By P. Devon Schall, M.S., MA.Ed. CISSP, RDRP
On April 3rd and April 4th, I attended the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association (AFCEA) annual industry event titled AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days hosted at The Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland. The Belvoir chapter supports the Fort Belvoir community by connecting the government with IT industry professionals.
Fort Belvoir is home to over 90 diverse tenant and satellite organizations from the Department of Defense, including PEO EIS, INSCOM, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Army Cyber Command, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), National GeospatialIntelligence Agency (NGA), DTIC, PEO Soldier, and many others.
I was slightly hesitant to attend this event, as my previous experience with trade shows have not been very positive as they are often plagued with “swag collectors” and minimal decision makers. I am happy to report, AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days did not fall into this category, and I had the opportunity to network and meet many DoD and private industry leaders. RMF was a very hot topic at the event. My three biggest takeaways are listed below.
1. DoD executive level decision makers are very frustrated with RMF
RMF was created as a holistic cybersecurity framework to replace DIACAP and improve DoD cybersecurity, but it is turning into cybersecurity via compliance checklist. Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 echoed this sentiment in his keynote speech saying that RMF needed to be turned on its side as it is not working the way it was intended to. Lieutenant General Crawford’s statements were supported by Mr. David Kim the Chief Technology Officer & Director of The Technical Warfare Center as he presented a host of RMF questions and concerns.
2. DoD/private industry are experiencing a shortage of qualified RMF practitioners
I was continually asked if I had access to any “boots on the ground” RMF personnel. As a provider of training services, we do not currently place RMF contractors, but I was asked if I had access to qualified RMF workers a multitude of times. To help our students secure positions as RMF practitioners, BAI is responding to this shortage by developing an RMF job board which will be available to our students who are part of the Registered DoD RMF Practitioner Program (RDRP). If you would like to join the Registered DoD RMF Practitioner Program (RDRP) please go to https://rmf.org/rdrp/.
3. A need for quality RMF training exists
After reading the two statements above, it has been expressed that an immense amount of confusion exists regarding RMF and there is a shortage of RMF workers.
The solution to these two issues are quality RMF training solutions. Many organizations and training companies think they have a good understanding of RMF, but they may not be implementing RMF in the most effective capacity.
Our niche is RMF, and we have great pride in being “laser focused” on RMF. We often joke in our meetings that we should be using the tagline “RMF – It’s Who We Are”, but that catchphrase rings exceedingly true and is a great benefit in the current RMF landscape.