As the Regional Director of Federal Intelligence Programs at Dell Software Group, Dan Wilbricht must stay on the cutting edge of emerging technologies that will impact the intelligence and defense industries. And, of course, the issue of security is at the forefront of any discussion surrounding technologies, such as cloud, mobile, the Internet of Things and other IT trends.
Wilbricht recently spoke with WashingtonExec about these issues, as well as how Dell is keeping government clients secure as they leverage new and exciting capabilities.
WashingtonExec: Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Dell?
Dan Wilbricht: As the regional director of the Dept. of Defense and the National Security programs for Dell Software, my role is to empower our defense and intelligence customers to take advantage of software solutions that simplify IT management, ensure better security and provide a platform for innovation. Many of our government customers are tasked with protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure and safety, so our role at Dell is to help them build technology systems that guard data and other intellectual property and technology assets.
WashingtonExec: How has the security landscape changed for intel and defense during the past few years?
Dan Wilbricht: Thanks to emerging technologies like cloud, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT), the IT landscape is continually becoming more interconnected and complex. The idea of the IoT is now becoming a reality, wearable technologies are increasingly being incorporated into agency operations,and efforts to transition applications to the cloud are being prioritized. The convergence of all of these trends creates new network access points and, in turn, complicates security. We are seeing increasing demand for unified, end-to-end solutions that lay out a foundation for improved governance and security.
WashingtonExec: What are your predictions for emerging threats in the year to come? What are the biggest security challenges the intel and defense space are encountering?
Dan Wilbricht: As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, experiencing a breach has become the rule rather than the exception. Insider threats continue to pose a major concern in the defense and intel space, and in years to come, insider threats will likely remain one of our biggest concerns. Defense and intel organizations deal with highly sensitive data, so it is critically important that insiders have access only to the information they are authorized to use. At the same time, mobility and BYOD continue to offer greater value for defense and intel operations. However, new access points increase cyber vulnerabilities. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy, government agencies need to look at their systems and users holistically to understand where the lurking threats are, both inside-out and outside-in.
WashingtonExec: What can intel and defense organizations do to combat these threats?
Dan Wilbricht: Today’s hyper-connected IT environment necessitates a holistic, end-to-end approach to security, with one of the pillars being a robust Identity Access Management (IAM) policy. With the insider threat increasingly becoming a concern, identity and access management is a key consideration in defense and intelligence alike. Such an approach must ensure that the right people have access to the data they need to perform their jobs – and only that data. Access should be granted on a need-to-know basis, and both the network and the data itself need to be locked down so that only authorized users can access sensitive or confidential data. IAM tools and governance practices can also provide a view into network activity, alerting network administrators to abnormal activity and potentially identifying incidents before they cause damage.
An end-to-end, proactive approach to security keeps defense and intelligence information safe and acts as an enabler to new technologies, freeing agencies to use them securely.
WashingtonExec: In addition to IAM, what are the components of a holistic, proactive approach to security?
Dan Wilbricht: A holistic, end-to-end approach to security will eliminate silos and unite elements of security including identity management, encryption and connected next-gen firewalls that can communicate with end-point management solutions. This approach enables real-time protection of user, data and device, and ensures agencies are in the best position to avoid cyber incidents.
Security tools must also prepare agencies to mitigate damage in the event of a security incident. Auditing and alerting capabilities ensure agencies are alerted as soon as a breach occurs. Visibility into user access and activities allows organizations to identify how the incident occurred and more quickly resolve its impact.
WashingtonExec: How does Dell help support the changing security environment?
Dan Wilbricht: Dell’s security solutions support the rapidly transforming threat landscape by providing end-to-end security designed to enable innovation. From IAM solutions like Dell Identity Manager to Dell SonicWALL Next Gen Firewalls, Dell offers a robust package of security solutions that empower government agencies to capitalize on emerging tech trends without sacrificing security. End-to-end security protects government agencies from endpoint to the data center to the cloud, readying agencies for tomorrow’s IT opportunities.