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CHIPS Articles: Vice Adm. Norton shares DISA’s commitment for 2020

Vice Adm. Norton shares DISA’s commitment for 2020
By Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton - March 3, 2020
Greetings friends, colleagues and mission partners. In the first Drumbeat of this year, I am going to provide a state of the agency, reflecting on 2019 and highlighting why DISA is well-positioned in 2020 to accomplish our global mission as the trusted provider to connect and protect the warfighter in cyberspace – from the desktop to the battlefield 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

DISA is committed to recruiting and forging new partnerships

As a combat support agency that enables the warfighter’s lethality in all domains, it is extremely important that we recruit and retain professionals who possess the highest levels of expertise and professionalism. To that end, the agency is partnering with academia with great success. Increased engagements with colleges and universities across the country, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be key in our effort to raise awareness about the agency, our important mission, and employment opportunities among graduating seniors and others who may not have had DISA on their radar. I’m encouraged by invitations from university faculty and administrators to discuss enhancements to curricula that will ensure graduates are better prepared to help grow the cyber workforce.

DISA engages next generation in Missouri

DISA hosts officials from Drury University

Dominance through agility and innovation

June 2018, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center was established under the leadership of Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan. The center’s mission is to accelerate DoD’s adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and to synchronize the department’s AI activities.

The innovation does not stop there. DISA is also aligned to support innovation across the DoD CIO’s Digital Modernization Strategy in the key strategic areas of cloud, command, control and communications and cybersecurity.

Achieving DoD objectives requires optimizing the enterprise and DISA is uniquely qualified to take the lead as the single service provider for the Fourth Estate optimization effort.

DISA formally designated to lead 4ENO

Developing enduring partnerships through shared interests

From innovation to development, testing and implementation, our partnership with industry is essential to achieving success for our warfighters. In November, industry representatives joined DISA for our annual Forecast to Industry Conference to learn about contracting opportunities for FY20 and beyond. This highly anticipated event was quite successful and gave attendees the opportunity to meet one-on-one with DISA’s senior leadership.

DISA invites industry to collaborate in nation’s defense

Trust in DISA

Trust must be ingrained into everything we do. There is no better evidence of that than having a member of the DISA family recognized as the best-of-the-best. DISA’s ethos is “Mission first, people always,” and Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Benjamin Koontz, and his team of cyber professionals proved that by taking top honors at the first government-wide President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition.

DISA warrant officer takes top prize in government-wide President’s Cup

Striving for continuous improvement

In a cyber domain that is constantly under attack by an ever-evolving adversary, technology improvements are crucial to protecting the battlespace.

In December, DISA hosted a Joint Regional Security Stacks workshop where thought leaders from the joint community discussed how to improve DoD’s security posture, optimize the JRSS architecture and simplify the community’s training needs. hosts successful workshop to improve JRSS capabilities

DISA welcomes new leadership

I am happy to announce that Dr. Serena Chan and Mr. Sajeel Ahmed are now members of the DISA family, both experts with proven track records. I could not be more pleased to have them lend their talents to DISA.

Proud of our distinguished heritage

In May, DISA will celebrate our 60 anniversary. The theme for the celebration is, “60 Years of Service, Technology and Innovating for the Future.”

Visit, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about DISA’s great history, and our contribution to DoD and the nation.

Security is a shared responsibility

In my last Drumbeat, I discussed how DISA completed the implementation of the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Authentication certificate standard to access DoD information technology on the NIPRNet. This transition enforces strong credentials for system access when using a CAC-enabled device.

We have also communicated DoD Mobility device changes that stem from commercial updates from Apple. As a result, all DoD Mobility Program iOS devices must update to the latest operating system (currently iOS 13.3) and meet new device supervision requirements by March 31, 2020.

Minimizing risk from malicious cyber actors is top-of-mind for DISA. As we evolve technologies to best meet the needs of the joint warfighter and mission partners, your role in staying abreast of required updates and ensuring devices are complaint is increasingly important. Protecting the DoDIN is a responsibility we share, and together we will continue to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

Stay in touch

Check Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates about the capabilities we develop and missions we serve. You can also sign up to receive email updates on topics of your choice.

I encourage you to share information within your organization and provide feedback about events and other DISA outreach efforts to the Mission Partner Engagement Office, your DISA field office, or liaison officer in your area.

We look forward to engaging with you throughout 2020 via Drumbeat meetings, special events, and other strategic engagements that ensure we’re providing the best service possible to help you achieve your mission. Thank you for your partnership and the opportunity to provide this state of the agency.

Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton
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