Federal Agencies Face a Wider Scope of Security Issues
But that’s not the only issue. Many agencies also lack the security controls to prevent, monitor and respond to threats targeting these devices. At the same time, the combined stresses of balancing remote workers and security without creating additional operational burdens are contributing to employee burnout.
The number of devices and applications on the average network doesn’t help, either. In order to get visibility into potential threats, IT staff needs to know what’s on the network and have the tools in place to monitor it all. While regulations and policies exist to ensure secure procurement, there’s less of a system in place to maintain an inventory of acquisitions or the lifecycles of IT assets.
The real challenge for the federal government, however, is that the scale of the problem is much larger for it than nearly any other U.S. enterprise.
The giant Health and Human Services Department, for example, has 12 operating divisions. When it comes to IT issues, each generally operates separately from the others. A single-point solution is not the answer.
Zero Trust Provides Visibility into Vulnerable IT Environments
What is, then? Visibility is key. A zero-trust security architecture and program — which all agencies must have in place by the end of September 2024 — will put the tools and processes in place needed to detect such severe intrusions. This shift in cybersecurity mindset will bolster existing risk management techniques.
Building this kind of environment and mitigating the effects of these malicious attacks create additional visibility in areas that may not have had it before. A good zero-trust assessment, such as those provided by CDW•G’s experts, can help agencies figure out how to start.
These assessments also can allow agencies to adopt zero-trust design that permits secure, remote administration of internet-connected devices by authorized users without creating additional operational burden.
Zero-trust solutions and services will help an agency establish and bring to maturity a comprehensive attack surface management program, reduce the risk associated with exposed management interfaces and assist in compliance with CISA BOD 23-02.
This article is part of FedTech’s CapITal blog series.