Mark Testoni, CEO of SAP National Security Services and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, wrote in an article published Monday on FedScoop that the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for the government and industry to reassess how they manage classified information and work to support national security missions.
Testoni said the national security community should make adjustments to its classified work practices by advancing low-to-high-development and configuration.
He noted that conducting majority of development work in an unclassified setting could help organizations minimize sensitive compartmented information facility-related challenges caused by pandemic and other emergencies.
“Low-to-high development enables quicker, better, and more economical solutions to meet our nation’s security needs. Through containerization, this approach even enables most patching and upgrades to occur on the low side reducing the number of people needed to sit inside a SCIF,” Testoni wrote. “Low-side development also opens more opportunities for public-private sector collaboration, which is where the magic happens.”
Testoni also called on organizations to focus on hiring the best talent who can truly support the national security mission.
“If we can limit the need for cleared personnel to be in SCIFs only when necessary, we can broaden the premium talent pool. With access to a larger and more diverse pool of resources, we can tap into the next generation of tech talent that otherwise would not want to (or be permitted to) work in a classified environment.”
He said the national security community should explore other aspects of operations that can transition to remote work.
“Just as we have fast-tracked video conferencing and digital transformation over the past five months, we need to accelerate initiatives around national and cloud security, supply chain visibility, and data modernization, to name a few,” Testoni added.