT Department of Homeland Security; Bill Lay, Chief Information Security Officer, Department of State; Dr. Ron Ross, Fellow, NIST; and Fed News Radio’s Jason Miller. The conversation, which started with a question about whether there was any difference between cyber security and data security, developed into an insightful prescription for how to keep driving the momentum agencies achieved this summer during the OMB’s 30 Day Sprint.
There is no doubt that 2015 has been a critical juncture for federal government agencies in how they approach cyber security. Spurred by the OPM breach, Federal CIO Tony Scott first announced the 30-day cyber security sprint, which, over the summer, became the foundation of a coordinated federal cyber security strategy. Combined with the empowerment of the CIO role under the auspices of FITARA, it seems that federal agencies are poised to make major strides in all aspects of cyber security – from infrastructure to data security.
One of the common jokes about the Internet of Things (IoT) is how your refrigerator might one day hack your house and run off with the contents of your bank account. While the scenario may seem absurd, it might also not be too far from the truth. As more and more devices connect to the Internet, innocuous endpoints – like refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions, are likely to be the gateways to valuable data opening the way for cyber attacks that we’ve only just begun to imagine.
While cyber security is doing more with less, IT modernization and the importance of public-private partnerships all continue to be important topics for government IT leaders, a new discussion point in these initiatives is quickly gaining ground – the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). Even at the recent AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, the Internet of Things was a topic raised by several panels. Increasingly, IT leaders are agreeing that this innovative concept is poised to offer both opportunities and challenges to all agencies, from those charged with protecting the homeland to those whose missions involve serving citizens in other equally-important ways.
Supporting more than 1.4 million network users,Lieutenant General Robert S. Ferrell- Army CIO, recently unveiled an aggressive IT strategy encompassing IT modernization initiatives spanning to 2021 to enable the warfighter to fight and deploy at any time, from anywhere well into the future. Referenced as the “Army Network Campaign Plan,” the Army’s IT strategy is set to deliver on five broad goals
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.