(Paragraphs preceded by [Non-ITAPS] are expanded recommendations to more explicitly address questions, not directly addressed by ITAPS; participated in and collaborated with ITAPS OMB-OPM-NSC Task Force) How can agencies sharpen focus on vulnerabilities created by (or exposed by) uninformed business/program users and the array of technology solutions embedded in service delivery that does not account for cyber? [Non-ITAPS]... more »
(Regular print are supported ITAPS recommendations in response to questions, flagged are expanded recommendations to more explicitly address questions, not directly addressed by ITAPS; participated in and collaborated with ITAPS OMB-OPM-NSC Task Force) How can agencies effectively address current time lags with detection of and response to vulnerabilities and threats that will significantly compress breach-to-detection-to-response... more »
Consistent with the concept that security is the responsibility of all employees, all agency employees should be educated and trained on general incident response planning concepts and any related responsibilities, including how to notify response organizations, the information to report, and other relevant activities. All incidents, exercises, and general activities offer opportunities to learn and improve planning.... more »
Walmart achieved a 92% reduction in security defects by creating a "Security Maven" role to drive security best practices into their software development teams that greatly outnumbered their security teams. IT security in government is typically organized as a silo focused on protecting production systems. A government-wide security maven program would help tear down the existing" expertise" and "contractual" barriers... more »
Agencies must plan for success. Increasing response time is a combination of technology, threat knowledge, and skill sets of cybersecurity practitioners. Lag time exists because organizations unable to effectively integrate practitioner skills, threat knowledge, and technology. Although agencies are in possession of effective tools (e.g., Einstein and CDM) that collect indicators and signatures of malicious traffic crisscrossing... more »
Currently, the government is still focused on perimeter defense will only a shallow defense-in-depth strategy. The problem centers on an enterprise architecture that is designed to usually protect the entire network at the same level, thus peanut butter spreading network defense resources. Agencies fail built a network defense strategy that focus on protecting their crown jewels, vulnerability reduction, and adversary... more »
Reports and articles keep surfacing on the issue of lacking cybersecurity talent in the federal government. Since 2010, little improvement has been seen regarding increased knowledge, skills, and abilities among the federal cybersecurity workforce. (Williams, 2015b).This can be attributed large to leadership failures across the agencies. Cybersecurity experts in the trenches, industrial organizational psychologists, and... more »
As enterprises strive to gain value by leveraging technology, the risk associated with digital business is increasing. Isolated approaches to information security, business continuity and incident response are a thing of the past; today, the urgency of providing continuously available services for customers and business partners in the digital economy requires enterprises to become resilient. A resilient enterprise protects... more »
Enhance content aware, rapid, and automated anomaly detection, both in network traffic/usage as well as user behavior. In-memory analytics powerful for this work. Be able to detect and respond in minutes not hours weeks and months.
Monitor data going out for anomalies, including tagging for sensitive data. This would have been a signal to spot exfiltration like in the OPM case
Clarify a “hotline” reporting channel for people who suspect an issue, in agency or government-wide – if a user sees a potential problem, can check with team to for tech assistance on whether it’s real and what are next steps. Sort of a help desk for cyber reporting.
Create Blue Team audits followed by Red Team operations performed by pre-qualified contractors or in-house staff using efficient contract services vehicle managed by GSA. Focus is beyond standard penetration testing and embraces “hunting” tactics largely used by DOD Red Teams to emulate adversaries. Increases resiliency and ability to enhance capability to address early indicators of APTs.
The old adage "it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert" is very true in cyber defense. We can't teach people to prevent zero day exploits but we can provide an inexpensive way to show what happens when an exploit is used. Technology today is finally available to provide ubiquitous Cyber Battlerooms, like Netflix, where you log into the cloud and "play" on a Virtual Clone Network of a government agency,... more »
What is your most important line of business or function of your agency? What are your crown jewels (as another author here wrote)? What is the risk to those? What does the enemy want to achieve? This is the just the starting point of protecting your agency or business. Today, it is important to create a threat-aware proactive defense around your Cyber Key Terrain (C-KT) and manage the risk per line of business or... more »