When it comes to cybersecurity, moving fast is crucial. Organizations need to be able to execute changes across their IT environment in seconds, even if that environment has millions of endpoints. The U.S. Department of Defense clearly recognizes this, and is taking steps to make sure its IT teams have this capability.
(Image: U.S. Navy)
In early November, the U.S. Department of Defense declared its Army and Navy cybersecurity teams had reached full operational capability, about a year ahead of schedule. This means the teams are fully staffed, trained, and ready to meet the missions laid out in the U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force. This is a major milestone for DoD, and it is indicative of a larger shift happening across the Department as it consistently looks for ways to move faster, operate more efficiently, and be more effective.
When it comes to cybersecurity, moving fast is crucial. Organizations need to be able to execute changes across their IT environment in seconds, even if that environment has millions of endpoints. DoD clearly recognizes this, and the Department is taking steps to make sure its IT teams have this capability.
One DoD agency innovating its business processes is the Navy, where its team of cyber defenders are partnering with Tanium. Their work is fundamentally changing how they manage and secure their endpoints, part of a broad effort by the Navy to more effectively defend its network.
The Tanium platform gains complete visibility over each individual endpoint on its network and quickly takes action on those endpoints. With Tanium, cyber defenders can now scan their entire network, detect intrusions, and automatically remediate them — all in a matter of minutes.
One of the hardest things for a cyber defender is separating the noise from the signals indicating a serious attack. Many organizations still do not detect intrusions for weeks or months after they occur, significantly multiplying the damage caused by an intrusion. But the unprecedented visibility and speed the Navy’s cyber defenders now have lets them immediately spot intrusions that require their attention.
Tanium can also help make sure machines consistently have the patches they need to stay secure. We can quickly deploy patches across an entire network, without slowing down the Navy’s cyber defenders.
Prior to deploying the Tanium platform, the Navy would spend months preparing compliance audits, such as Commander’s Cyber Readiness Inspections. Many of the tools used to prepare for these audits could not quickly provide accurate, comprehensive data on every endpoint within the organization. Now, the process takes minutes. This allows the Navy’s cyber defenders to turn their attention to larger issues that require their expertise.
Adopting innovative solutions and processes is also helping the Navy attract new talent. Some of the nation’s top tech talent have historically resisted coming into government because of its bureaucratic perception. Navy cyber teams are bucking this trend as they seek out best-in-class technology, and they are not afraid to try new approaches to help the Navy meet its mission. The ability to use the latest tools in a complex, mission-critical environment is appealing for young and talented security professionals.
The Navy is joined by its fellow military branches, the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps., in taking new, innovative approaches to securing and managing their endpoints. As cyber threats advance at rapid speed, these agencies are staying a step ahead of attackers and continually hardening their networks, while simultaneously managing their IT at much lower cost. We’re proud to help our nation’s Armed Forces achieve their cyber defense goals.
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About the author: Ralph Kahn is Vice President of Federal for Tanium. In this role, he is delivering on the U.S. Government’s need for real-time situational awareness at scale. Ralph has more than 25 years’ experience in the technology industry. Previously, Ralph served as Vice President for Intel and emerging technologies at McAfee, where he was responsible for leading an advanced technology group chartered with forward-looking cyber research. Under his direction, this group discovered several new threat vectors and developed an information sharing and cyber system interaction model that is being used at the core of the McAfee products and is being extended to include other cyber security products.