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Assessing the DOD’s zero-trust strategy

Efforts by the federal government to implement a comprehensive approach to zero-trust security took a significant step forward in recent weeks with the release of the Defense Department’s Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap. The new DOD documents spell out the various steps the DOD plans to implement to secure joint operations.

Andrew “Batman” D’Ippolito, global enterprise modernization software and support program director at Iron Bow, joined FedScoop to talk about the DOD’s zero-trust strategy — and its likely impact, from the warfighter back to the Pentagon.

He explains how the zero trust strategy ties directly to national defense and says, “President Biden’s opening preamble states that we’re living in a decisive decade, one stamped by a dramatic change in geopolitics, technology, economics and environment. Our defense strategy that the United States pursues will set the department’s course for decades to come. So, when you look at zero trust, it fits perfectly with the national defense strategy because it, too, will set the cyber defense strategy for decades to come.”

The DOD’s zero-trust strategy covers IT security issues — from identifying users, devices and applications to managing data and network activity. But looking from the point of view of the warfighter, D’lppolito shares his insights on how the DOD’s zero-trust strategy impacts soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. For example, he highlights how the Air Force safeguarded their air and other critical assets and was able to continue to fight an adversary environment.

D’lppolito also highlights a recent study that showed 61% of survey respondents are concerned with prioritization for IT projects. “It’s important because prioritization focuses on cost and budgeting. And we’re talking about cutting costs, prioritization and monetization and networks; you have to think about some roadblocks to getting to the actual maturity of zero trust. And that’s where the zero-trust strategy tackles that head-on. So, it’s a 10-year strategy,” he says.

“With so many competing priorities — for example, an aging aircraft fleet, you’re looking at new space systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — it’s costly but critical. Where does zero trust fit within this? [If] the strategy is solid; the key is ensuring it retains that focus long-term…[The DOD] must remain dedicated and move forward, realizing zero trust is an important process. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a long-term process.”

Learn more about how to accelerate efforts to achieve zero trust.

This video interview was produced by Scoop News Group and FedScoop and underwritten by Iron Bow.