As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires more and more of America’s federal workforce to perform their jobs from home, IT teams are struggling to develop and maintain cybersecurity strategies to meet the current state of the world.
In a recent webcast from Government Executive Media Group and Amazon Web Services, “Beyond the Horizon: What’s Next for Government Cybersecurity,” industry experts discuss how long-term cybersecurity strategies that evolve with a changing landscape (and changing threats) are essential to success.
What does such a strategy look like?
Combining the power of cybersecurity and emerging technologies
For starters, it requires cybersecurity teams to embrace and work in step with emerging technologies.
A critical barrier preventing federal agencies from solving the cybersecurity challenges of today and tomorrow: agencies often position cybersecurity and emerging technologies against each other. Instead of working together, they’re often working apart and out of sync. Both areas, however, are incredibly complementary.
Take artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
From a cybersecurity angle, agencies can use this technology for good or ill. Automation can, in fact, empower cybersecurity analysts to be more effective at their jobs, helping them get more work done in less time (see our recent article about the rise of hyperautomation in federal agencies). The downside of automation: malicious actors can leverage the technology to exploit information in increasingly complex ways.
Filling gaps, embracing change
There are two major steps to enable cybersecurity and emerging technologies like AI and machine learning to work together better.
- Fill workforce gaps. Find specific process gaps, then consider how these technologies could help fill them. Think of these technologies as ways to build bridges over massive data lakes, connecting disparate data sources and strengthening your capabilities.
- Embrace cultural change. Organizations sometimes get spooked by the prospect of technological innovation. Why expose yourself to unknown risks when it’s easier—and safer—to stick with what works? Open yourself up to technological innovation.
Whether you’re working with a traditional IT system, a cloud system, or even a next-generation weapons system, your agency can only operate at peak cybersecurity when it’s operating collaboratively and right at the forefront of technological innovation.