Cybersecurity is one IT priority that is starting to become more fully operational within federal agencies. Among agency leaders, 71% indicated that they are either implementing a program or they are fully operational. However, US defense agencies lead the way with 44% of respondents indicating that they have a strategy extending to external ecosystems. Civilian agencies can look to defense models for guidance, recognizing that they must be scaled to civilian budgets and be cognizant of civilian-agency missions, which tend to be more customer-centric.
The Chief Data Officer role helps agencies adopt data-sharing cultures, but large complex legacy systems, along with concerns regarding data security, data quality and data usage by other organizations, continue to impede progress.
While cybersecurity maturity advances, data maturity lags behind. Only 11% indicated that they have a holistic data strategy across the enterprise and extending through partners. In fact, only 19% have a holistic strategy across the entire enterprise. Rather, most (45%) are focused on specific areas within the agency.
The Chief Data Officer role has helped drive progress in adopting data-sharing cultures within agencies. Large complex legacy systems, along with concerns regarding data security, data quality and data usage by other organizations, though, serve as roadblocks to cross-agency information sharing. These challenges must be overcome to enable greater insights made possible through advanced analytics such as machine learning and predictive modeling—insights that can pay dividends in reducing government risk.
As agencies look to adopt zero trust, the balance between cybersecurity and data utility to support the mission must remain top of mind. Moving forward, chief information security officers and chief data officers must work closely to support mission objectives while balancing risk and meeting federal mandates.
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Enabling smart data sharing to strengthen cyber posture
Federal leaders are embracing data sharing as a means to improve cyber postures. Emerging technologies enable agencies to maintain control of data and its chain of custody.