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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Sean Connelly, Federal Cybersecurity Leader, Departs CISA After Over a Decade of Service

Sean Connelly, a prominent figure in federal cybersecurity, has announced his departure from federal service, leaving behind a significant legacy of contributions to national cybersecurity infrastructure. As the senior cybersecurity architect and Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) program manager at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Connelly has played a pivotal role in shaping critical cybersecurity initiatives over the last decade.

During his tenure, Connelly spearheaded several major projects, most notably the evolution of the TIC program, which is essential for securing federal networks against cyber threats. His efforts have been crucial in updating and modernizing the TIC framework to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and cyber threats.

In addition to his work with the TIC program, Connelly was instrumental in developing and advancing the concepts behind Zero Trust, a strategic cybersecurity model that has become increasingly important in the federal government’s defense strategy. Under his leadership, the first Zero Trust maturity model was developed, providing a roadmap for agencies to assess their progress towards implementing Zero Trust principles. In April 2023, his team released an updated version of this model, which delineates the stages of Zero Trust maturity from “traditional” to “optimal,” guiding agencies through the implementation process.

Connelly’s contributions also extend to his co-authorship of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-207, published in August 2020. This document details the components of a Zero Trust architecture, providing a foundational framework that has informed federal cybersecurity strategies.

His most recent efforts include the launch of the CISA Zero Trust Initiative Office. This new office aims to equip agencies with the necessary training and resources to enhance their cybersecurity measures effectively. This initiative reflects Connelly’s ongoing commitment to adapting federal cybersecurity practices to meet current challenges.

Before his 11 years at CISA, Connelly spent over seven years as a contractor, contributing to cybersecurity projects at the State Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His extensive experience and leadership have left an indelible mark on federal cybersecurity efforts.

As Connelly exits federal service, his departure marks the end of an era of significant advancements in cybersecurity frameworks and strategies. His work has not only strengthened the nation’s defenses against cyber threats but also laid a strong foundation for future developments in the field. The cybersecurity community and federal agencies alike will undoubtedly feel the impact of his departure as they continue to build on the robust groundwork he helped establish.

author avatar
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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