Boosting DoD Cybersecurity and Modernization | Cultivating Future Cyber Experts | Mastering Compliance Challenges


Presented by Forescout Government Systems and Carahsoft

Accelerating Cybersecurity and Strategic Modernization in the DoD

IMG_4120Lt. Gen Robert Skinner, Director of DISA and Commander of JFHQ-DODIN discusses his focus on accelerating actions within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Joint Force Headquarters - Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN), emphasizing the need for speed and alignment to maintain a competitive advantage. He highlights the DISA Next strategy, which aims to modernize and align capabilities to support warfighters and senior leaders globally, particularly in areas outside the continental United States (OCONUS). Skinner also addresses the importance of integrating emerging technologies such as AI, ML, and quantum computing to solve current and future problems. Furthermore, he underscores the significance of developing a skilled workforce by collaborating with academia and industry to ensure a pipeline of talent ready to meet the Department of Defense's needs. He calls for industry collaboration to produce simpler, scalable technologies and emphasizes the need for critical thinkers to enhance cybersecurity and strategic modernization efforts.

Key Takeaways:
  1. Emphasizing the need for speed and alignment in all strategic actions to maintain a competitive edge.

  2. Focusing on modernizing capabilities and ensuring readiness for global operations, particularly through the DISA Next strategy.

  3. Leveraging AI, ML, and quantum computing while cultivating a skilled workforce through academic and industry collaborations.

Navigating the Compliance Maze

Photo Jun 25 2024, 3 17 14 PM-1Mike Walsh, President at Forescout Government Systems, discusses the "Comply to Connect" program, a DoD CIO-driven
initiative aimed at enhancing cybersecurity across millions of endpoints within the DOD's infrastructure. The program, which has been in progress for three years, currently manages around 4 million licensed endpoints. It plays a crucial role in the Zero Trust (ZT) framework by collecting extensive device information. The speaker highlights the delay in integrating operational technology (OT) into the program, emphasizing that devices like phones, generators, and data center battery systems will be included within a year. He also addresses the significant threat posed by the Volt Typhoon espionage hack, which has infiltrated numerous public sector systems. This hack is not aimed at immediate disruption but poses long-term risks. To mitigate this, the speaker urges DoD departments to inventory their OT assets using existing licenses and comply with the NSA's Binary Operational Directive (BOD) 12402. This compliance is crucial for securing future budget allocations and ensuring comprehensive cybersecurity measures by 2026-2027.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. The "Comply to Connect" program will soon include OT devices like phones and generators to enhance overall cybersecurity within the DoD.

  2. The Volt Typhoon espionage hack poses a significant long-term security risk, requiring immediate inventory and protection of OT devices.

  3. Adhering to NSA's BOD 12402 and accurately inventorying OT assets are essential for securing future budget allocations and comprehensive cybersecurity by 2026-2027.

Developing the Next Generation of Cyber Warriors

Screenshot 2024-06-28 at 11.25.27 AMMark Gorak, Principal Director for Resources & Analysis for the Department of Defense (DoD) has established a centralized office to streamline and enhance its cyber academic engagements, encompassing initiatives from K-12 education to scholarships and research grants. This office aims to serve as a comprehensive resource for all cyber-related academic activities within the DoD, promoting a cohesive strategy to inspire and develop the next generation of cyber professionals. By actively engaging with students and increasing awareness of career opportunities in the federal government and the DoD, the office seeks to cultivate interest in STEM fields and cybersecurity. Additionally, this initiative addresses the significant shortfall in the cyber workforce by identifying gaps in current programs and ensuring that educational efforts are aligned with future needs, thereby creating a robust pipeline of skilled talent to support national security objectives.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The new office serves as a one-stop shop for all DoD cyber academic engagements, consolidating efforts and identifying gaps in existing programs.

  2. By promoting STEM education and increasing awareness of federal and DoD career opportunities, the initiative aims to inspire youth to pursue careers in cybersecurity.

  3. The program focuses on long-term solutions to the cyber workforce shortage, aiming to reduce the gap by developing a pipeline of skilled cyber professionals from an early age.



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