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DISA Official Touts Cross-Functional Approach to Implementing Zero Trust

Thunderdome prototype

DISA Official Touts Cross-Functional Approach to Implementing Zero Trust

The Defense Information Systems Agency is taking a cross-functional approach to implementing its zero trust cybersecurity solution, an official said.

In January, DISA awarded a $6.8 million contract to Booz Allen Hamilton to develop a prototype of Thunderdome. The six-month project is aimed at creating a tool that would help DISA operationally test its Zero Trust Reference Architecture, according to the agency’s press release.

Booz Allen is building a solution that takes advantage of commercial technologies like Secure Access Service Edge and software-defined wide area networks.

Jason Martin, director of DISA’s Digital Capabilities and Security Center, said that Thunderdome will both strengthen the agency’s cybersecurity and promote cooperation among its directorates, Signal Magazine reported.

Martin added that DISA has created cross-functional teams to enhance communication and collaboration, a model that he said other DOD agencies might also adopt for their zero trust journey.

“Though Thunderdome itself falls under me organically, we have representatives from every center and nearly every directorate in the agency to plan and implement Thunderdome as a capability,” Martin said.

DISA spokesperson Dillon McConnel added that the agency created a cross-functional source-selection team with members from different organizations. The team helped DISA decide on what set of technologies to implement for zero trust, the spokesperson said.

Zero trust is a modern architecture that denies access by default to any user regardless of whether they are inside or outside the organization’s network security perimeter.

The security model is a key element of President Joe Biden’s May 12 executive order on modernizing the federal government’s cybersecurity.

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Category: Cybersecurity

Tags: Booz Allen Hamilton cybersecurity Dillon McConnel DISA Jason Martin SIGNAL Magazine Thunder Dome zero trust