The cyber threat landscape continues to change and virtually any organization – whether a government agency or an elected official – has become a target.  And while it may seem that every year is designated the “Year of Government Cybersecurity,” 2017 may be a bit different.

This is due to expanded threat mitigation efforts by both industry and government.

As we approach 2017, staying on-step-ahead of often rogue and faceless enemies will also continue to be a challenge. Hackers can be very nimble and often deploy a wide-range of attacks, some of which are obvious and others not-so-obvious.

Though all is not dire. Next year, industry solutions that drive new approaches to protecting government networks are also on the rise.  For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking on some new approaches that will certainly advance the ball.

Andy Ozment, Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS, recently pointed to how 33 U.S. states are leveraging the agency’s cyber hygiene scans.  DHS offers free online cybersecurity training and workforce development programs to Federal, state, local, and tribal government employees, as well veterans.

In 2017, DHS will also continue to push Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) solutions, which Ozment believes should be a priority area moving forward. Furthermore, DHS recently issued new requirements for CDM vendors to meet, with the goal of taking a more comprehensive approach to protecting agency software.

A couple of years ago, GovTransformer was able to conduct a background interview with the DHS on value and viability of CDM.  Here’s a section from that interview:

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program is a dynamic approach to fortifying the cybersecurity of computer networks and systems.  The program enables Federal Government agencies to manage security by comparing what their network looks like (actual state), to what it should look like (desired state), and presents the differences in a way that prioritizes the worst issues first.

Finally, DHS is going to make mobile security a priority in 2017. Next month, the agency will present its report on cybersecurity threats to mobile devices to Congress. According to Vincent Sritipan, a Program Manager in DHS’ Cyber Security Division (CSD), the report will be “a pretty big game-changer in the federal space.”

Of course, the government cybersecurity is a highly complex topic, which is why this is the first in a series of GovTransformer posts that will highlight federal programs and industry cyber solutions that protect federal networks, and allow for true mission realization.  Stay tuned for more.