GSA’s CISO Credits CDM With “Government-Wide” Cybersecurity

General Services Administration GSA

Bo Berlas, CISO at the at the General Services Administration (GSA), lauded the Department of Homeland Security’ (DHS) government-wide cybersecurity program and its effects in automating cybersecurity tasks for GSA.

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program run by DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) gives the agency a view of cybersecurity across the Federal government.

“The very singular notion that we need to treat the Federal government as a singular enterprise, and have broader visibility across agencies cybersecurity postures, that’s an incredible and powerful capability,” said Berlas, during CDM Central: Tales from the Frontlines hosted by MeriTalk on June 9. “CDM, as a whole, has had a tremendously positive impact on the Federal cybersecurity at-large.”

Berlas said CDM ensures that fundamental and basic security capabilities are implemented within government networks. Another one of the benefits of the program is the elimination of manual data calls to verify various organizations’ security positions.

“The program has effectively allowed GSA to replace what I would call manual-type processes with a lot more automation,” he said, noting the positive partnership between GSA and CISA.

CDM goals of security must continue to be effectively aligned with rapidly evolving IT and cyber environments, said Berlas, noting that roughly 52 percent of GSA’s applications are now in the cloud.

“The big challenge that I see is that, as we are rapidly moving away from traditional network security models to perimeter-less security, we need to be able to go through and bring more security to the data,” he said. He noted the key is visibility.

“Effective cybersecurity begins with ensuring visibility,” Berlas said. “Having that broad visibility across cybersecurity at a government-wide level is incredibly important.”

Visit CDM Central: Tales from the Frontlines for on-demand replays of today’s conference sessions. Continue the conversation on July 15 at 1:30 p.m. EDT with MeriTalk’s CDM: The Next Chapter webinar that explores our recent survey of government and industry stakeholders to catalog progress and chart the path forward for the program.

Dwight Weingarten
About Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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