Recently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updated its guidance for the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative. With TIC 3.0, agencies can leverage modern security capabilities when connecting outside of traditional parameters, and this is helping to enable secure remote work success. As government agencies shifted to remote work to continue mission delivery, their mission was dependent on three things: security with TIC 3.0 in mind, business continuity, and the right partner that could provide it all. We spoke with experts from Palo Alto Networks and Verizon to learn more.
In regard to business continuity, many agencies adopting fully remote environments for the first time in the midst of a massive, COVID-driven shift away from in-person collaboration needed solutions that could be set up quickly and securely, according to Coleman Mehta, Senior Director, U.S. Policy, Palo Alto Networks. “It’s vital for any organization to have a plan, and a plan that is flexible,” he said.
According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, security should be top of mind to agencies as they work in dispersed environments. “Attackers prey on organizations that collect and store personal information, such as citizen data, to include Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information. Agencies need to secure this data against the rising threat landscape – especially ransomware,” said John Grim, Head of Research at the Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center.
These secure solutions enabling business continuity will remain important as we enter the new normal. “Agencies will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future,” shared Mehta. “As remote work continues, ensuring security around devices and networks is critical for successful mission delivery. “No matter where you are, it’s important to provide consistent security across your entire network. You need to make sure your security is on tablets, mobile phones, and laptops. The only way you can do that is with a comprehensive platform,” Mehta shared.
With this in mind, agencies are looking to automated platforms, Zero Trust architectures, and trusted technology partners that can provide these vital solutions. “The right technology is absolutely important. The integration and visibility that come with these solutions are paramount, but it’s equally important to make sure that the provider is also a partner,” Mehta said. “This partner should be working on longer-term plans to address the changing world of work to ensure a continuous confidentiality, integrity, and availability of services to federal agency personnel, regardless of location.”
As agencies continue to depend on remote work, Mehta urges agencies to plan for the future and strategically think about the present. “Planning matters, and consistent, flexible solutions that enhance security mission delivery should be part of today and tomorrow,” he concluded.
Interested in learning more about how Palo Alto Networks supports the federal government through remote workforce and beyond? Click here.