Naval Priorities & Modernization | Accelerating DoD's Zero Trust Adoption | DISA's Strategic Vision



Presented by Zscaler & Carahsoft

Filmed on Location at WEST 24

Empowering the Future: ADM Lisa Franchetti's Vision for the U.S. Navy

IMG_1571ADM Lisa Franchetti, the Chief of Naval Operations, shared her comprehensive vision for the U.S. Navy, emphasizing the triad of priorities: warfighting, warfighters, and foundational support. She detailed the Navy's pivotal role in national defense, from deterring strategic attacks to working with global allies, and underscored the importance of equipping and valuing Navy personnel. ADM Franchetti highlighted her commitment to readiness, innovation, and expanding capabilities, including the integration of unmanned platforms. She also addressed the significance of maintaining strong relationships with Congress, the joint force, allies, partners, and the American people to build a future-ready Navy.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Personnel as Strategic Assets: ADM Franchetti stressed the critical importance of Navy personnel, describing them as the true strategic advantage. She emphasized the need for sailors and supporting civilians to feel valued, possess necessary resources, and understand their role in the mission, indicating that the success of the Navy hinges on its people's capabilities and morale.

  2. Future-Readiness and Capability Expansion: The Admiral expressed confidence in the Navy's current standing as the world's most powerful, with a focus on future readiness and capability expansion. This includes deploying ships and aircraft efficiently, extending the life of current assets, and innovating with unmanned and autonomous platforms to enhance reach and lethality, highlighting a forward-looking approach to naval warfare.

  3. Building and Sustaining Relationships: ADM Franchetti pointed out the foundational importance of relationships, not only within the military infrastructure but also with external entities such as Congress, the White House, allies, partners, and the American public. She stressed the significance of these relationships in building a robust warfighting force and ensuring the Navy remains aligned with national interests and capable of meeting future challenges.


Accelerating Zero Trust Adoption: Zscaler's Drew Schnabel's Perspective on DoD Modernization

IMG_1825Drew Schnabel, VP of Federal at Zscaler, discusses the Department of Defense's (DoD) journey toward adopting zero trust architectures, emphasizing the need for more rapid modernization of its infrastructure and cloud services. Highlighting the Navy's challenges with VPN vulnerabilities that hinder access to critical applications, Schnabel argues for an expedited move towards zero trust, well ahead of the DoD's 2027 target. He points out the DoD's struggle to pivot from legacy technologies due to its size and acquisition processes, suggesting that pilot programs could demonstrate the efficacy and scalability of zero trust solutions. Schnabel outlines three main goals for these pilots: reducing the attack surface, enhancing visibility and analytics, and adopting a breach-assumption mindset. He envisions success as a combination of fewer breaches, a stronger security posture, and direct, secure access for trusted users to essential applications.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Urgency in Adopting Zero Trust: Schnabel stresses the importance of moving quickly to adopt zero trust architectures within the DoD to secure and protect its "Crown Jewels." He advocates for initiating change now rather than waiting until 2027.

  2. Challenges in Modernization: The DoD's size and entrenched legacy systems, along with acquisition and budgetary constraints, are identified as significant barriers to rapid modernization. Schnabel suggests that starting with pilot programs could help overcome these obstacles by proving the benefits of zero trust in specific contexts, making the case for broader implementation.

  3. Strategic Focus Areas for Zero Trust Pilots: For effective zero trust adoption, Schnabel recommends focusing on reducing the attack surface by granting users access only to needed applications, improving visibility and analytics to understand and mitigate threats, and assuming that breaches will occur to ensure preparedness. These strategies aim to limit lateral movement by adversaries within networks and enhance overall defense postures.


Shaping the Future: Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner's Strategic Vision for DISA

IMG_1847Lt. Gen Robert Skinner, Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), outlined a forward-looking strategy for DISA, aligning closely with the national defense strategy, particularly focusing on addressing the strategic threats posed by the People's Republic of China. Lt. Gen. Skinner emphasized four strategic imperatives: operating securely, strategic command, control, and communications (C3), optimizing DISA's offerings through modernization, and leveraging data as a central asset. He highlighted the importance of restructuring DISA's processes and organization to better serve combatant commands and align with the national defense strategy, stressing the critical role of the workforce in achieving these objectives. Skinner's vision for DISA is underpinned by a comprehensive approach that includes process reengineering, organizational realignment, and a focus on workforce development to ensure DISA's capabilities are operational, secure, and optimally utilized.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Strategic Alignment with National Defense Priorities: Lt. Gen. Skinner detailed DISA's strategic alignment with the national defense strategy, emphasizing the importance of addressing the challenges posed by strategic competitors like the People's Republic of China. This alignment directs DISA's focus towards maintaining a positional advantage through secure operations, strategic command and control, and data optimization.

  2. Process and Organizational Reengineering: A significant aspect of Lt. Gen. Skinner's strategy involves reengineering DISA's processes and organizational structure to improve efficiency and effectiveness. This includes streamlining customer interfaces, personnel systems, and other operational processes, as well as restructuring the organization to better reflect and support the needs of combatant commands and other primary mission partners.

  3. Workforce Development and Technology Utilization: Lt. Gen. Skinner stressed the importance of the DISA workforce and the initiatives under Workforce 2025 to recruit, develop, and retain talent. He argued that technology alone is insufficient without a skilled workforce capable of leveraging it to maintain strategic advantages. This includes partnerships with educational institutions and innovative hiring practices to enhance the capabilities of DISA personnel.







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