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Executing Commander’s Intent at Machine Speed for Cyber


Join us this week Tuesday – Thursday for The Cipher Brief’s Cybersecurity Summit that includes leaders from the private and non-private sectors, together with Microsoft President Brad Smith, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, and 28 different cyber safety thought leaders, together with immediately’s writer, Andrew Stewart Attendance is free and registration is required.


Executing Commander’s Intent at Machine Speed for Cyber Operations

Three Integrated Technology Essentials


Andrew D. Stewart, National Security and Sr. Government Strategist, Cisco Systems

Andrew D. Stewart is a National Security and Government Senior Strategist for Cybersecurity at Cisco Systems, Inc. He works throughout Cisco’s Global Government apply however focuses totally on National Defense and Intelligence. He served nearly 30 years within the U.S. Navy the place he final served because the Chief of Cyber Operations for Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet. He additionally served because the Commanding Officer and Program Manager of the Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group (NCWDG).

 The Need. Decision benefit for the federal authorities and in DoD mixed cyber operations outcomes from the safe, seamless, and fast maneuver of information and knowledge. Rapid adoption and built-in implementation three applied sciences throughout federal and DoD networks should be realized so as to execute cyber operations in keeping with Commander’s Intent—at machine pace.  These applied sciences, built-in tightly collectively, supply the chance for the federal government to implement revolutionary cyber operations capabilities from edge-to-cloud and produce improved, data-enabled mission outcomes. The scalable and seamless integration of: (1) superior id providers, (2) software-defined networking, and (3) hybrid cloud capabilities kind a Commander’s Intent-driven cyber platform that’s realized in an structure based on zero belief ideas and that operates at machine pace – making certain cybersecurity and offering resolution benefit for the Nation.

Several synthetic intelligence and information technique paperwork—spanning federal authorities companies, particularly the DoD—all acknowledge that sure key constructing blocks and platforms should be put in place to scale and democratize entry to information and unlock synthetic intelligence capabilities—together with the means to have “common foundation of shared data, reusable tools, frameworks and standards, and cloud and edge services.”  Uniformly, the popularity that getting and utilizing extra information from the sting could make authorities companies extra environment friendly and can present the Nation resolution benefit. The demand to generate, entry and eat extra information from the sting has by no means been better and this demand is driving the necessity for extra innovation to help authorities‑large safe cyber operations.  This is shortly obvious from a cursory overview of immediately’s topical applications related to the federal area that embrace:  mobility (5G & Wi-Fi 6), cell workforce, IOT / ICS, digital transformation (Depots, Shipyards, Manufacturing), Agency-wide Data Strategies, DoD’s JADC2, CMMC & DIB, and TIC-3.0.  This record alone permits one to conclude that edge, datacenter, private-cloud, and public-cloud are all converging into one mixed hybrid cloud working setting.  This rising setting – necessitated by customers who requires entry to information and purposes from wherever, on any system – mandates a safety method that’s constructed on a software program outlined perimeter constructed on these three expertise necessities.

Hence, at the guts of the necessity for innovation is an elevated demand for the sharing of information and purposes – from wherever – whereas, concurrently, the scale/scale of presidency networks, networking, and hybrid cloud adoption are exploding with out a proportionate progress within the IT sources to help the cyber operational demand.  If the community continues to develop exponentially and should operate because the medium of maneuver for information and purposes that present the federal government resolution benefit, then the federal government should deploy revolutionary improvements to reinvent the community as an built-in platform for cyber operations. Therefore, these three built-in applied sciences are completely important to help the Nation’s rising must concurrently leverage and defend information.


Join The Cipher Brief March 23-25 for a three-day Virtual Cybersecurity Summit that includes leaders from the private and non-private sectors, together with Microsoft President Brad Smith, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, and a bunch of different private and non-private sector consultants.  The Summit is co-hosted by Cipher Brief CEO & Publisher Suzanne Kelly and former NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett.  Attendance is free and registration is required.


The Vision.  A Commander’s Intent-driven, hybrid cloud community able to offering the federal government with a safe medium of maneuver for information and purposes – offering resolution benefit.   An intent-driven community is made doable via the tight integration of superior consumer/system id providers, software-defined networking, and hybrid cloud applied sciences.  These built-in capabilities enable for a revolution in cyber operations to appreciate a authorities cyber platform that delivers built-in community operations with visibility, agility, and safety—all based on a zero belief philosophy.  With such an method, a least privilege entry, intent-driven coverage is utilized to each OT system, all customers and all units, and on each software workload.  It is the tight integration of superior id providers, software-defined networking, and hybrid cloud capabilities that makes this imaginative and prescient doable.

Taking a zero belief philosophic method and following the rules of NIST SP 800-207, implementation of a software-defined wide-area community gives the means for granular entry management and logical micro segmentation by weaving layers of the community right into a policy-driven material that understands and robotically implements and enforces Commander’s Intent for cyber operations.  Consistent with the important Control Plane/Data Plane mannequin from NIST SP 800-207, as proven, software program outlined networking gives the means to kind abstraction layers within the community to cut back the complexities of managing particular person units and improve safety by interlacing a cloth of solely these connections which might be approved per Commander’s Intent which is outlined within the Policy Decision Point (PDP) and executed by the Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) –throughout a authorities hybrid cloud platform.

Advanced id providers coupled with software-defined networking gives the means to implement granular micro-segmentation at scale and pace and allows an automatic community material that enables customers and units (abbreviated: customers/units) or operational expertise (OT) units (or “devices without users”) to attach extra simply and extra securely by way of the management aircraft. In the bodily world, Commander’s Intent is utilized via controlling actions by way of the orders course of, in keeping with every unit’s particular identities and outlined capabilities. For cyber operations, the community should additionally be capable to apply coverage to customers and units – primarily based on their particular person capabilities and assigned missions – with full information of how they’re linked to the community, and their allowed features – robotically, at scale and pace.  The resolution standards for people to entry to information within the DoD is often primarily based on: (1) identification and authentication—does the person have the correct credentials for identification? and (2) authorization – is the person approved to entry the info, or “do they have the need to know?”

Advanced id providers repeatedly incorporates and updates as a lot contextual details about the standing of customers/units, their approved roles and validated credentials, and their technique of entry to the community. An intent-driven cyber platform makes use of this method for the id of all OT units and customers/units that try to connect with the community. This problem/authentication course of is just not a single occasion; reasonably, utilizing dynamic context and id authentication, the cyber platform, applies least privilege entry ideas by repeatedly difficult and authenticating each consumer/system each time a knowledge entry resolution should be made – robotically, at machine pace.  Thus, Commander’s Intent for the community is utilized via community coverage controlling actions, by way of the software program outlined management aircraft, in keeping with every consumer/units’ particular identities and outlined capabilities.  These insurance policies are utilized earlier than community connection/entry is granted with full information of how they’re linked to the community, their compliance, their functionality standing, their allowed features, and as a lot contextual data as doable.

Just as vital, however particularly so within the hybrid cloud setting, Commander’s Intent primarily based controlling actions should be utilized and enforced to each software workload throughout the sting, datacenter, and particularly for connections between containers or hypervisors throughout the hybrid cloud.  Application information circulation in immediately’s trendy networks circulation throughout an expansive hybrid cloud setting and quantity within the thousands and thousands of flows per second.  Users and units should be capable to entry information and workloads past their native environments—together with these which might be delivered from internet-delivered hybrid cloud providers.  A software program outlined networking method permits for the implementation of a Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) aligned with zero belief philosophy by sustaining a default-deny posture for each transaction. Combined with a profound understanding of the id of customers/units on the community, an intent-driven cyber platform robotically maps out system workloads and implements software whitelisting throughout all environments and over thousands and thousands of flows per second. This SDP-approach creates a protecting barrier round excessive worth enterprise purposes and information that protects the hybrid setting towards rising cyber threats by dynamically blocking them and solely permitting entry for registered units with correctly authenticated customers.

As a part of their digital transformation journey, organizations throughout the Federal Government are publishing their mission methods to appropriately leverage cloud-delivered applied sciences the place cloud-delivered capabilities take advantage of sense. To meet digital transformation wants, it isn’t a query of whether or not increasing the consumption of hybrid cloud options will likely be obligatory, it’s a query of tips on how to finest combine the proper capabilities in probably the most optimum strategy to help mission outcomes. Software outlined networking and superior id providers present the means for a authorities cyber platform to seamlessly undertake these providers within the hybrid cloud setting by way of a zero belief philosophy. The hybrid cloud-enabled cyber platform brings collectively infrastructure, safety, administration, open APIs, containers, and instruments to create a constant and safe setting throughout on-premises information facilities and throughout multi cloud environments.

Transformation.  Implementing a Commander’s Intent-driven cyber platform is a necessity for any group’s digital transformation efforts.  Such a cyber platform allows cyber operations at machine pace to empower resolution makers with data-driven insights throughout all the federal authorities’s companies and missions.  The shut integration of the important applied sciences in (1) superior id providers, (2) software program outlined networking, and (3) hybrid cloud capabilities allow a authorities cyber platform to know and execute Commander’s Intent at machine pace.  Implementing these capabilities throughout edge, information middle, and hybrid cloud environments, will present the federal government with a platform that gives the technique of maneuver for information and, thus, endows a “common foundation of shared data, reusable tools, frameworks and standards, and cloud and edge services” and win the day with resolution benefit for the Nation.


The Cipher Brief hosts personal briefings with the world’s most skilled nationwide and international safety consultants.  Become a member immediately.


Read extra expert-driven nationwide safety insights, perspective and evaluation in The Cipher Brief

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