Federal CISO on using Technology Modernization Fund to bolster zero trust

“Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha said the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) board – on which he sits – is looking to agencies that won awards from the fund earlier this year to pursue zero trust security projects to act as a group of pathfinders who can inform the zero trust transition work of other Federal agencies going forward…”

“He said that zero trust project bids from agencies were high on the list of the TMF board’s priorities as it looked at the initial wave of proposals competing for $1 billion of funding that TMF received from Congress under the American Rescue Plan Act. The board told agencies in May that it would prioritize proposals involving high-priority system modernization, cybersecurity, public-facing digital systems, and cross-government services and infrastructure…”

“In explaining the awards process to agencies looking for zero trust funding, DeRusha said, ‘the great thing here for you is you get your funds to do this in FY2022, while most folks are having to make the requests for the FY2023 budget cycles, and then re-justify after a year.’…”

“Elsewhere during his remarks, DeRusha talked about the benefits to the Federal cybersecurity effort of his recently announced dual-hat role as deputy national cyber director for Federal cybersecurity, in addition to Federal CISO.

‘Every time I’m out speaking with my industry counterparts, I’m reminded of their imperative to reimagine themselves every few years just to stay competitive,’ DeRusha said. ‘Although that’s not the standard model for government, I think that it’s important for us to acknowledge that those same forces driving industry change are affecting us in the 100-plus Federal civilian agencies that I am chartered to protect.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: Federal CISO: TMF Zero Trust Awardees Doubling as Pathfinders – By John Curran, November 23, 2021. MeriTalk.

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