Feb 16, 2021

Strengthening Federal Technology Risk Management

Agencies’ risk posture is changing as people use devices that weren’t before, in places they weren’t working from previously

By Colby Proffitt, Director of Federal Marketing, Tanium

The transition to remote working has expanded agency threat surfaces — and it’s not just cybersecurity risk that agency IT teams have to deal with; it’s increased risks to data, the mission and staff. 

People now use devices they weren’t before, in places and networks they weren’t working from previously — making it harder to protect all endpoints from phishing or malware attempts.  

Ralph Kahn, vice president of federal at Tanium, joined Anthony Belfiore, senior vice president and chief security officer at Aon, and Jason Miller, executive editor at Federal News Network, to discuss IT enterprise risk management — exploring how agencies’ risk posture is changing, and needed steps to adjust risk management as a result.

Where to start

First, agencies need to understand their risk level to effectively allocate resources and tools that protect systems and data against those risks. And then, from a resilience perspective, they need monitoring and security response capabilities to protect agency infrastructures and applications from threats. Effectively managing risk is critical to protecting IT operations and is also the foundation for operational, business and mission resiliency.

Agency IT teams should look at data as something to be “collected over time, because they’re going to want to watch how [it changes], what the impact is,” Kahn says. “They’re going to need to be able to collect real-time data about what’s going on now when they identify something’s happened.”

“They need to analyze changes or patterns that occurred within the infrastructure, as well as determine what it looks like at any given point,” he adds. “Then, when they’re able to draw some conclusions and take action, they need to focus on those areas of processes.”

Using data to ensure resilience and reduce risk recovery time

Kahn explains that it’s important for all agencies to use data to cut down the time it takes to address new and existing risks.

His advice to agency IT teams? Focus on your key data and mission-critical key processes — and ensure systems are collecting data about those processes, what employees are doing on the network, and the risks created by things like work from home. Finally, IT teams must be able to see accurate data in real time, so the decisions made are timely and effective.

With Tanium, agencies can gain real-time insight into the infrastructure that’s going to help them achieve operational, business, and mission resiliency and continuity — not just cyber resiliency.

Listen to the full interview on Federal News Network. 

Contact us to learn more about how Tanium can help agencies gain real-time information about their data and effectively manage potential risks.