The recently promoted Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Bryan Ware reflected on his first week and shared his top priorities for the agency at Cloudera’s Data Cloud Summit on Jan. 14.

His main priorities centered around improving data management, and Ware explained the value of data visibility to CISA’s mission.

“One of the things that I’m just coming to appreciate is the scale of what we do at CISA … Even with that volume, or maybe even sometimes because of that volume, it’s really hard to see things that are important,” he said. “More and more [data] visibility is required sooner.”

The challenge with data visibility at CISA, the assistant director explained, is finding ways to share data without infringing on the privacy of personally identifiable information and scaling across levels of classification.

“There are containers and separations that must exist, but there is tremendous value when we can see across those things,” Ware said.

One goal for the agency is to move data from siloes into a place where it can be leveraged via multi-vendor solutions.

“[CISA is] evolving from the legacy programs that we have to embrace multi-cloud environments,” the assistant director shared. “Modernizing all of our data systems, tools, AI and analytics — that will be one of my top three priorities for CISA this year and next.”

Improved data management will also aid CISA in one of its core functions, scanning for potential vulnerabilities. Ware explained that the agency has a body of data available to aid the “hunt” for vulnerabilities and aligning agencywide mission areas will enhance monitoring.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.