By Ian Strimback, Network Solution Architect and Solution Group Manager
In early May, AFCEA International’s TechNet Cyber event brought together various cyber leaders to compare challenges and needs, as well as to identify and rank the changes necessary to harden and automate their workloads on premise and in the cloud.
The conference kicked off with General Paul M. Nakasone, Commander of the US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency/Chief, as he discussed how best to navigate the 7 pillars of Department of Defense’s (DoD) Zero Trust model, AI, and multi-cloud adoption. The DoD’s user experience is now front and center and a top priority in designing future state architecture.
Throughout the various breakout sessions Zero Trust, AI, and cloud adoption were central themes. Here are highlights from each one.
The Zero Trust journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Randy Resnick, Director of the Zero Trust Portfolio Management Office for the DoD, shared that Zero Trust in the only way to go for data security. The DoD wants Zero Trust fully executed organization-wide by 2025. They can’t do this alone and must enlist partners, like Presidio Federal, to help wherever possible whether proposing an architecture or a vendor solution to specific problem.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Incorporating AI — a world changing technology — is in full swing across DoD. They’re expanding AI to heavy lift administrative tasks, as well as, supporting the war fighter down range. AI can do a lot of good, but it’s an investment – often implementing AI agency-wide can exceed a million dollars explained a panel of speakers during a discussion on convergence and cyber synergy for success.
According to Ed Cardon, Retired General of the Army Cyber Command, AI needs to be repeatable, reusable, and scalable to be successful. Cardon spoke about how agencies need to clearly know what problem they want AI to solve before implementing.
Cloud adoption for DoD has been challenging as they want to use the power of automation to ultimately do more with less. They know they need a CI/CD pipeline to take advantage of automation and the challenge has been consistent architectures or lack thereof.
The DoD is also putting secure internet protocol routers (SIPR) in the multi-cloud environment which requires more hoops to jump through. During the event, Jane Rathbun, Acting CIO of the US Navy, shared that the Navy strives to allow a new employee or sailor to be able to go to Best Buy, purchase a computer, and type in a URL to access the Navy’s applications. The motive is to cut out the logistics of shipping a new computer to every employee or sailor.
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