Ensuring a strong cyber posture against current and anticipated threats across the Department of Defense (DoD) has become an increasingly important priority as evidenced by the Pentagon’s release of the DoD Zero Trust Framework Strategy and Roadmap last month, an agency official said.

Sudha Vyas, chief cybersecurity architect for the Office of the Chief Information Officer for Cybersecurity at DoD, explained that building out a secure and effective zero trust framework will require partnership across domains.

“The beauty of the DoD is its scope and complexity,” Vyas said during a Nov 30. FCW virtual panel discussion. “And when I say beauty, I mean that its scope and complexity just provide a slew of different use cases and opportunities.”

On Nov. 22 the DoD released its Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap, outlining how the agency plans to fully implement a department-wide zero trust cybersecurity framework by the fiscal year 2027.

When the agency decided to embark on its accelerated zero trust journey, cyber leaders looked across the enterprise to understand what DoD organizations were doing and what needed to be done to achieve the zero trust goal.

Four areas of interest were “the cultural adoption of zero trust, secure and defended DoD information systems, the acceleration of technology, and the enablement of zero trust,” Vyas said.

“We needed to ensure that we had a workforce that embraced zero trust and an overall increased commitment to zero trust cybersecurity practices. We also needed to increase collaboration and productivity among renowned commitment to zero trust,” she added.

In addition, Vyas explained that DoD wanted to ensure that it deployed zero trust technologies equal to or exceeding industry advancements outpacing the changing threat environment – and said this is where partnerships with industry help.

“The DoD has released several documents clearly defining the goals and objectives our organizations must meet to achieve a secure information enterprise. But we also used other strategic guidance published by the administration to inform those goals and objectives,” Vyas said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.