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Biden’s Executive Order Stresses Need for Federal Government to Make “Bold Changes” in Cybersecurity

Tanium can help federal agencies and organizations answer this call for bold change in cybersecurity


Days after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack crippled our nation’s gas supply, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at improving America’s cybersecurity and protecting federal government networks.

While the executive order is focused on the federal government, the private industry also has a significant role in advancing cybersecurity.

Bold changes for modernization

The executive order focuses on improvements and advancements around:

  • Modernizing Federal Government Cybersecurity
  • Enhancing Software Supply Chain Security
  • Improving Detection of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities and Incidents on Federal Government Networks
  • Improving the Federal Government’s Investigative and Remediation Capabilities
  • Removing Barriers to Sharing Threat Information

While this isn’t the first time cybersecurity has been a focus of an executive order, the current threat landscape has made it a matter of national security.

Matt Marsden, vice president of technical account management at Tanium, shared his perspective.

“The executive order focuses on the need for enterprise-wide visibility and control. As proven by recent cyber events, federal agencies cannot rely on detection and prevention from EDR/EPP capabilities as the only solution. The US Government’s newly established processes and capability requirements must enable agencies, from the CISO to the system admin, with the ability to articulate and manage risk.”

Strengthening security starts at the endpoint

Improving security doesn’t just require a modern approach. It requires a bold shift in the way we think about securing both federal agencies and organizations. Improved cybersecurity and IT hygiene mean that we have to start at the endpoint.

As described in Section 1 of the executive order, “Incremental improvements will not give us the security we need; instead, the Federal Government needs to make bold changes and significant investments in order to defend the vital institutions that underpin the American way of life.”

More endpoint devices connect to federal networks than ever before. A recent IDC report predicts connected devices could reach almost 75 billion globally by 2025. Many of these devices access the most critical systems and data from somewhere outside the network beyond the traditional perimeter.

Federal agencies and organizations must manage and secure endpoints in today’s borderless environment to sustain operations and mission execution. To do that, they need real-time visibility and control of their endpoints — regardless of how many they have or where they’re located.

Recent research found 68% of Federal IT administrators report seeing real-time data as very or extremely important to ensuring full visibility over their agency’s network. However, 36% rarely or never have complete visibility over their IT environment at any particular time.

Challenges with traditional endpoint management and security tools

Traditional endpoint management and security tools cannot provide a comprehensive view or the ability to take action quickly. They’re limited by legacy design and infrastructure requirements that fail to scale to meet the needs of today’s federal enterprises. They provide static, point-in-time endpoint data that’s insufficient for today’s security and operations decision-makers.

Most agencies and organizations struggle to understand what assets they have, what they’re doing, who’s using them, and what vulnerabilities they contain. Point tools often provide one subset of the data set they need.

Tanium solves this gap by providing a much wider aperture of information, enabling users to manage their endpoint estate — from endpoints to virtual machines (VMs) to servers.

Aaron Smith, regional vice president, technical account management at Tanium, sees this issue every day. He assures organizations there is a better way to manage and secure endpoints.

“Siloed tools and a myopic functionality approach don’t answer the complex cyber challenges agencies face. The answer is an ability to continuously monitor unfiltered real-time endpoint behavior to see changes to configurations, identify vulnerabilities, visualize lateral movement and adapt to provide data at the time of need. This component of extensibility ensures there are data points to answer the “what” and “how” of the next attack with proactive capabilities to secure the entire enterprise.”

How Tanium can help

The Tanium Platform was designed to overcome these legacy limitations and modern challenges. The endpoint management and security platform has a unique, patented and proven communications architecture. This empowers organizations with the comprehensive, real-time visibility and control needed to make critical decisions and take swift action.

The Tanium Platform is robust enough to run in diverse environments yet flexible to handle management and security needs that change quickly.

Learn more about how Tanium can help federal agencies improve their cybersecurity posture and readiness.

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