Modern Government IT – Challenges and Keys to Reducing Cybersecurity Risks
Government security teams today face a daunting task, protecting mission critical infrastructures that have a level of complexity never seen before while at the same time enabling government workers and providing services to the public they serve. Many government agencies are finding that the increased efficiency gained from enhanced business security processes and new technologies are critical in order to remain efficient and these capabilities underpin many key business and operational innovations. Government organizations have a large and still growing attack surface and with it an assortment of weak points an attacker can exploit to enter an environment.
It’s becoming almost routine to hear about a local, state and national government agencies and organizations being breached. Large and small government organizations are favorite targets for nation state, cyber terrorists and hacktivists, and criminal. Recent ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya are stark reminders to all government organizations of the danger that cyber-attacks pose. Progressive government entities realize that there isn’t a “silver bullet” tool or process and that threat actors are persistent. Historical audit processes that occur infrequently are not keeping up with “threat speed”. Progressive government operations are prioritizing and dedicating a higher level of protection to critical assets and sensitive data. Progressive government organizations are working with their operational leaders and putting best practice governance, risk and compliance processes in place to determine risks, identify critical assets and understand where sensitive data lives in the infrastructure, protecting what matters most, continuously monitoring the enterprise and recognizing that prioritization is key. As security strategy shifts from creating an impenetrable perimeter to managing a dynamic, distributed infrastructure the four pillars of modern security are increasingly coming into play. Government organizations need full visibility, rapid insights, efficient comprehensive response and business context. Government organizations must be able to see what’s happening in the enterprise and understanding risks at all times across business processes, networks, devices, people, and transactions. Government organizations today and in the future must understand security risk in the context of impact to mission critical operations that provide ongoing and necessary public services. With a business driven security strategy, government agencies can connect security risk to operational risk that is contextual and specific to the organizations mission.