Bringing Federal Mission Execution and Cybersecurity Closer Together

April 26, 2017
Cyber Resiliency: Post by Chris Folk

Thinking Forward About Federal Civilian Cybersecurity

We are in the midst of a digital transformation. Technology connects the world and is changing everything. It changes how organizations deliver goods and services and how people live and work. At the same time, this improved connectivity increases risks to data confidentiality, availability, integrity, human safety, and infrastructure reliability.

Every day, federal civilian networks and systems are under cyber surveillance, reconnaissance, and attacks from adversaries. Cybersecurity is not just about securing technology and data; it is about helping organizations manage risk so they can operate and sustain mission-essential services to the public through cyber attacks and disruptions.

Thinking Forward, a technical paper from MITRE, is for federal civilian government leaders who can collaboratively set the direction for their organization's mission and cybersecurity strategies. In keeping with the premise of a risk-based approach, we don't offer a single one-size-fits all prescription. We do present a range of technical and non-technical ideas to help you develop and execute strategies to integrate mission and cyber priorities. These ideas can help manage risk, move the scales in your favor, raise the cost to adversaries, and limit the harm from disasters.

This resource explores how you can use different leadership levers of authority and influence—direction setting, team and talent building, coalition building, and decision making—to move forward with these ideas and concepts. As different government branches, departments, and agencies have different missions with different levels of cybersecurity risk, and are at different stages in addressing the intersection of mission execution and cybersecurity, we intentionally present ideas at a relatively high level so that individual organizations can tailor and learn more about them, as appropriate. Let us know if we can help.

For a busy reader, we hope to provide a relatively quick way to help frame and prioritize future choices. The intersection of government mission execution and cybersecurity is a focus for MITRE, which operates federally funded research and development centers. MITRE works at the intersection of technology, planning, and mission operations and works across federal branches, departments, and agencies to strengthen mission performance and cybersecurity.