DHS Implementing Ability to Monitor Network Activity Across Agencies
At an event hosted last week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jeanette Manfra, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, announced the forthcoming launch of an expansive, inter-agency network-monitoring capability intended to more quickly diagnose and mitigate vulnerabilities within federal agency networks.
“We’re deploying sensors inside agency networks for the first time,” Manfra said. “This will be a game-changing capability for the Federal government and for the agency in particular.”
The new dashboard is said to give DHS the ability to view network activity down to the individual end-user level, ostensibly allowing the agency to have a comprehensive view of the entire federal government’s network status and allowing for the allocation of increased resources to particular data centers experiencing disproportionate traffic.
“What we will be then able to do is have insight, down to the endpoint, of what’s really on people’s networks, who’s on people’s networks, what events are happening on the network,” Manfra said.
Manfra said the information would then be shared with the individual agency, as well as with analysts in her office at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
The dashboard marks an important step toward DHS’ goal of being able to access, at-a-glance, real-time analytics pertaining to federal network usage, according to Manfra, who anticipates the DHS effort will only improve with time.
“Where we’re at right now is sort of on the precipice of having sensing data coming in from all agencies, information from the intelligence community, information from the private sector now through automated means,” Manfra said. “We are now going to be able to be in a place to have this access to data and be able to build an advanced analytics capability and be able to turn that around into usable, actionable information for executives.”
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