Addressing Pillars of Zero Trust: Users and Data
The USPTO leaned into implementing all five pillars of the federal zero-trust architecture strategy as a means of safeguarding its data. The Trustwave DbProtect capabilities the agency added address two aspects in particular: users and data.
With the new toolsets, the USPTO will be able to flag user accounts with excessive privileges and limit their access to sensitive data. Forensic audit trails also will allow the agency to monitor the behavior of privileged database users.
Database activity monitoring will remove some of the pressure on USPTO security personnel to detect unusual or suspicious behavior with automated alerts. The new capabilities are designed to uncover vulnerabilities and anomalies that could lead to a breach across database assets. They then assign risk levels, so security teams can easily prioritize mitigation.
A Database-Specific Zero-Trust Approach
The USPTO isn’t alone in its push to secure its databases. Many companies and agencies, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, are seeking out vulnerability scanning tools. Such tools must adapt to constantly evolving modes of attack designed to exfiltrate or manipulate data.
The White House continues to finalize zero-trust guidance, but the USPTO remains ahead of the curve with its database-specific security approach emphasizing continuous assessments.
“Data is at the heart of the zero-trust conversation,” said Bill Rucker, president of Trustwave Government Solutions, in a statement. “And in order to operate securely today and in the future, databases need to be considered as critical assets with the appropriate security considerations applied.”