During the COVID-19 crisis, Federal agencies are vulnerable to more cyberattacks and data breaches than ever before, but agencies like the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) are working hard to address the cybersecurity challenges.

In a May 13 Thales webinar, USPS Vice President and CISO Greg Crabb explained how the organization is handling the enhanced scope of remote work and the influx of USPS services during this time. “We have 630,000 employees, 34,000 facilities, and 160 million delivery points every day. It’s critical that we are able to keep Americans’ information safe and secure,” said Crabb.

In a recent Thales report, 29 percent of Federal agencies surveyed have admitted to having some sort of data breach in the past year, 55 percent have experienced a breach at some point in time, and 57 percent of agencies reported that they’ve been breached or failed a compliance audit.

Steven Wallace, system innovation scientist in the Emerging Technology Directorate at DISA, also discussed how the agency is approaching the current shift to digital transformation and the security challenges they are facing. “There’s a renewed focus on the notion of identity. If you don’t have a good, solid identity and access management (IAM) foundation, you’re likely not going to be able to properly protect your resources and data,” he stated.

Wallace mentioned that DISA has come a long way since the Department of Defense rolled out Common Access Cards (CACs) 15 years ago. Although, Wallace admitted there’s still work to be done, “we’ve been working hard over the past decade to improve our capabilities, whether it be through cloud technologies, AI, SAS … we’re seeing an even more rapid evolution during the COVID-19 crisis, so digital transformation is moving fast.”

Looking forward, Crabb and Wallace agree that DISA and USPS are working hard to adopt and leverage new technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things, while understanding the vulnerabilities of those services, during this time.

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MeriTalk Staff