Over the last few years, the federal government has faced never-ending waves of cyber incidents, that have threatened national security and the privacy of constituents. In May 2021 the Executive Order on Cybersecurity called for federal agencies to implement stronger cyber defenses to protect critical infrastructure from future attacks. In the wake of the executive order, agencies have made significant efforts to improve cybersecurity. However, supply chain attacks like the Log4j exploitation make it clear that there is still work to be done. To comply with the EO by 2027, agencies need to build a united front.
In a Government Huddle podcast, host Brian Chidester and cybersecurity experts Bruce Matthews, Maximus’s Associate Director, and Kynan Carver, Maximus’s Cybersecurity Lead for the Defense Market, discussed the challenges of modernizing federal government cybersecurity and solutions implemented within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD). They share best practices for leveraging automation, data sharing, secure cloud services, and zero trust to bolster cybersecurity defenses. Matthew and Carver also discuss challenges faced by the federal government moving forward, such as lack of funding, the cybersecurity skills gap, and other obstacles to innovation.
“We need to make sure that innovation isn’t something to be feared,” Matthews said. “A lot of people say they want innovation, but there’s a fear of failure. If it doesn’t work quite right the first time,” [then there is a tendency to regress to what is familiar rather than progress to what is secure.] He continued, “innovation is a process of failure and finding out what works.”
By creating a united front for agencies by ensuring compliance with a comprehensive cybersecurity plan, the Biden Administration is ensuring that federal agencies are well positioned to counter today’s threats and those that will surely come in the future.
To learn more about the cybersecurity efforts implemented by federal agencies like the DoD and DHS, listen to this podcast.