In the current threat environment, the federal government can no longer depend on conventional perimeter-based defenses to protect mission critical applications and its associated data. A transition to a Zero Trust approach to security provides a defensible architecture for this unique environment, according to federal officials.
The Zero Trust security model acknowledges that threats exist both inside and outside traditional network boundaries. As a result, the goal of Zero Trust is to eliminate implicit trust in any one element, node, or service. Instead, the security model requires continuous verification of the operational picture via real-time information from multiple sources to determine access and other system responses. All federal agencies must meet Zero-Trust goals that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has set by 2024, according to the Federal Zero Trust Strategy released in January 2022. The strategy is a key step forward in delivering on the president’s May 2021 executive order (EO) on “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” which contains a directive for federal agencies to develop a plan to advance towards a Zero Trust architecture.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is directing agencies to work together on common data challenges, including accelerating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in government, as part of the Federal Data Strategy. Governing, managing and protecting data are integral parts of the strategy as agencies accelerate the move toward more data-driven decision making. How will agencies align Zero Trust with their data initiatives-including assets that support their COVID-19 response and AI research and development? How are agencies working to securely share data assets with other organizations to further their missions in a Zero Trust world?
Join AFCEA Bethesda for a webinar on April 21 to hear government cybersecurity leaders and experts discuss how agencies are accelerating the move toward a Zero Trust architecture that aligns with their data-driven initiatives.
Carole House (Pending)
Director for Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation