Sramana Mitra: I did not realize that the government uses telecommuting.
Joseph Beal: Yes. It’s a driver. It’s a way for them to cut down on time, and they can work more efficiently.
SM: I just want to clarify: Is that something that you predict will happen or is it happening?
JB: We’re in the process. There are a lot of as-a-service offerings that the government provides that have been driven by telecommuting. There are a lot more policies across various agencies where people allow their staff to work from home or work remotely and not have to drive into the office, which could take two or three hours, and then drive home. It’s a quality-of-life issue, too, but from the government’s side, they’ve seen a lot more efficiency. A lot more work is being done because employees have access to the services they need as if they were in the office.
SM: In terms of the technology you see being adopted, are there specific vendors or types of technology that are showing up more often?
JB: Yes. I think mobile device management is a major new enclave or technology the government is looking at. With the adoption of telecommuting, users are asking if they will have their machines at home. They have their iPads, iPods, iPhones or smartphones. And they want to be able to get the same experience they get when they use their regular devices as they do when they’re at work. I think BYOD [bring your own device], and being able to manage those devices, is a major hurdle that we’ve definitely been looking into leaping over.
Another area is in big data. We talked about logs and how much log retention we should have, how we track the bad guys and nation states, the hacktivists who want to bring down the websites and systems we have in the government. Taking security systems into account, we need to find ways to be able to consolidate flows of data from multiple sources. That data has become massive. So, we’ve progressed from having event management [to] being able to correlate those data streams into one so that we can start to show attribution and start to identify where those exposures and vulnerabilities in our systems are and how people are truly getting in.
SM: You’re talking about big data as it applies to information security, right?