The days of “trust but verify” are long gone and the establishment of “zero-trust” principles are one of the biggest initiatives of the day. This system of communication and interaction with technology is in response to the rampant cyber and network security breaches sweeping across federal agencies and is widely encouraged in the private sector as well. Zero trust is a targeted barrier between your information and all providers, users, manufacturers, developers, etc. No one gets access without following proper guidelines illustrated in a new plan to mitigate threats in the supply chain from the top down.

The National Security Agency (NSA) issued a guide last week highlighting that this methodology could’ve prohibited mass breaches such as what happened with SolarWinds where as many as nine government agencies were infiltrated over as many months. The hackers utilized skills that successfully avoided detection, encouraging the use of these tactics more often which could have devastating effects.

With the guidance from the NSA report, cybersecurity professionals are working fast to secure sensitive information and networks and troubleshooting for foreseen challenges ahead. According to a report published by the NSA/CSS: 

The Zero Trust model eliminates trust in any one element, node, or service by assuming that a breach is inevitable or has already occurred. The data-centric security model constantly limits access while also looking for anomalous or malicious activity. Adopting the Zero Trust mindset and leveraging Zero Trust principles will enable systems administrators to control how users, processes, and devices engage with data. These principles can prevent the abuse of compromised user credentials, remote exploitation, or insider threats, and even mitigate effects of supply chain malicious activity.” 

There is a long road of implementation ahead, but there is no doubt that time is of the essence.

With amendments to NIST 800-171 and the ongoing rollout of CMMC, federal agencies are pressured with getting things secured and fast. For every second there is a lack of protection over our network infrastructure there are multiple threats penetrating our National Security from our most nefarious rivals. While zero-trust is more than a step in the right direction, as with everything, there will be kinks along the way and more breaches while we iron out the system. 

Companies supporting the public sector will be first to be required to make the essential upgrades or safeguards to support this effort, but let there be no doubt that the remaining supply chain will be required to step up as well. Before long we all will be expected to participate in the use of these guiding principles as a means of protecting every level of our defense and economic stability. No doubt the cost to comply will be pricey, especially if you have nothing in place today. Consult with our team of experts on how to budget for increases to your operating expenses. The time is now to make a plan, and we can help – schedule with a team member today to discuss. Being prepared and taking preemptive steps is key!  

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