Securing Federal Telework with Zero Trust

December 15, 2020 By Brian McKee

The network perimeter is dissolving. As a result of the pandemic, widespread telework is likely here to stay. As a result, federal agencies need more robust IT architecture and stronger defenses to keep systems secure. More employees in more places using their own devices equals more complex network management and security challenges.

To keep federal systems and data safe, many federal IT teams are adopting a zero-trust approach.

With the basic premise of “trust no one,” zero trust is a strategy for managing technology risk. In a zero-trust architecture, federal IT teams can provide users and devices with precise access to data — regardless of whether the user is on-site or remote, an agency employee, or a third party.

In a recent Federal News Network article, I discuss how agency-wide, real-time data helps to improve risk-based decision-making. And, in a recent GCN article, I detail how zero trust can help secure BYOD and mobile devices.

Although zero trust provides a comprehensive approach to securing agency network access, it comes with several challenges. Many agencies don’t have the needed policy control technology architecture, or lack the staff and budget to deploy and enforce such policies effectively.

And with the growth of bring your own device (BYOD) policies for employees, this creates larger cybersecurity risks as agencies determine how to control, measure and manage those devices.

In addition, systems with zero trust rely on data that shows how the user is accessing the network. With legacy endpoint management and security tools, data is often several weeks or months old. Or it can be inaccurate due to factors like configuration changes. Real-time data helps federal IT teams make better risk-based decisions on whether or not to allow access to certain data.

By implementing Tanium’s unified endpoint management and security platform, IT teams can effectively break down data silos and close the accountability, visibility and resiliency gaps between IT operations and security teams.

The Tanium platform gives agencies end-to-end visibility across end-users, servers and cloud endpoints. And that visibility allows you to identify assets, protect systems, detect threats, respond to attacks and recover at scale.

Read the full Federal News Network and GCN articles to learn more about how Tanium can help federal agencies move forward in the remote workforce era by using a zero trust approach to strengthen and secure network infrastructure.