NASCIO CIO Top Priorities in a Zero Trust World

May 1, 2019

Many state CIOs are struggling to manage the onslaught of priorities that are captured in the NASCIO Top 10 Policy and Technology Priorities for 2019, ranging from enabling cloud services to the digital government to IT governance. While their mission mandates tackling these priorities, they cannot solely focus on their implementation, but must also bolster cyber security and abide by stringent compliance mandates (e.g., FISMA, HIPAA, NIST SP 800-Series). This is a tall order to deal with.

To add to this challenge, the attack surface of state governments has changed dramatically. Today state agencies must not only control access to servers, databases, and network devices, but also look after cloud environments. At the same time, it’s become evident that attackers are no longer “hacking” to carry out data breaches ― they are simply logging in by exploiting weak, stolen, or otherwise compromised privileged credentials. According to Forrester estimates, 80 percent of today’s breaches involve privileged credential misuse.

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Think Zero Trust ― For All Initiatives

It’s just further proof that we’re living in a World of Zero Trust, which mandates state CIOs to apply a new mindset of “never trust, always verify, enforce least privilege.” In this context, next-generation solutions like Zero Trust Privilege are a necessity to secure state governments while supporting the breadth of initiatives described in the NASCIO Top Priorities list.

Let’s look at how Zero Trust Privilege can serve as the overarching umbrella for these initiatives:

#1: Security & Risk Management

Increase your compliance and security posture by addressing today’s leading cause of breaches — privileged access abuse. Grant least privilege access based on verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and the risk of the access environment.

#2: Cloud Services

Adopt cloud seamlessly and securely — simply extend your existing enterprise identities and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to your hybrid cloud.

#3: Consolidation/Optimization

Reduce vendor sprawl: Zero Trust Privilege combines password vaulting with brokering of identities, MFA enforcement, and “just enough” privilege, all while securing remote access and monitoring all privileged access sessions.

#4: Digital Government

Secure and streamline access to all infrastructure elements — on-premise, cloud, or hybrid.

#5: Broadband/Wireless Connectivity

Secure, streamline, and audit administrative access to network devices.

#6: Budget, Cost Control, Fiscal Management

Save implementation and operational costs by applying a Zero Trust Privilege approach.

#7: Customer Relationship Management

Improve citizen trust by minimizing the risk of data exfiltration.

#8: Data Management & Analytics

Take advantage of machine learning to discover risky privileged user behavior and apply conditional access.

#9: Enterprise IT Governance

Govern, approve, provision, remove, and report on privileged access.

#10: Identity and Access Management

Streamline, secure, and protect privileged access to critical resources.

Your mission is evolving, regulations are evolving, and the threatscape is evolving too. Thus, “trust but verify” is no longer a valid approach. The Zero Trust framework provides CIOs and security leaders a rigorous approach to defend and counter today’s escalating risk, while empowering their high priority initiatives.