February 28, 2024

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U.S. Agencies Shift to Zero Trust Strategy

The U.S. government is quickly taking action to revamp cybersecurity processes as cyber threats are increasing in frequency. The government addressed the cybersecurity issues with an emphasis on zero-trust architecture and required all federal agencies to have a plan to begin adopting a zero-trust framework. Following this order, the Office of Management and Budget released a zero-trust draft strategy, giving agencies until September 2024 to meet five specific security goals in relation to zero trust.

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence initiated its Implementing a Zero Trust Architecture Project which seeks to create architectures and guidelines that will enable federal agencies to efficiently adopt zero trust. Implementing an effective zero-trust framework can be complex because it challenges the de facto approach of perimeter-based security. Current technology requires agencies to move away from perimeter defence as cloud and mobile usage make it ineffective.

Zero trust verifies all users and devices, continuously reviewing access privileges and interpreting activity. It also includes often overlooked gaps generated by unprotected mobile endpoints or cloud applications. Hence. Zero-trust architecture must be built on Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and its associated elements, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

SASE serves as an umbrella of cloud security solutions, enforcing security policies in a manner tailored to identity while contextualizing and continuously assessing risk. It works to monitor activity and changes in the cloud and cloud-based apps. As a result, the approach secures access to an organization’s cloud network regardless of the location of the devices requesting access.

CASB is an element within SASE that performs critical monitoring of cloud-based apps. It records how apps communicate, identifies app risks and detects anomalies, like abnormal behaviour or privilege changes. Changes in cloud environments often happen in real-time, so CASB matches this pace.

For example, if a bad actor gained access to an agency’s network through an employee’s mobile device and searched for critical information in areas that the user had no place being, CASB would be able to detect this anomaly and enable the implementation of security controls to help stop the bad actor before too much damage is done.

Also, within SASE, ZTNA gives users seamless and secure connectivity to private applications without ever exposing apps to the internet or placing them on a network. ZTNA allows agencies to give users the least amount of access necessary, reducing the potential attack surfaces and making the monitoring process easier.

On top of the SASE platform lie additional security apps and features to enhance the zero-trust approach, including antivirus and anti-malware solutions as well as technologies and processes to discover, monitor and control sensitive data.

When combined, these platforms and features form a baseline for a successful zero trust strategy. While many agencies are beginning their journey to adopt zero trust and comply with new regulations, the approach must be broad and holistic. To truly improve efforts to identify, deter, protect, detect and respond to bad actors and actions, agencies need an integrated security platform that covers the endpoint, the cloud and every data point in between.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, The Defense Information Systems Agency is laying the foundation for next-generation cybersecurity with the release of the initial Department of Defence Zero Trust Reference Architecture (Dod ZT). Zero Trust is a cybersecurity strategy and framework that embeds security throughout the architecture to prevent malicious actors from accessing the most critical assets.

The document states the foundational tenet of the Zero Trust Model is that no actor, system, network, or service operating outside or within the security perimeter is trusted. Instead, they must verify anything and everything attempting to establish access.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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