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David McKeown of DOD Gains 2023 Wash100 Recognition for Leading Department Cybersecurity Push

David McKeown, senior information security officer and deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Department of Defense, became the latest government official to be inducted into the 2023 edition of the Wash100. McKeown’s first selection to receive the Wash100 Award from Executive Mosaic reflects his leadership in DOD-wide efforts toward achieving zero trust goals.

The annual Wash100 list represents a cross-section of leaders who shape the narrative around government contracting and execute a strategic vision for their organization. Voting is underway for the ranking of awardees at Wash100.com, so don’t forget to cast a vote for your GovCon champion by April 28!

In his current capacity, McKeown oversees DOD’s overall cybersecurity program, associated governance policy and partnerships with the private sector in promoting security data sharing within the defense industrial base.

McKeown, who also serves as acting principal deputy CIO, said in November 2022 that the Pentagon set out on an “ambitious undertaking” to meet the strategic goals outlined in its Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap and developed plans to move away from traditional network security approaches by the end of fiscal 2027.

Zero trust is a framework for moving beyond relying on perimeter-based cybersecurity defense tools alone and basically assuming that breach has occurred within our boundary and responding accordingly,” he said.

Under the framework, DOD is aiming to build a culture of zero trust, defend information systems, accelerate technology framework and enable a zero trust environment.

His office, which leads the DOD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification initiative, is also exploring ways to help companies address the majority of security controls in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-171.

“For instance, in the CMMC realm, rather than go out and assess each and every network of our industry partners, I’m kind of keen on establishing some sort of cloud services that either achieve many of the 110 controls in [NIST SP] 800-171 or all of them that industry partners can consume to store our data and safeguard our data without us having to go out onto your network,” McKeown remarked at an April 20 cyber mission event.

McKeown took on his current dual role at DOD in November 2020 after he spent one year and three months as director of enterprise services at the Department of Justice. Before he joined DOJ, the 27-year U.S. Air Force veteran ran enterprise services and cybersecurity centers for the Defense Information Systems Agency Joint Service Provider.

Executive Mosaic congratulates David McKeown on his first selection to the Wash100. Hear more insights from McKeown during his keynote speech at ExecutiveBiz’s Cloud Security Forum on March 22. Register here.

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