GovernmentCIO: COVID-19 Accelerated VA’s Cyber Development

“The demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the abrupt shift to a remote workforce, has fostered the development of cybersecurity best practices at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

“Speaking at an AFCEA event last week, VA Chief Information Security Officer Paul Cunningham detailed how the challenges of the pandemic presented unforeseen opportunities to better refine how information and network security are managed across the agency. This has been a special priority for the agency in light of its considerable scope of responsibilities…”

“VA had to adapt its IT capabilities in response to telework, a process that raised serious concurrent cybersecurity imperatives.”

“’We had a big chunk of our workforce now remote. And we’ve all worked through snow days, hurricanes, those sort of things, but we’ve never had a national snow day,’ Cunningham said. ‘We had to figure out ways to make sure our gateways were configured correctly and be able to handle those amount of people that we’re going to remote in.’”

“This focus on bolstering security during a time of network configuration served to put cybersecurity at the forefront of VA IT concerns — resulting in greater attentiveness to information security as an integral part of IT management as a whole…”

“Another positive development has been a growing attentiveness to best practices among individual VA employees, as well as a greater understanding of cybersecurity as an enabler of IT modernization rather than an impediment…” Read the full article here.

Source: COVID-19 Accelerated VA’s Cyber Development – By Adam Patterson, October 20, 2020. GovernmentCIO.

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