For many federal agencies, the focus on technology and security is constant. At the recent Mission to Modernize conference, leaders from multiple agencies including the National Science Foundation, Department of Veterans Affairs, and State Department came together to explore the modernization taking place – from security to cloud.
During the Automation Technology for the Federal Mission panel, Ken Rogers, Deputy Chief Information Officer – Business Management & Planning with the State Department, offered insights into the innovation taking place within the agency and the role of AI and cloud for future processes.
“We are constantly looking at how we leverage technology to effectively and efficiently execute the mission of the organization – our diplomatic mission,” said Rogers. Right now, the focus is on the future. In 2030 or 2040, he questions what a diplomat will look like, how they will access data, how they will be equipped to complete a mission, and how everything can be handled in a secure and accessible way.
For the State Department to deliver on their mission, the agency is looking to AI and cloud. A “key piece of modernization” for the agency includes the switch to a multi-cloud ecosystem that will allow modernization to happen easily. “It’s a shift from Cloud First to smart cloud,” explained Rogers. This new smart cloud strategy will allow for innovation in risk assessment as well as data storage and analysis.
“Right now, we are focusing on building out new infrastructure, so we can then focus on our electronic medical records system,” as well as updating passport systems to meet that needs of customers. A large part of this new infrastructure will include the usage of AI to better assess risk and process data.
“They say garbage in and garbage out…but with AI and machine learning, we get the garbage out faster,” said Rogers. “With AI, it’s how do we better manage the threat that is out there? Until we teach the machines what’s normal on Monday, it’s hard to get what is abnormal on Monday.”
“AI is fundamental to the development of a more robust cybersecurity posture,” said John McClurg, Vice President and Ambassador at Large for Blackberry Cylance. “While people on the ground are essential to assessing risk and responding to the most urgent threats, when you have limited cybersecurity resources, AI is the best way to manage the constant barrage of cyberthreats, prevent them before they cause harm, and empower agency cyber specialists to eliminate the noise to focus on the most serious threats,” McClurg concluded.
To learn more about the importance of AI to successful cyber threat mitigation. Click here.