Pentagon Urges Collaboration in Cyber Defense

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In a discussion at the FedTalks event in Washington last Thursday, Leslie A. Beavers, principal deputy chief information officer at the Pentagon, underscored the imperative need for collaboration in countering emerging cyber-threats. Beavers cautioned that these challenges are not limited to the government but pose a broader societal threat.

Highlighting the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) vulnerability due to its expansive attack surface, Beavers emphasized the necessity for a collective defensive approach. She outlined ongoing efforts within the DOD, including modernization initiatives for information technology architecture and user experience.

“State-sponsored cyber-attacks from adversaries like China and Russia are a major component of the emerging threats facing the US defense industry and government,’ said Ted Miracco, CEO of Approov mobile security, commenting on Beavers’ remarks. 

“Countering these threats requires even greater information sharing and collaboration between the US government and private sector cybersecurity companies.”

One notable shift, Beavers added, is the adoption of the zero-trust security paradigm, aiming to go beyond conventional network security. This framework seeks to minimize cyber-attack exposure, enhance risk management and expedite the containment and remediation of adversary activities.

Last year’s unveiling of the zero-trust strategy set four high-level goals, focusing on cultural adoption, safeguarding DOD information systems, accelerating technology and enabling zero trust.

Read more on this strategy: White House Releases Zero Trust Strategy for Federal Government

The executive also highlighted the DoD’s commitment to building a skilled workforce prepared to confront evolving cybersecurity challenges. She emphasized the indispensable role of partnerships with industry stakeholders in achieving these objectives.

“The Department of Defense, as large as it is, is heavily reliant on civilian infrastructure and companies as well as other government organizations,” Beavers said. “It’s a journey that we have to go on together.”

In the face of continually evolving cyber-threats, the Pentagon’s message is clear: collective effort, bridging government, industry and society, is essential to fortify cybersecurity defenses.

“I’m glad to see the DoD’s focus on collaboration. It’s arguably one of the most important areas that can produce tangible cybersecurity improvements,” commented Jason Keirstead, VP of collective threat defense at Cyware.

“Collective defense enables trusted collaboration inside and outside organizations, allowing the DoD and the DIB to work together to accelerate these initiatives, reducing the attack surface an adversary has to work with.”

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