Insights from TechNet Cyber: Collaboration, Partnerships are Keys to Success

By Francis Rose, Host, Fed Gov Today

Sponsored by Carahsoft

AFCEA International’s TechNet Cyber in Baltimore May 2-4 highlighted this year’s theme, "The Urgency of Action: Focused, Aligned, and Ready." Discussions on the show floor, in panel sessions, keynotes, and on the set of Fed Gov Today brought forth several key themes that underscored the need for strategic, collaborative approaches in today's evolving technological landscape.

The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract drove a lot of discussion on multi-cloud adoption. DoD leaders are learning more about the potential benefits and complexities of leveraging multiple cloud vendors. Those vendors emphasize the importance of consistency and a foundational approach to effectively manage the intricacies of multi-cloud environments. Both government and industry now understand the need for a clear, intentional strategy when adopting multi-cloud. Those lessons come from organizations that transitioned from ad hoc approaches to centralized platform teams and standardized operational blueprints.

Security was another paramount theme throughout the discussions, and the keystone of that theme was the implementation of the Pentagon’s zero trust strategy. Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, described how the Thunderdome initiative will deliver on the zero trust strategy. Several of the government and industry guests I talked to at TechNet cyber emphasized that zero trust is not only a technical approach, but a cultural issue that will require organizations to change they way they think, not just the way they operate.

Interoperability and partnerships were also central to the conversations. Several speakers recognized the importance of interoperability within zero trust frameworks, stressing the role of APIs and prebuilt apps in enabling connectivity.

Both government and industry leaders recognized collaboration of both camps as vital for success in tech and cyber efforts. Government leaders listed their industry partnerships as some of their most important.

Experts cited automation and analytics as critical elements for implementing the zero trust strategy. Those experts agree distributed analytics and automation, particularly in automating the blocking of known threats and reducing noise for analysts, will be key tools for executing the vision of the strategy. Analytics and automation will also contribute to improved performance, user experience, and enhanced cybersecurity.

Attendees at TechNet Cyber took home valuable insights into collaborative approaches in the realm of cybersecurity. The discussions encompassing multi-cloud adoption, zero trust, partnerships, and cultural shifts confirmed the need for strategic planning, consistent execution, and effective communication between various stakeholders. Government and industry leaders alike agree those elements are the path to ensuring robust security and navigating the technological landscape.

More Cyber Insights from TechNet Cyber:

Lt. Gen Rober Skinner, Director, DISA

Armon Dadgar, CTO & Co-founder, HashiCorp

Wanda Jones-Heath, Principal Cyber Advisor, U.S Air Force

Berk Bucukoglu, Vice President, Strategic Partner Alliances, Qrypt

Tony Higgins, Director, DoD at RegScale

Sabrina Lea, Director, DoD Programs at Okta

Justin Robinson, CTO Cyber Security Solutions at ThunderCat Technology

Kathryn Wang - VP, Partnerships Public Sector at Human

Hanna Wong, Director, Public Sector Solutions at Proofpoint