The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a new cybersecurity strategy intended to protect against exposure of Veterans’ personal information or the corruption of critical data.

“As we continue to rapidly advance technology across VA, this strategy provides an agile framework to address the challenges of today and adapt to the technologies and threats of tomorrow,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said in a November 4 press release. “This comprehensive approach practices accountability and transparency, while remaining hypervigilant of cyber threats — charting a course for success at the individual and enterprise levels.”

The strategy outlines five goals focused on “maintaining a robust and resilient technology environment that advances VA’s mission,” including:

  • Secure and protect VA and veteran information;
  • Protect information systems and assets;
  • Leverage innovation to strengthen cybersecurity;
  • Enhance cybersecurity through partnerships and information sharing; and
  • Empower VA mission through cybersecurity risk management.

Included with each strategic goal are a handful of objectives and corresponding actions the VA will need to take to achieve its strategic goals.

In the 20-page strategy document, the VA said the new cyber strategy is guiding efforts to deliver cybersecurity services “in a measurable and effective way,” that “enables the protection and resilience of VA’s most critical business functions and assets.”

The VA added that the associated objectives and actions of this strategy are accomplished through “collaborative, engaged, and informed stakeholder partnerships where mission success is realized through stakeholder accountability.” The VA also said implementation of the strategy will be closely governed and measured for success, remaining agile to the evolving needs of VA’s mission.

The new strategy, VA said, aligns with the department’s broader FY18-24 VA Strategic Plan. The VA added that the strategy takes into consideration existing and new Federal cybersecurity requirements, Executive Orders, technological advancements, innovations, and world events that have impacted the way VA delivers services.

“Cybersecurity is a team effort, especially given the rapid rate of technological advancements across VA,” said Sec. McDonough. “That means all VA employees and contractors must do our parts to safeguard sensitive and private information, practice accountability and transparency, and remain hypervigilant of cyber threats.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.