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U.S. Army Charging Forward with Enhanced Cybersecurity Measures & Zero Trust for Protecting Networks

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The Department of Defense’s (DoD) push towards zero trust principles is marching forward with a series of initiatives for ensuring its communication network remains secure in today’s world of growing cybersecurity threats.

According to Ogedi Okwudishu, of Product Manager Tactical Cyber and Network OperationsIn a zero trust framework, the importance of knowing “what” device is on the network is nearly as important as knowing “who” is on the network...We should probably think of devices from a non-person perspective, because these are not just faceless IT devices; they are user devices, websites, web servers, and applications...How do we identify everything that needs to be on our networks?”[1]

The Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap, released in November, 2022, outlines four high-level and integrated strategic goals that define what the department will do to achieve that level of security. These include:

  • Zero Trust Cultural Adoption — All DOD personnel understand and are aware, trained, and committed to a zero trust mindset and culture to support integration of zero trust.
  • DOD information Systems Secured and Defended — Cybersecurity practices incorporate and operationalize zero trust in new and legacy systems.
  • Technology Acceleration — Technologies deploy at a pace equal to or exceeding industry advancements.
  • Zero Trust Enablement — Department- and component-level processes, policies, and funding are synchronized with zero trust principles and approaches.

But this will be an ambitious undertaking, one that will require considerable resources and expertise for ensuring zero trust can actually be implemented and maintained. The DoD has had challenges - to say the least - when it comes to major implementations. Just think of IPv6 as a good example.  Regardless of past challenges with security implementations, the Army is moving full steam ahead in implementing and operationalizing zero trust in alignment with the Department of Defense and the Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

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