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Breaking Down the DOD’s New Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy

The cyber domain is constantly evolving, and as its importance in federal operations has grown, the number and variety of cyber threats has also increased. Technological advancements have made it possible for adversaries to get creative with new types of cyberattacks, and U.S. supply chains are now at risk.

Last month, the Department of Defense took action to combat threats to supply chain security with the release of the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy. At a recent press briefingDavid McKeown, the department’s deputy chief information officer and senior information security officer, said the goal of the strategy “is to highlight a way forward.”

Hear McKeown speak at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2024 Cyber Summit on June 6, where notable public and private sector cyber experts will gather to share their insights on the federal government’s top cyber challenges and priorities. To learn more and register to attend the event, click here.

Prior to the strategy’s release, the DOD was “very disjointed in the different stakeholders in the department that delivered services,” according to McKeown, a previous Wash100 Award winner.

“A lot of DIB partners were complaining that we didn’t have a single point of entry,” he added.

With the strategy, McKeown aims to “have a more centralized approach and more cogent approach, where everybody in the department knows what their role is.”

The plan is divided into four sections: strengthening the DOD’s governance structure for U.S. defense industrial base cybersecurity; enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the U.S. defense industrial base; preserving the resiliency of critical defense industrial base capabilities in a cyber-contested environment; and improving cybersecurity collaboration between DOD and the U.S. defense industrial base.

The first of these objectives focuses on interagency collaboration and regulations for contractors, and the second seeks to identify and address threats and vulnerabilities, ensure compliance with DOD cybersecurity regulations and assess the effectiveness of related policies.

To improve resiliency of defense industrial base capabilities, the DOD intends to create policies that make cybersecurity a key priority for major suppliers and facilities. Its strategy for fostering a collaborative environment with the industrial base is centered around communication.

When announcing the strategy at the Pentagon, McKeown noted that “adversaries understand the strategic value of targeting the DIB.”

“Working in conjunction with the DIB, we can better ensure the safety of critical information and unauthorized disclosure of that information,” he said.

The new strategy goes hand-in-hand with the wider 2022 National Defense Strategy and the 2023 National Cybersecurity Strategy. It also complements the National Defense Industrial Strategy, which was released in January and focuses on supply chain resiliency, workforce readiness, flexible acquisition and economic deterrence.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more from McKeown. Register for the Cyber Summit here.

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