CISA’s Connelly leaving federal service | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Sean Connelly, who has led many of the major federal cybersecurity initiatives over the last decade, is leaving federal service.

Connelly, whose official title is senior cybersecurity architect and Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) program manager for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has been instrumental in everything from a major chunk of the lifecycle of the TIC program to the development and advancement of the concepts behind zero trust to the integration of these initiatives with others, including the Einstein and continuous diagnostics and mitigation (CDM) programs.

Federal News Network has learned Connelly’s last day will be April 19.

Sean Connelly, the senior cybersecurity architect and TIC program manager for CISA, is leaving federal service after 11 years.

He is leaving federal service after 11 years at CISA and seven plus years as a contractor working for the State Department and NOAA.

Sources say Connelly will be joining Zscaler to work on zero trust from an international compliance perspective. He will help non-U.S. governments move toward a zero trust architecture based on the experience of the federal agencies.

Connelly is now the second federal cyber executive to leave to join Zscaler in the last two weeks. Brian Conrad, the former acting director of the Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program (FedRAMP) joined the cyber company in early April to lead Zscaler’s international cloud security compliance program.

During his time at CISA, Connelly has been the face and brains behind the TIC and zero trust programs.

He helped lead the development of the TIC architectures over the last decade, including the 3.0 update and use cases that became important during the pandemic.

While CISA was modernizing the TIC program, Connelly also began developing the first zero trust maturity model. His team released an updated maturity model in April 2023, helping agencies sequence the stages into “traditional, initial, advanced and optimal.”

He also co-authored National Institute of Standards and Technology special publication 800-207, published in August 2020 detailing the components in a zero trust architecture.

Most recently, Connelly helped launch the CISA Zero Trust Initiative Office to provide agencies with training and resources around the cyber efforts.

Additionally, Connelly played a big role on the Technology Modernization Fund Board, helping to evaluate and award funding to cybersecurity projects. In fiscal 2023, the TMF Board invested in 10 projects totaling $114.2 million for cyber projects. Overall, the board invested in 18 projects worth $177 million last year.

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