U.S. federal agencies are tasked with improving cybersecurity via the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) zero trust strategy and ongoing IT modernization efforts. With agencies varying widely in size and the types of technologies they support, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and some agencies lack the skilled personnel to implement these changes. Cybersecurity hiring has been a challenge for all organizations, including the private sector, with an annual shortfall estimated at roughly 25,000 workers in the U.S. (1)
The OMB zero trust strategy encourages collaboration between agencies to help fill skill or knowledge gaps, stating, “agencies that are further along in their zero trust process should partner with those still beginning by exchanging information, playbooks, and even staff.” The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) started on zero trust ahead of the OMB strategy, having received budget from the Technology Modernization Fund last year. OPM stated that the funding would be used to consult and support personnel for zero trust implementation and cloud migration. (2)
But given the challenges around hiring skilled personnel, agency collaboration alone will likely not be enough. Some agencies will need to look to private sector organizations to take on tasks around cybersecurity or IT modernization. The OMB strategy even advises increasing reliance on external third parties for some cybersecurity activities, such as security testing.
If your agency is struggling to find skilled workers for cybersecurity and IT modernization initiatives, there is help. Taos, an IBM Company, helps U.S. federal agencies with Advisory Services, Professional Services, Managed IT, and Security Services and will work with you to develop a unique, secure solution that best fits your agency’s needs and optimizes your ROI.
2 – OPM speeding up zero-trust security implementation with TMF funds, FedScoop, March 2022