Coast Guard looking to contractors to get right tools in place

Like many agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is focusing on strengthening its cybersecurity in the coming years, but the agency first has to get the right tools in place.

Speaking at Washington Technology’s Homeland Security Industry Day on Thursday, Coast Guard deputy CIO Brian Burns listed some of the agency’s cybersecurity objectives in the coming months.

“The fundamental thing is to get to the proper operating system for our workstation environment,” Burns said. Much like the Defense Department is doing, he added, the Coast Guard is focused on migrating to the Windows 10 operating system across its enterprise.

“We want to make sure we have the appropriate tools in place so we can see the entire enterprise within the organization,” Burns said.

The Coast Guard is also going to become a partner in the Joint Information Environment-Joint Regional Security Stack.

The JRSS is a suite of solutions that performsfirewall functions, intrusion detection and prevention, enterprise management, virtual routing and forwarding, and provides a host of network security capabilities.

That will require putting in the right gear required to support the network and gateways, Burns said.

The Coast Guard is also chasing multi-factor authentication enforcement. The agency right now is upgrading a variety of systems and capabilities, but wants to get to a point where it is actually able to enforce the policy.

Tied to that enforcement is privileged account management—another Coast Guard focus—which is ensuring the right people have the right access with the right privileges to support the mission, Burns said.

“In each area, we’ve set out to implement plans and acquire solutions that support these capabilities,” he said.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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