Some government leaders still hesitate to make the move to public cloud services, citing security concerns, a lack of familiarity with cloud-based applications or the perceived need that employees must be educated on the cloud. Things have changed. Commercial cloud offerings are part of the modern technology arsenal that all agencies should be considering.
As we near the end of the first quarter of this new year, it seems like a perfect time to introduce and discuss four new "resolutions," if you will, for federal information technology managers and what a new action plan for progress might look like.
Without further ado, let's dive right in.
Organizations constantly are seeking new ways to address workload-specific storage demands in terms of performance and capacity while also meeting service-level agreements, response-time objectives and recovery-point objectives.
Many information technology operations are inspired by successful hyperscale organizations such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. However, most enterprises lack the scale and substantial development and operations commitment necessary to deploy software-defined storage infrastructure in the same ways. Hyperscale economics also typically don’t work out at smaller scale, resulting in poor utilization or unacceptable reliability issues.
Global security readiness received an overall score of 70 percent, or a C- rating, on the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, a decline of six points from last year and lower than the U.S. tally of 78 percent, according to recently released survey results.
The survey, created by Tenable Network Security and conducted by CyberEdge Group, solicited insights from 700 security practitioners in nine countries and across seven like-industries to calculate the global index score. It measures practitioners’ attitudes and perceptions rather than actual cybersecurity system effectiveness and seeks to determine whether cyber defenses meet expectations.
While it’s clear the cloud is the future of government IT, concerns surrounding cloud security continue to abound. Some agency IT personnel remain skittish about handing over data to cloud service providers and skeptical that the data will remain out of the hands of bad actors. As a result, they’re more comfortable housing information in legacy IT systems, even if those systems are, in some cases, decades old and prone to security vulnerabilities.
In truth, deploying a cloud IT infrastructure is ideal for managing today’s ever-changing threat landscape, for several reasons. Here are three reasons why.
The federal budget crunch has amplified bureaucratic appeals to private businesses to develop solutions that will streamline and modernize government agencies, especially the massive U.S. Defense Department.
This was the message delivered Thursday at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA’s) highly anticipated annual forecast to industry event.
The agency showcased several acquisition and procurement plans that will shape the future of the Defense Department, which aims to embrace technological developments such as commercial cloud services, mobility and the Internet of Things, officials shared.
The U.S. Defense Department unveiled Thursday a bold information technology and cybersecurity road map that modifies its approach on several efforts in the rapidly changing environments. The guide positions the department’s IT infrastructure and processes for a broad impact, in addition to hopes of greater security and scrutiny, said its chief information officer, Terry Halvorsen.
Despite all of the talk of cyber technology safeguards being built in versus bolted on, security remains an afterthought for a vast majority of digital transformation activities such as mobility, cloud services and the Internet of Things, according to a recent industry survey.
In just a matter of weeks, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will open the process for requesting proposals for the next round in the U.S. Defense Department’s cloud services offering. DISA’s pre-solicitation notice serves as notification to industry of the upcoming request for proposal (RFP) package for DISA's milCloud 2, Phase 1 (m2P1) contract, a government-offered service that, while not a completely commercial cloud-based system, leverages commercial products.
The Defense Department's continued collaboration to streamline the whole of the military's information technology networks and systems, known as the Joint Information Environment, tops leaders' agendas and fiscal spending plans—now available with a caveat for decision makers, officials said.
The evolution of information technology is heading toward a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Companies such as Cisco and Nutanix already are delivering HCI platforms that logically and seamlessly manage, configure and allocate memory. Additionally, a software-centric HCI combines computing, storage, network and virtualization technologies into one system, which can streamline resources and eliminate the need to navigate to different applications and platforms.
The Defense Department stands at a technological and financial crossroads, needing to accelerate the proliferation of new networks and applications while heeding budgetary concerns.
As such, department officials are looking carefully at software-defined networking (SDN) and the potential the method provides as a key foundation of the Joint Information Environment (JIE). SDN lets agencies build more flexible, consolidated and efficient networks, while spinning up new applications and tools faster.
“We have to embrace the software-defined mission of where we have to go with the networks,” Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen said at the 2014 Federal Forum when discussing the JIE.
As the Defense Department continues to forge closer relations with Silicon Valley, its leaders say they need more tools to improve automation of cyber basics, the department’s chief information officer (CIO) said. “At a certain point, I want to have some cyber defenses completely automated, where certain conditions occur and the system takes its own response,” said CIO Terry Halvorsen. “I think that is the only way we will keep up.” Automation would free up military and civilian cyber staff to concentrate on higher-level work.
The Defense Department’s slow migration of much of its unclassified and nonsensitive data, along with the unclassified side of its email, to a hybrid cloud solution is taking longer than hoped but is going to happen, promised Defense Department Acting Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen.
“The sound of money is what’s driving this,” Halvorsen told industry members attending the Defense Department’s Cloud Industry Day held Thursday in Washington, D.C. “How do we use the cloud and modern technologies to reduce the cost and drive it into the other part, the warfighting part, of our business?”
With 2014 in the rearview mirror, federal agencies now are looking ahead to what the next year will bring. For information technology (IT) professionals working in the U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community, 2015 will be the year of the cloud, application stacks, security challenges and centralization. How will each of these trends develop and impact government information technology infrastructures? Here is a look at a few changes in IT that will affect federal IT pros in 2015.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has released a draft of suggestions and recommended revisions to its cloud computing security requirements guide (SRG), which documents the agency’s cloud security requirements for the Defense Department. When accepted, the new SRG would supersede and rescind the previously published cloud security model.
Would you rather be stuck in an elevator for 24 hours or have your network hacked? According to a new survey, 71 percent of government information technology decision makers think the elevator is a more appealing choice. But improving security still ranks second to the most important technology goal in the coming year—reducing costs.
Economic winds are causing clouds to shift, or at least requiring organizations to shift their data to them. Mark Hurd, president, Oracle Corporation, kicked off Wednesday of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference by focusing on the financial reasons that drive information to the cloud and the need to reallocate money toward innovation. Information technology (IT) professionals, and the groups who use their services, are dealing with a situation full of data, legacy equipment and lots of challenges. The resulting complexity equals higher costs, yet over the next eight years IT budgets are expected to grow by only 1 to 2 percent, Hurd said. "Complexity has become the enemy," he stated.
Cloud computing and security were the hot topics during the first full day of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference. Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, Jr., USAF, director of the agency, said efforts are ongoing to synch different cloud efforts within the U.S. Defense Department and the intelligence community. He also stated that DISA is tucked in tightly behind the department's chief information officer in the cloud arena. In a presentation immediately following the general's, AT&T's Chief Security Officer Edward Amoroso touted cloud as a way to improve cybersecurity.
Sensational data breaches such as the recent hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in which employees’ personal information such as Social Security numbers, salary details and emails not only were stolen but publicly disseminated, make for great headlines and capture people’s attention—mainly because the public can relate to the breaches. The headline-grabbing attack leaves people thinking that this could happen to them.
It could, and it does, said experts on Wednesday during the standing-room-only Cybersecurity Technology Symposium hosted by the AFCEA Bethesda chapter in Washington, D.C.