The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the rate at which the entire Department of Defense (DoD) had to learn how to collaborate and operate more effectively regardless of location. The solutions in place to respond to this crisis inadvertently set the bar for how the DoD wanted to operate on a day-to-day basis post-pandemic.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has embarked on various initiatives to enhance interoperability among approved DoD tenants. On June 23, during GDIT Emerge: Defense Cloud, Caroline Bean, program director of the Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS) at DISA, described the different initiatives DISA has embarked on in conjunction with the department’s migration to the DoD365J landscape.

Bean first shared how DISA began to standardize tenants’ configuration within DoD, an initiative initially started by the U.S Navy. This, according to Bean, is an important initiative for DISA because it will provide a uniform configuration to ensure collaboration between approved DoD tenants.

“This will ensure our DoD workforce has access to the people they need and the data they need to complete their missions,” Bean said.

DISA, U.S. Cyber Command, and the National Security Agency have partnered to develop cross-tenant collaboration configuration guides that provide step-by-step instructions in implementing tenant settings to gain an optimal user experience without sacrificing cybersecurity. Users migrating to DoD365 can expect to collaborate with users and others in the DoD365 environment right away.

In addition to government devices, DISA wants to provide secure access for approved personal devices while still ensuring the security and integrity of the devices. The bring-your-own-devices initiative will likely integrate with existing mobile device management solutions. But while DISA moves forward with advancing its cyber capabilities, it must continue to address the constant threat of cyberattacks and implement best practices laid out by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“DISA is investigating advanced analytics to proactively detect threats, automate responses and establish processes with our mission partners for joint responses against attacks to our tenants,” Bean said.

Additionally, DISA will soon begin to address users stationed outside the continental U.S. (OCONUS). OCONUS support could range from providing alternative network paths for better performance to a more blended solution that mixes on-prem components with the cloud to optimize network traffic and performance.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.