CyberQuest Leaders: Breakfast Forum - Defending the Defense Industrial Base

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
8:00 AM

Post-Event Summary:

“No one person can get anything done.”

Hon. Ellen Lord said it best at the Cyber Guild’s CyberQuest Leaders Breakfast Forum on Tuesday on Defending the Defense Industrial Base. 

The day kicked off with an engaging fireside chat with Hon. Ellen Lord with EML Enterprises and Stacy Bostjanick with the Office of DoD CIO, where they discussed the purpose of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Cybersecurity Program and provided an update on the rulemaking process.

Ms. Bostjanick discussed the importance of the public-private partnership, citing industry engagement opportunities to include experts giving lectures to DoD program managers on industry perspectives; providing white papers and issuing ideas on what works and what does not; and participating in the defense industrial base cybersecurity program, which will soon be open to all unclassified systems.

The program transitioned into a roundtable that included a discussion on the CMMC Rule with the following speakers: Amy Williams with Coalfire Federal; Pirooz Jaman with Easy Dynamics, JR Williamson with Leidos, Andy Sauer with Sentinel Blue; Carrie Wibben with Exiger Federal moderated the roundtable. 

Panelists explained that the primary purpose of CMMC is to signal to customers that cyber companies are complying with the minimum standard of care regarding cybersecurity. The updated framework will better secure our defense industrial base and the final rule will likely be coming out later this month.

The conversation shifted to how to secure the defense industrial base supply chain across the entire ecosystem. Large- to medium-sized organizations lean on small organizations for innovation, and small organizations partner with larger organizations for funding and expertise to better meet applicable, baseline cybersecurity standards. Within this partnership, the whole ecosystem is connected, which makes ensuring security even more important.  

When the audience was asked what needs to happen for us to get ahead of the curve to protect our defense supply chain, answers largely included getting the incentives right to achieve compliance with security standards. To do this, incentives need to align within the existing business structure – meaning, to compete for RFPs, compliance is required. To achieve compliance, there needs to be better situational awareness within the supply chain and improvement in the way security needs are communicated across teams and up to business leadership. 

When asked what is the one thing attendees plan to take back to their organizations and act upon in response to the fireside chat and roundtable discussions, the audience explained that they need to get started on complying with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s SP 800-53, Rev. 3 security requirements as soon as possible, look into less expensive compliance resources, request to have authorized greater funding opportunities to help with compliance, and decrease offshoring incentives. 

About This Event:

This is a unique opportunity to hear a fireside chat between Stacy Bostjanick, Chief, Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity, Office of DoD CIO, and Hon. Ellen Lord, the first Undersecretary for Defense, and notable industry veteran.

The insightful conversation will be followed by a leading industry panel drawn from diverse stakeholder groups. The panel will discuss perspectives and industry concerns, and consider how the supply chain is fundamentally faring with prime accountability in regulatory compliance, and strategic operations in the rollout of regulations.

Interactive peer roundtable discussions will allow attendees to share industry lessons learned and recommend actionable strategies.

The program concludes with table ‘calls to action’ and Q&A. Non-attributable recommendations will be recorded and shared post-event.

Join us for breakfast and grow your leadership network and professional sphere of influence.


Army Navy Country Club

1700 Army Navy Drive Arlington, VA 22202


8:00 AM | Registration and Coffee

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM | Program

  • Fireside Chat and Served Breakfast – DoD Cybersecurity Program with Stacy Bostjanick and Ellen Lord, Cyber Guild Luminary. Followed by, Securing the Defense Industrial Base, Conditions for Success – an expert panel with Carrie Wibben participating moderator and Poupak Afshar, Amy Williams, JR Williamson, and Andy Sauer.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Roundtable Discussions and Moderated Table ‘Call to Action’

  • A short comfort break before Roundtable Discussions – Table facilitators enable discussion for the call to action and act as table spokespersons.
  • Moderated Closing Plenary – Table spokesperson shares 1-2 activation points. Inputs will be collected and included in a summary document that will be shared post-event with all attendees.

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Closing Remarks and Social

Special thanks to our sponsors, Easy Dynamics, Coalfire Federal, and Sentinel Blue.

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