DOD has a new CIO—Here’s what he needs to know

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The Department of Defense recently announced its new chief information officer, Dana Deasy, who already has a tall order to fill.

When Deasy formally takes over in May he will have three main priorities as it relates to cyber: cloud and cloud security, overseeing U.S. Cyber Command’s (CYBERCOM) promotion to a Unified Combatant Command and upgrading the DOD cyber workforce.

The private sector cyber community could have a key role to play here. But first, here’s what you need to know about what faces Deasy:

Going big on cloud and cloud security

DOD plans to release an award for its huge enterprise cloud contract, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), this fiscal year. The cloud migration is estimated to cost up to $10 billion over 10 years.

The contract winner will provide both the cloud infrastructure and platform, and eventually will host unclassified and classified data (up to Top Secret designation). Fortunately, DOD has experience with an enterprise cloud environment – think DISA’s milCloud 2.0 –  but JEDI’s scale will be much larger.

Obviously, there will be huge security ramifications. Given the tight timeline, one of the top priorities for the incoming CIO will be to work with the military branches and DOD agencies to ensure that this extensive cloud environment has the right protections in place.

CYBERCOM becomes unified in 2018

The new DOD CIO will likely coordinate activities between the military branches and CYBERCOM, which will soon become a full-fledged Unified Command. Previously, it had been subordinated to the U.S. Strategic Command.

This long-overdue promotion, mandated by the NDAA 2017, gives CYBERCOM more say in how its resources are allocated, how it trains and what missions it runs. It will also have full control over the cyber warriors under its roof who are charged with securing DOD’s networks.

Building the cyber workforce

Previous CIOs have been very vocal about the need to procure top cyber talent and to train existing employees with cyber skills. And this focus is no different for Deasy. This cyber workforce will need to be continually equipped with the latest analytics solutions, monitoring capabilities and non-signature based security tools.

The DOD CIO’s role expands beyond cyber, of course, playing a critical role in making senior decision makers aware of the threats that are out there and the resources needed for a better security posture. Having the right, top-notch talent to provide reliable information to those decision-makers will be essential.

For guidance on how to get involved in DOD’s priorities, reach out to immixGroup’s Market Intelligence organization.

This story originally appeared in the Government InfoSec blog.

About Lloyd McCoy Jr.
Lloyd McCoy is a manager on immixGroup’s Market Intelligence organization. He has a M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, a M.A. in Public Policy and a B.A. in Political Science, both from the University of Maryland. Lloyd leads the commercial arm of the Market Intelligence team, leveraging market analysis and purchasing trends to help Arrow’s suppliers and partners shorten their sales cycles. Prior to joining immixGroup, Lloyd was a senior analyst in the Intelligence Community for eight years, serving in a variety of senior analytic and project management positions in the U.S. and abroad.

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