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Kundra Provides Glimpse into Cybersecurity Oversight Program

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, Photo: omb.gov

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra provided the first public glimpse into a classified cybersecurity oversight program, designed to make sure federal agencies are making the proper headway in shoring up the protection of cyber networks.

Speaking at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association in Bethesda, Md., last week, Kundra provided a few details about the “Cyberstat” program, modeled on a similar program for IT projects, known as Techstat, itself, a pet project of the nation’s first chief information officer.

Of course, with the nation’s cybersecurity at stake, he couldn’t say too much.

“The cyberstats are obviously classified because we’re dealing with very, very sensitive information,” he said, according to Federal News Radio.

The first Cyberstat session was held with the Education Department, he said, and it led to “great outcomes.”

“The cyberstats are actually leading to very, very concrete actions and outcomes,” he added.

Federal News Radio reported the model program, along with continued investment in “continuous monitoring” of federal networks, was part of the Office of Management and Budget’s 2012 budget request.

The current, paperwork-heavy approach is not nimble enough for today’s cyber threat climate.

Instead, he mentioned competing teams of inside hackers — red team vs. blue team — to find and plug holes in security.

Department of Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires said continuous monitoring will be more successful if federal agencies make their systems’ architecture simpler, according to Federal News Radio. And, for that, he added, industry can help develop solutions.

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