Happy Friday, Federal friends! The Midsummer classic is behind us which means we're heading into the dog-days of summer. I hope you all have some nice quality time planned with your families so you can get out and enjoy the weather, especially with the Winter and "Spring" we just went through.
There was a big announcement earlier this week regarding two titans of the tech industry that will have direct impact on several verticals, including government. IBM and Apple, long time foes, have joined forces to push product growth, and adoption,of the modern mobile enterprise. As we see not only growth in BYOD but also growth in the need for a truly mobile network, the collaboration of the 2 companies can pave the road for some serious advancement. WHile both companies have always had a large stake in the Federal business, in particular the DoD & IC, the combined effort will be able to provide more secure solutions to a larger audience. Rather than competing for contracts both companies will be able to go at it as a team. For instance apple devices (iPhone/iPad) will be able to be deployed on the cloud infrastructure and data centers that IBM has already received FedRAMP approval for. The reality is that iOS devices are already being utilized in Fortune 500 companies as well as Fed Agencies, this joint venture has the capability to greatly enhance the network access of the device and productivity of the employee. It can take and iPhone/iPad from something we can simply get email and calendar access on and transform them into truly powerful tools.
In a segue to another aspect of network mobility, there was an article in TechRepublic this week regarding the impact if the Internet of Things (IoT) on the current cyber-workforce. The biggest issue with IoT security somewhat mirrors the BYOD issues as well. The reality is that commercial demand for products that connect to the internet is greater than the amount of bodies needed to secure them. Your fridge will one day connect to the information-superhighway which has positive and negative consequences associated with it. Being that it would be an active device that can be seen when connected to your home Wifi is exciting and scary at the same time. What this will mean is that there will be as massive need, sooner rather than later, to have these OEM's staff up to ensure that these devices are secure prior to shipping. Additionally there will need to be specialized security analysts just to cover them once they're delivered to the end user. The last thing any manufacturer would want would be an army of bots that are spawned from ovens and blenders, so they needs butts in seats to make sure that doesn't happen. So, what does this mean for Fed? Well first and foremost Fed has one of the greatest talent gaps for security personnel (outside of DoD commands), and with a lot of jobs soon to hit the market this gap has potential to widen even more. That being said, back in May the Senate cleared the way for DHS to start to compete with industry for cyber-talent. While that moved the ball down the field, unfortunately we have to wait on Congressional approvals for action to be taken. In the meantime, ensure that your team members know each other's roles and share the wealth of knowledge they have for their daily tasks. While we can't necessarily prevent people from leaving their current role, we can certainly enable others to be ready to step up to a new challenge. Stay vigilant.
For those of you going to BlackHat, swing by the Rapid7 booth!
Here's a sample of the R7 party in Vegas: