Federal agencies are increasingly sharing information with one another with both connected and disconnected applications, while trying to be more security conscious and reevaluating approaches to building software and other tech important for securing the homeland, officials said on July 20.

Speaking today ACT-IAC’s NextGen Security panel discussion, experts from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) spoke about the increased need for information sharing and mindset changes that need to come with that.

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“There’s a cultural shift that needs to occur – that maybe has been occurring a little bit – and that is making our developers more security minded and making smarter assessors,” said Shane Barney, CISO for the USCIS Office of IT/Management Directorate at DHS.

“We’re going to be faster and more agile about how we roll out constant evolutions in our security and our code. We have to be smarter about how we assess it and do that in a faster way more from an adversarial perspective,” added Barney.

Gary Buchanan, CIO at the NGA, said that proper information sharing is all about standards, and that arriving at optimal standards for data sharing across government remains a work in progress.

“So, how are we going to share data securely? Well, we have to know what the data is,” said Buchanan. “We have to have standards on how we’re going to trade data back and forth.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.