The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is rolling out a new zero trust scorecard across the agency’s different operating divisions to accelerate zero trust security adoption and drive strategy across HHS.

At ACT-IAC’s Health Innovation Summit on June 8, Jennifer Wendel, the deputy chief information officer (CIO) at HHS, explained that the scorecard will help the CIOs in the agency’s numerous operating divisions to move at their own pace in their unique zero trust journeys.

“One of the areas we actually talked about yesterday with the CIOs is doing a zero trust scorecard across the octaves, because we recognize that the octaves are at different maturity levels,” Wendel said at the event. “And we don’t want to stop them from going to the next level, but we need to identify where are those areas from a zero trust perspective that we have to focus on.”

“So, this scorecard is going to help us determine what those gaps are, and then it’s going to help us drive strategy from a priority perspective,” she said.

Wendel has been with HHS for just about four months now, where her main job is to support HHS CIO Karl Mathias.

In her short time there, she has picked up on the fact that “95 percent” of Mathias’s job is asking for and receiving money. As for her job as the deputy CIO, she said a big part of it is ensuring “we tell that story effectively.”

“Technologists do not know how to get money,” according to Wendel, so being able to ask for money from a mission-impact angle is important. This new scorecard will help to bring “all of that together from a governance framework to tell that cohesive story,” she said.

“We’re trying to make sure we break down the silos, and more importantly, that we’re listening to the octaves,” Wendel said. “I think that’s important for us that we really want to make sure that we’re not telling them how to do their business, that we’re helping them achieve their successes in a more effective manner.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.