The Technology Modernization Fund announced investments Tuesday to modernize networks in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while also helping the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implement zero trust architecture to boost cybersecurity. These planned projects are the result of close collaboration between the TMF and agency partners.
“This Administration is on a path to aggressively invest in defenses and shift from outdated perimeter-based defenses to a ‘zero trust’ approach that confronts our adversaries’ capabilities and intent,” said Federal CIO and TMF Board Chair Clare Martorana. “These investments will implement robust multifactor authentication, encrypt government data, quickly detect and contain adversary activity, and continuously identify and remediate vulnerabilities.”
“The TMF is again making smart technology investments that will improve efficiency, boost cybersecurity, and deliver better for taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “The TMF is showing that government can harness technology to make a positive impact in people’s lives, from supporting systems that help people who are food insecure to ensuring that first responders can quickly share information.”
Raylene Yung, Executive Director of the Technology Modernization Fund, recently testified before Congress on the TMF and its “broad view of technology needs across the federal government.” In her statement before the Subcommittee on Government Operations, she said the TMF is “seeing similarities across proposals, uncovering what’s working best and connecting agencies to shared resources.”
The latest tranche of TMF investments around more secure network infrastructure and zero trust architecture shows how the fund loop is uncovering these similarities across proposals and building cohorts of agencies simultaneously addressing similar challenges:
Network Upgrade at USDA
The TMF is investing $64 million in the USDA tol help develop a unified, secure network to support all USDA program offices and services and reduce the number of legacy networks from 17 to 1, bearing an estimated $734 million in cost savings/avoidance to the agency. The investment boosts the speed and cybersecurity of program offices like the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which delivers critical food safety data to the public, and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which distributes $122 billion in nutrition benefits to American families experiencing food insecurity.
“The USDANet modernization project enables USDA to continue and build on its customer-centric IT modernization efforts that deliver better performance for a better value,” said USDA Chief Information Officer Gary Washington. “It will also increase the reliability of USDANet and act as an enabler to protecting and operating the U.S. agricultural supply chain.”
New FTC Security Operations Center
The TMF will also invest $3.9 million to help FTC procure a security operations center as a service (SOCaaS) in order to implement a zero trust architecture. The project will allow FTC to better protect sensitive data and scale security operations to meet future threats. The project will improve FTC response times to cyber attacks and serve as a blueprint for other agencies to establish SOCs of their own.
Cloud Modernization at DHS
Another investment of $26.9 million will modernize the DHS Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) service to an updated and more secure platform for information sharing among first responders, law enforcement, private sector, and government partners. DHS plans to rebuild its information sharing system as a cloud native platform. Real-time information and resource access will allow agencies and emergency personnel to plan for and respond to homeland security matters such as natural disasters, security events, and other crises faster and more effectively.
All three agencies plan to repay the TMF in alignment with repayment guidelines by the end of FY 2028. These latest actions bring the total of TMF investments to 26 ongoing projects with over half a billion dollars invested.
For more information, visit: tmf.cio.gov