Filmed on location at AFCEA TechNet Cyber '23 by W2 Communications
Francis sat down with Lieutenant General Robert Skinner, the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and discussed the agency's implementation of zero trust, otherwise known as Thunderdome. Although Skinner shared DISA's excitement about zero-trust architecture, he noted that this approach is not without its complexities and risks. Nevertheless, the Thunderdome prototype recently passed all requirements, showing improved performance, cybersecurity, and user experience compared to current systems. Despite this success, Skinner cautioned that the technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution and that its scalability and modularity will require ongoing assessment and efforts to tailor it to different settings and user bases as needed. Ultimately, through the Thunderdome initiative, DISA aims to bolster their cyber posture and security measures.
HashiCorp's CTO & Co-founder, Armon Dadgar, highlights the challenge and opportunity for the Pentagon's multi-cloud environment. To minimize complexity, Dadgar recommends a foundational approach, a central platform team, and consistency in deployment. The same approach should also be applied to traditional data centers.
Wanda Jones-Heath, principal cyber advisor of the US Air Force, discusses the evolving threat landscape and the need to be ready to defend against attackers. She emphasizes the importance of cyber hygiene, which she calls a basic requirement, and ensuring continuous improvement and innovation to stay ahead of adversaries. Jones-Heath also talks about the Air Force's commitment to the zero trust strategy, which is set to be fully operational by 2027. She discusses the need to focus on identity as the key to success with zero trust and highlights the importance of understanding the cyber posture of weapons systems and operational technology.