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US Department of Defense investing in zero-trust security and cloud computing

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has announced a massive increase in its cloud computing capacity, with the aim of boosting machine learning and cyber security capabilities.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 30 Mar 2023
US Department of Defence investing in zero trust security and cloud computing
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“At last, the department has access to enterprise cloud capabilities from four world-class US vendors at all three security classification levels from the continental United States to the tactical edge,” DOD chief information officer John B. Sherman told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s cyber security subcommittee this week.

The particular vendors are Amazon, Google, Oracle, and Microsoft, which were all given contracts last year to work on the DOD’s Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability.

“To help facilitate the rapid adoption of cloud, we’ve deployed several accelerators, which streamline the cloud adoption process from a normal 45-day timeline to within hours or minutes,” Air Force Lieutenant General Robert J. Skinner, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, told the committee, as reported by DOD News.

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“This is helping to accelerate our pace to the cloud to improve our overall user experience, while also increasing our cyber security.”

Sherman also boasted of the DOD’s adoption of a zero-trust security environment.

“[Zero trust] is predicated on the assumption that an adversary might already be on our network, and we must prevent them from moving laterally and gaining access to our most critical data,” he said.

“We have made great strides on our zero-trust journey. When the DOD released the zero-trust strategy, we had already started our Thunderdome initiative, which brings modern and commercial zero-trust technologies to the department,” Skinner added.

The DOD aims to implement zero trust across its networks by 2027.

Sherman and Lt. Gen. Skinner both told the committee that, far and away, the most important element of the new technology is the people who operate it.

“The best technology in the world means nothing without a trained, motivated and diverse workforce,” Sherman said. “We recently released a cyber workforce strategy that will continue to drive us to new and more effective approaches to how we identify, recruit, retain and upskill our cyber digital personnel.”

Ironically, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made a request for information on cloud computing last week. In particular, the FTC is looking into the impact of the cloud on a range of industries and possible issues when it comes to market competition and data security.

We’d be very surprised if the four companies tapped by the DOD for its cloud capability are not part of the FTC’s investigations.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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