The Pentagon plans to continue use of its commercial virtual remote (CVR) capability – that has helped enable telework for the military during the coronavirus pandemic – until June of 2021, a senior Defense Department (DoD) tech official reaffirmed today.

Speaking during Red Hat’s Government Symposium virtual event today, Department of Defense (DoD) Principal Deputy CIO John Sherman said the extension reflects the success of the CVR capability thus far, and the aim of allowing maximum flexibility for the department.

Sherman late last month discussed extension of the current CVR capability, and plans to implement a more enduring solution next year.

“CVR is now used by over a third of the department with over a million active users,” Sherman said today.

“CVR has enabled telework by providing a capability to hold group calls, foreign virtual teams, and host video conferences,” he said. “All of this involved DoD users being able to communicate with others not on the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN, and crucially, with government furnished equipment or their own devices.”

The CVR capability has also been important, he said, to service members supporting crisis operations, like National Guard member deployed to help with the COVID-19 response.

Elsewhere during his remarks, Sherman said DoD is keeping cybersecurity at the forefront of its thinking, and is continuing to strive toward implementing zero trust security concepts.

“I’ve heard much about zero trust from a conceptual perspective and I’ve always appreciated what it really means, namely, not just trying to stop threats at the perimeter – as has been the default for so long,” Sherman said. “Rather, we should use more holistic access standards and verify identity and other aspects at every point in the process, and not just at the front gate,” he said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.