Page 26 - FCW, September/October 2021
P. 26

The Ongoing Quest for Cybersecurity
Reclaiming control
over complex IT environments
As the network perimeter disappears, agencies need comprehensive visibility into all their systems
Brandon Shopp
Group Vice President – Product, SolarWinds
shift their focus from protecting an increasingly blurry perimeter to protecting the endpoints that access the network — whether they’re laptops, desktop PCs, mobile phones or virtual machines. At SolarWinds, for example, employees and contractors cannot connect to our corporate network unless CrowdStrike Falcon endpoint protection is running on their devices.
As IT environments become more complex, agencies must have visibility
and control over all their on-premises and cloud environments. Virtualization and cloud technology have helped agencies modernize their IT systems and quickly spin up new storage and compute resources
in response to demand. However, someone must ensure those resources are configured properly from the beginning and then continue managing and monitoring them
to prevent potential security vulnerabilities. The challenge is complicated by the fact that although there are some similarities, vendors often take a proprietary approach to their cloud environments.
Furthermore, many activities rely on multiple environments. A database, for example, might be hosted on-premises but
is used by an application
THE PANDEMIC SENT MANY government employees home to work remotely, and we can expect to see a mixed workforce in the future as the public and private sectors adapt to allowing people to work from wherever they happen to be.
When employees were sitting in a government office behind a firewall, IT administrators had a clearly defined perimeter to protect. Now IT administrators are still focused on protecting the agency’s mission and assets, but the responsibility has become more difficult because they’ve lost some visibility and control over the infrastructure.
In response, many organizations are moving toward strategies based on zero trust, which requires validating users and devices before they connect to government systems, or least privilege, which involves only giving employees access to the resources and applications they need to perform their jobs. Zero trust and least privilege require continuous monitoring and a risk-based approach to adding or removing authorizations.
Continuous monitoring of on-premises and cloud
Endpoint detection and response solutions are also increasing in popularity as agencies
Shutterstock/FCW Staff

   24   25   26   27   28