Ann Dunkin: DOE Shifts to Risk-Based Cybersecurity Approach

Ann Dunkin: DOE Shifts to Risk-Based Cybersecurity Approach


A year after the White House released its executive order on improving the country’s cybersecurity, federal agencies have gained a critical view of their cybersecurity stances and are using that information to refine their strategies.

The Department of Energy, for example, is moving away from a compliance-based cybersecurity approach to a risk mitigation approach. Ann DunkinDOE’s information director said in a recent inaugural speech that she is encouraged by the new leadership and is already seeing the benefits of change.

“This is really the only way we can meet our cybersecurity needs,” Dunkin shared during the Potomac officers club. Reformulation of cyber stance around the forum for data collection, analysis and action.

“As we work to defend our position, in accordance with the new directives, in the face of increasing threats and in the various missions, we will continue to focus on risk management and move away from the compliance mentality. that we have had in the past, “he said.

Dunkin said the department realizes that incremental improvements to its cybersecurity capabilities are not an option. Instead, the DOE is targeting bold investments to protect its vital infrastructure.

“We really need to make substantial changes to the way we operate in order to be successful and better defend our data and systems,” Dunkin said. “So the scope of the improvements includes not only information technology, but also those running critical infrastructure and security systems.”

The department is responsible for a wide range of missions, such as securing the country’s nuclear weapons storage, developing clean energy technology and protecting the national energy grid.

But the department’s operating technology and control and data acquisition control systems, known as SCADA, are not getting the focus or funding they need to carry out these missions effectively.

“It’s very important, especially for organizations like these, that we pay a lot more attention to these spaces,” Dunkin said. “The administration is committed to increasing spending on implementing the EO and reducing technical debt and modernizing infrastructure. I recognize that the amount of money we have appropriated has not yet met the need, but we hope that over time we will be able to close that gap. “

The DOE’s cybersecurity for its operating technology environment is what Dunkin called a “high-priority investment” that is expected to improve the detection of malicious behavioral threats in the energy sector and identify malicious cyber activity faster and more efficient.

For more information on the federal government’s cybersecurity and data strategies, join GovCon Wire Events for Second Annual Data Innovation Forum on June 9th. Marie Falkowski, Director of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis at the Digital Intelligence Directorate of the Central Intelligence Agency, plans to present the forum. Click here to register.

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