2019 Is the Year of Activity for Federal IT Security
New technologies and approaches are on tap for implementation.
The federal government is moving forward with coordinated efforts to improve its information system security before year’s end. Both growing threats and potential advantages are compelling these concurrent thrusts.
Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, described these efforts during the Wednesday keynote address at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. Personnel, methodology and technology all are playing a role in these diverse actions, which aim to help secure government data and access to it.
Kent targeted better data protection tools as a major initiative. “We have to be more fierce and systematic about protecting critical elements,” she said. “As we look to a future where we are sharing more data, it is imperative that we improve the security of that data.”
Data sharing will require careful examination of ethics. Kent called for simplified and internal data sharing rules.
On the personnel front, the government is striving to create data teams, chief data officers, councils and specific missions to build skills. The aim is to build a superior cyber workforce, which Kent allowed is already taking shape within government. “We know we have some of the most talented people and most challenging missions here in government. Industry is tapping these people,” she pointed out.
Automation is a key activity. “You’ll hear more about … how we use software and tools for continuous monitoring,” in 2019, she said, describing “an aggressive commitment” to the use of automated technologies. “We have to get our muscle movement in the use of automated technology.”
Above all, the federal government must gain better awareness of its cyber systems and their capabilities to protect them against enemy actions. “We have to better understand our technologies so we can combat those who would use them against us,” Kent declared.