Welcome to the second installment of the #SecureGovernment series! Today, we share three security tips to protect government networks. Missed the previous blog on security trends in government IT? Check it out here, and you can follow the full series here.
Now more than ever, citizens and communities depend on their governments to work in their best interest. Governments have been adapting to better deliver on their mission to lead, protect and serve the people. We’ve seen the pandemic create an inflection point in the digital capabilities of governments.
Today, the accelerated pace of digital transformation continues as governments embed digitization into their processes and citizen service delivery. However, the growing permeation of technology also expands the attack surface and unintentionally creates opportunities for threat actors. As you continue your digital transformation journey, here are three tips for you to secure your government networks:
1) Zero-trust security: never trust, always verify
With ongoing digital transformation to leverage data for better decision-making and citizen experience, to enable hybrid work, and to deliver workloads from the cloud, the network’s boundary is no longer confined within the organization’s perimeter. The traditional castle-and-moat approach where data and systems are secured behind the perceived safety of this perimeter is no longer sufficient.
Zero trust is a framework where trust is never assumed, but constantly verified. By checking the validity of every access request, regardless of which person, location, or device the request originates from, zero-trust security guarantees that only the right users are granted access. This means secured access into an organization’s applications and network, enabling government agencies to protect their technology systems and data while scaling digital transformation.
2) Proactive tech refresh cycles lead to better security outcomes
The 2021 Cisco Security Outcomes Study revealed that a proactive tech refresh emerged to be the most effective practice to achieve security outcomes, and this is especially so for keeping up with business growth, meeting compliance regulations and running cost-effectively. As government organizations adopt new technological capabilities to enable remote work or to unlock agility by moving to the cloud or digitize citizen services, security solutions must be updated to safeguard these developments.
However, budgetary constraints might hinder the support of frequent, best-of-breed tech upgrades. Consider a strategy to migrate to cloud and software as a service (SaaS) solutions to bridge this gap. Subscriptions-based solutions are a cost-effective to ensure that technology stays up to date. With automatic updates, simplicity of adoption and integration, security does not have to be excessively challenging or expensive.
3) Well-integrated technology empowers security teams
In the past, organizations were forced to respond quickly to the most recent threat, which meant continuously adding the latest point product to the stack. In the present, this results in a plethora of security solutions, resulting in security teams switching between different, fractal systems. This added layer of complexity and time-consuming tasks hinder the rapid decision-making and efficiency required to protect an organization.
In the Cisco 2021 Security Outcomes Study, technological integration emerged as the second most effective practice for cybersecurity success. In Volume 2 of the study, we found that 77% of organizations would rather buy integrated solutions than build them. With the growing prominence of cloud-based solutions, it is now easier to achieve well-integrated security IT and streamline the experience of the security team so that they can focus on aligning their work to your agency’s mission.
Consider Cisco SecureX, which empowers organizations with an integrated platform that provides visibility, automation, and simplicity. It brings together our entire Cisco Secure portfolio and third-party solutions so that organizations can streamline integrating new technologies, whether it is for a proactive tech refresh strategy, or emerging needs.