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Cyber 2020: New Ways of Thinking About Security

Rob Chee, Technical Director, Cyber Security, Iron Bow Technologies

March 30, 2020  |  Cyber Security


Cyber security has become one of the most rapidly evolving focuses in technology. Not only must federal agencies keep up with the current threats, but to be effective they must also look forward and find new ways to protect against more complex and innovative attackers.

We don’t need a crystal ball to see how wide the attack surface is becoming; we stare it down every day and see how the federal government is trying to keep up. Here are three emerging tools agencies can utilize to protect federal networks now and into the future.

Zero Trust

Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) will be one of the most important cyber tools moving forward. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence is hosting meetings to better understand how government can harness the technology. As attack landscapes get wider and more complex, it’s hard to overstate how essential it is to constantly validate every user and device.

ZTA treats every user and device as a threat, meaning that they must continuously validate they have been approved to use the network or application involved. This is especially important as 5G becomes the norm.

With 5G, the speeds possible from mobile devices will be faster than those from wireless networks. Because of that, workers might opt to download apps or information on their 5G-enabled phones rather than devices running on a protected wireless network. The challenge here is figuring out a way to protect those devices even if they’re accessing information through an unsecure network. ZTA is the ideal solution because it provides security directly at the endpoint and adds a layer of security around the device, not just the user.

Securing Kubernetes

Developed in 2014, Kubernetes is only just gaining a foothold in commercial industries. As this kind of cutting-edge app deployment system begins to proliferate, agencies need to be thinking about security.

Put simply, Kubernetes is an open source system that allows different app functions to be spread out into separate containers in the cloud. A typical Kubernetes framework will include tools for deploying and scaling applications as needed as well as managing changes to existing containerized apps. Kubernetes can manage them across public, private or hybrid clouds, making it an ideal platform for hosting cloud-native applications that require rapid scaling.

But, as with most innovative emerging solutions, Kubernetes requires a new way of thinking about  cyber security. Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool, not a container security tool.

To properly deploy a Kubernetes platform, agencies must ensure access controls are properly configured to enforce least-privilege policies that limits access for users to the bare minimum permissions they need to perform their work. Beyond that, agencies should lock down network communications and require authentication for anyone trying to access certain workloads or containers.

Kubernetes is an exciting solution that will assist agencies in developing, deploying and scaling apps, as long as security is taken into account.

Managed Cyber Services

As technology progresses, so does the threat landscape. Many organizations, including federal agencies, just don’t have the cyber security talent or resources to keep up with emerging attacks.

Utilizing a managed services provider gives agencies access to top cyber talent without breaking their budgets. Instead, the government can use the experts they need when they need them. Managed services providers (MSPs) not only make sure customers are implementing best practices, they also continuously monitor an organization’s cyber posture as new threats emerge.

MSPs provide a level of security experience that an in-house IT team might not have. They see malware, DDoS attacks and phishing scams every day and know how to deal with them effectively.

This is where Iron Bow can help. Our comprehensive approach to cyber security looks at the whole of your system and takes into account how your users access and harness data. We design solutions to achieve resiliency by minimizing risk and maximizing technology investments.

Whether that means designing a new ZTA solution or working with your existing cyber systems to shore up their weak spots, we have the industry experience and expertise to see past what agencies need to secure their information now, and look into a more complex security future.

For more information about Iron Bow’s cyber security services, visit our website.


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