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Feds See Need for Greater Cybersecurity Collaboration – MeriTalk | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Federal agency officials are looking for more collaboration across agencies to combat cybersecurity threats fueled by relentless adversaries who are employing the latest technologies in their attacks.

During a webinar hosted by ATARC on Jan. 18, government officials discussed the need for a deeper discussion on how government agencies can work together to fill the cybersecurity gaps between agencies whose security funding is finite.

“There does need to be a lot more discussions amongst the government agencies,” said Luci Holemans, cybersecurity manager at the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO). “I really kind of see that there is going to be a driving force – namely being funding for one – because there just isn’t enough to keep up with the technologies that are there,” she said.

“From an FAA standpoint, there’s never enough [funding], especially from a cybersecurity standpoint,” said Holemans. “It would be great to have more collaboration amongst the government agencies to see where we can combine forces and where we can maybe have those common requirements … put into environments that would allow [for] more leveraging from all types of government agencies.”

During the same discussion, Kevin Allen Dorsey, senior information security advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), talked about how more collaboration can promote “best in breed” practices and requirements.

“Although I do believe that [the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] CISA does a very good job of providing the guidance, I don’t believe there’s enough being done to help agencies work together to promote things like best of breed,” said Dorsey.

“It’s the cross-agency issues where we have to be very intentional for that to happen,” Dorsey said, adding that type of collaboration “often requires guidance from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before that can even happen.”

Dr. Tiina Rodrigue, chief information security officer for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), echoed the need for collaboration and said she sees CISA as the organization that can help foster that collaboration between agencies.

“I think we can have more information sharing, [although] it is not yet common practice for us to do that. But I think CISA can be the linchpin for all of us to say, ‘Hey, I’ve solved a wicked problem. Let me share it up with CISA … and then they can further refine and publish,’” she said.

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