Former DNI Deputy Urges Feds to Embrace Industry Security Innovations

While former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon commended how cloud adoption enabled Federal telework, she cautioned that more work needs to be done to stay secure when working remotely.

Within the national security community, Gordon said that securely working remotely has been one of their greatest challenges. To start, she said the government can move away from perimeter security and implement approaches like zero trust.

“We are not going to any longer be able to know everything about where our data are going so you have to be able trust that they’re going to transit in a reasonable fashion,” Gordon said at the June 17 Defense One Tech Summit.

As agencies look to these new approaches, Gordon offered tips for working with the private sector to combine the purpose of government with the energy of industry. “Quit overspecifiying in RFPs [request for proposals],” she said “We overspecify, thereby, ensuring that the new ideas can’t possibly take hold.”

Gordon also urged the Federal government to invest more in foundational research and development on the cybersecurity front and reminded leaders that embracing new technology isn’t always risky.

“The government worries about risk and sometimes acts as though any change increases risk,” she continued. “Technology can help us reduce risk.”

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