Study – DHS Cyber Initiative Not Where It Should be By Now

According to, a recent study by Meritalk has found the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation (CDM) program needs to pick up the pace.

Meritalk is “a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government information technology,” according to the article.

The study, called “CDM: Under the Hood,” found that the CDM program has to be put in place faster so it can effectively strengthen the cybersecurity of computer systems and networks.

“Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation is starting to become a reality as an Information Systems Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) approach for civilian agencies across government,” said Meritalk in a statement. “The Department of Homeland Security is leveraging a congressional appropriation to purchase critical cybersecurity products, including tools and sensors, that enhance and expand department and agency ISCM capabilities.”

While the study found that the implementation of CDM has been impressive so far, federal security managers want to see an improvement in speed.

The DHS created the CDM program in response to the increasing number of cyber attacks on federal agencies. The program works to safeguard and secure federal IT networks from cybersecurity threats.

According to the article, after surveying 152 government cybersecurity professionals who have CDM responsibilities, the study found that 58 percent of federal security managers believe the program is being rolled out too slowly. Despite that statistic, many of them also praise the program for its benefits.

The founder of Meritalk, Steve O’Keeffe, shared his thoughts in the article.

“Based on the report findings, the CDM initiative has grown by leaps and bounds in less than one year,” said O’Keeffe.

“So what does this mean for the road ahead? Agencies need greater analytical capabilities, critical application resilience, common trusted identities and (a) secured shared service environment. Agencies are craving more and want faster delivery of the projects and services available through the program. As we looked under the hood, we have seen that the engine is roaring to life on this important cyber initiative,” said O’Keeffe.

The study also found that 36 percent of security managers believe consultation with an agency that has already finished a CDM program will be the key to successfully implementing their own CDM strategies.

“Industry partners play a critical role in the successful roll out of CDM – providing the tools, experience and knowledge. The success of the program lies within these public-private partnerships – providing vital products, solutions and the capabilities of CDM tools to identify vulnerabilities and help protect the data and networks in today’s 21st century cyber environment,” said O’Keeffe.


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