2012 Cybersecurity Trends to Watch in Government

Its that time of year when we ask: where are we heading in regards to cybersecurity in 2012? Also, where have we been?

by / January 4, 2012

It’s that time of year when we ask: where are we heading in regards to cybersecurity in 2012? Also, where have we been? Here’s a bit of what I’ve been reading over the past week.

There are plenty of blogs, articles and technology answers to this question. Washington Technology mentions: How you will remember 2011.  William Jackson, who I usually enjoy reading over at Government Computer News, writes about 5 cyber threats (pain points) coming in 2012 and also 3 personal resolutions that you can make to improve security

I can also point to plenty of industry lists available describing upcoming advances in cloud computing, implementing more secure smartphones, or even the coming surge in mobile payments. There are also plenty of threat prediction articles regarding online security, such as this over-arching cyber threat piece from McAfee by my friends over at Government Security News.

In my opinion, most of these lists are fairly predictable, even if they are accurate. In fairness, I’ve written plenty of these pieces in the past, and the lists haven't changed a whole lot from last year. I looked back at my 2008 predictions at CSO Magazine from four years ago, and noticed that all of those items could happen in 2012 as well. (As in 2008, we have another Summer Olympics coming up – this time in London.)

This year, I’d like to focus the question a bit further for government security teams that are prioritizing cybersecurity projects for the coming year.

So what will government cybersecurity teams be working on in 2012 – or what should they seriously consider that may not be on their current “to do” project list? Here’s my list of top cyber projects being worked on:

1)      Advances in Identity Management (Yes, here it is again, and the importance of ID management isn’t going away anytime soon.)

2)      Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

3)      Domain Name Service security (DNSsec)

4)      Next Generation Firewalls

5)      Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions

6)      Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

No, this list is not in priority order, since different enterprises are in different places on these projects. Nevertheless, there is plenty of evidence that these projects are all heating up nationwide – if they are not already well underway or implemented for large enterprises. Notice that I provided a link to articles in each area, so you can read more about the current trend if you’d like more background.

A word of warning for state and local governments, if none of these topics/projects are on your government’s security radar screen and/or you have no plans to address these issues, you may be heading for trouble. I realize that many organizations are just putting out cyber fires, dealing with hackers and trying to deal with breaches and daily operations challenges. However, strategic planning needs to be on your agenda for cybersecurity in 2012. I strongly recommend action.

What is your security team working on in 2012?

Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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