An Interview with Dr. Ron Ross, NIST Fellow & GovDefenders Keynote

On May 7, GovDefenders is hosting its annual Cybersecurity Virtual Event. This year, the focus is on continuous monitoring and identity and access management in the government at both the federal and state and local levels.

Last week, Dr. Ron Ross, keynote speaker at the event, sat down with DLT Solutions’ chief cloud technologist, David Blankenhorn, for a pre-event interview. Dr. Ross is a fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) wherehis current focus areas include information security and risk management.

We asked him the following questions:

  1. This year’s GovDefenders panel is focusing on NIST’s Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. How pleased are you with its current adoption rate, and where do we go from here?
  2. Continuous monitoring is such a wide-ranging technology/methodology. Can you define it for people who are still confused? And where should they begin?
  3. How does the idea of a TACIT (threat, assets, complexity, integration, and trustworthiness) strategy help agencies reduce security complications?
  4. You’ve spoken before about the need for better security built into IT systems and architecture. What more would you like to see specifically from the IT vendor community? What are they still missing when it comes to government cybersecurity?
  5. How is the cloud impacting continuous monitoring strategies?
  6. A common problem we continually hear from government agencies, at both the federal and state and local levels, is the need for more trained IT security professionals. How can government address this?
  7. The annual OMB FISMA report shows that about 90% of enterprise cybersecurity spending goes to personnel.  Do you see automation being able to bend the cost curve over time and relieve pressure on the requirement for more and more highly skilled and trained staff?
  8. How might some of the new guidance and tools from NIST have mitigated issues like those encountered with threats like the recent Heartbleed bug?


Register now to see Dr. Ross’ full presentation – and many others – on May 7, for free and online, by clicking here!

The event offers eight educational breakout sessions from the industry’s top cybersecurity vendors and a panel discussion on NIST’s new cybersecurity framework. It’s anchored by two additional keynote speakers:

  • Aneesh Chopra, former US Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Hunch Analytics
  • John Slye, Advisory Research Analyst, Deltek

GovDefenders is a group of IT industry companies who have come together to discuss government cybersecurity. The partners are: Dell Software, ForeScout, Symantec, BMC Software, Oracle, Red Hat, SolarWinds, and DLT Solutions. Visit for more information!