Two big lessons learned from CDM

The growth of IoT combined with the increased complexity of network environments has the potential to create a perfect security storm. CDM can help agencies manage this growing complexity at scale.

 

Since its inception in 2013, the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program has displayed the efficacy of continuous monitoring in an agency environment. Kevin Cox, CDM program manager at the DHS, has stated that CDM Phase 1 revealed there are over 75 percent more assets attached to the agency's networks than were previously known. Phase 2 of the CDM program is complete, and Phase 3 is currently underway.

In many cases, this aggressive effort is happening in parallel to expansive network modernization efforts that could potentially pose their own security risks. Migration from legacy to modern network architectures, such as software-defined networking (SDN), can create security blind spots that federal IT managers can find difficult to identify, let alone overcome. These blind spots can be particularly prevalent in agencies with hybrid IT and multi-cloud environments, where data passes between hosted service providers and the agency itself.

Consider this: The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the number of connected devices will reach 25 to 50 billion by 2025. Imagining even a fraction of those devices on a government network in the process of making the move to a more modern infrastructure clearly depicts how the growth of the internet of things can add to current challenges.

The growth of IoT combined with the increased complexity of network environments has the potential to create a perfect security storm. Agencies need to be able to manage this increasing complexity at scale.

Fortunately, the CDM program provides a solid blueprint to help navigate complex environments and expose blind spots. With that in mind, let's look at two big lessons agencies participating in the CDM program have learned. Managers at other agencies can apply these lessons for better success in their own security efforts as well.

Hire the right people

Salaries should be included in that line item. Personnel with the right security skills may come at a premium, as these professionals are sorely in demand. Research from Frost & Sullivan indicates a massive cybersecurity skills shortfall of 1.5 million professionals by 2020, which is compounded by the fact that hiring managers are struggling to support these additional hiring needs.

There is an enormous opportunity for government to take the lead here, and it is showing the willingness to do so. Programs like CDM and the Department of Defense's Comply to Connect exemplify efforts to invest in the proper tools to mitigate cyberthreats. But tools are just tools. Agencies need the correct personnel in place to manage those tools and set security policies. They should be able to understand the changing nature of cybersecurity threats and develop agency-specific programs to address those issues.

Use technology to enforce security policies and automate threat responses

The configuration and system security policies agencies develop can be enforced through automated cybersecurity solutions that monitor networks and respond to and mitigate threats in real-time. Security and information event management and user device tracking solutions represent the types of automated security tools being used by CDM-participating agencies. These agencies continuously track logins and events (answering Phase 2's "Who is on the network?" question) and the types of devices affecting their networks (addressing Phase 1's query, "What is on the network?"). Tools like these have proven indispensable in the fight for better cybersecurity.

That fight will likely be going on for a long time yet. Even though Phase 3 of the four-phase plan is upon us, there is still much work to be done, especially as networks grow in complexity.

The federal government understands this and is doing its part to simplify, standardize and improve the CDM program through legislature like the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act. With its focus on continual improvement and innovation, the ACDMA is designed to help create a new and more agile CDM effort. This can take the program and participating agencies into the next phase of their cybersecurity lifecycles.

Continuous network monitoring will likely play a significant role in those phases. Phases 1 and 2 have taught agencies that continuous network monitoring, when done correctly, can yield significant benefits. Following the lessons learned by the first few years of the CDM program can help all agencies set themselves up for improved cybersecurity success.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.