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Vice Adm. Nancy Norton: DoD Eyes Launch of Zero Trust Architecture by Year’s End

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Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and a 2018 Wash100 Award recipient, said DISA is collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies to develop and release by the end of 2020 an initial zero trust architecture in an effort to strengthen cybersecurity across the Department of Defense (DoD), Signal Magazine reported Wednesday.

Norton, also commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Network, said the zero trust architecture will be used by the U.S. Army and other DoD components and will mark a move away from the network-centric security model amid threats posed by state and non-state actors.

“This paradigm shift from a network-centric to a data-centric security model will affect every arena of our cyber domain, focusing first on how to protect our data and critical resources and then secondarily on our networks,” she said at the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference.

“Under our traditional defense-in-depth approach, we have tried to make the DODIN trusted and safe territory. Under our new zero trust model, we will always assume that our internal networks are as hostile as external networks.”