In the public sector, agencies and departments are focused on IT modernization. This modernization – whether it be the journey to the Cloud or artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) implementation – all have one key component: security. RSA Public Sector Day, which concluded on Monday, brought together experts from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies to explore the security challenges that are facing the public sector – all touching on the Human Element.
“It’s no longer that we just have our own secluded budget in the Federal government for cybersecurity. Our dollars are at competition for things that we spend not only on cyber, but outside of cyber and even outside of IT,” said Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) CISO Paul Cunningham, during a session.
Resource and budget challenges are known well by public sector agencies which makes it even more important to ensure dollars are being spent on the right tech. Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA Security and Steve Harris, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Dell EMC Federal explored this idea in the opening fireside chat. Ramazan and Harris discussed the pressure agencies are facing when it comes to technology implementation. Modernization is needed but modernizing without a plan of action and end goal won’t benefit the agency. “It’s not about having the right technology, it’s about having the right technology for my environment,” said Ramzan.
— RSA (@RSAsecurity) February 24, 2020
“It’s not about having the right technology, it’s about having the right #technology for my environment,” says RSA CTO Dr. @Zulfikar_Ramzan on implementation new tech. pic.twitter.com/n53vFi9CAz
— RSA (@RSAsecurity) February 24, 2020
This message of finding the right technology to fit the agency paired with the right people continued throughout the conference. The Department of Energy shared that the cybersecurity office will be focusing on education for both technical and non-technical energy stakeholders this year. “Awareness is a key issue. Right now, everyone is very focused on their own silo and you don’t realize how the supply chain impacts you,” said Sean Plankey, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy, Security and Emergency Response at the Department of Energy during RSA Public Sector Day.
For far too long we have failed to hold software makers and IT accountable for hygiene. We need to include IT as characters in our story @rohit_ghai #RSAC pic.twitter.com/WPyML8oVA0
— Zulfikar Ramzan (@Zulfikar_Ramzan) February 25, 2020
“We have to find better ways to understand and close that skills gap in operational technology,” Plankey said. “It’s not up to the schools to do this.” Unfilled cyber jobs are expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022, according to the Center of Cyber Safety and Education. These unfilled jobs shed light on the growing IT skills gap and the need for better technology and automation to fill the void, something that will benefit most agencies.
“Partnership is the last key. We have to partner with those around us in order to get a full view,” said David Tillman, IT Security and Risk Executive at the National Credit Union Administration, during the conference. “I’ve found that adding that last key, that people-partnership aspect is very important.”
This human element of the security journey is impacting how agencies consume technology and allocate funds. As 2020 continues, agencies will focus on cyber, IT modernization, and security with a goal to deliver on the mission in a resource-friendly way.
Rohit Ghai, RSA Security President, closed Public Sector Day with a keynote focus on empowerment and modernization for agencies within this goal. “We are only as good as the story we leave behind,” he said.
Powerful words from @RSAsecurity President @rohit_ghai as he concludes his #RSAC keynote: “We are only as good as the story we leave behind.” pic.twitter.com/xSvttsZSkp
— Jeff Shurtliff (@jeffshurtliff) February 25, 2020