Jun 08 2023

State and Local Governments Are Addressing Threats with Zero Trust

Agencies can lock down sensitive data with privileged access management.

Zero trust is based on the notion of “never trust, always verify.” This means that state and local governments should not assume that any user, device or application is safe, even if they are inside the network perimeter. Instead, government agencies should use a variety of security controls to verify every access request and enforce the principle of least privilege, which means granting users only the minimum access they need to perform their jobs.

State and local governments, as well as educational institutions, have become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks in recent years. These organizations collect and store sensitive information, including financial records and personal data. It is therefore essential to implement a robust and comprehensive identity security zero-trust framework to protect against threats.

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Benefits of Implementing Identity-Focused Zero Trust

One of the primary benefits of implementing zero trust in the government and education sectors is that it helps to mitigate the risks associated with insider threats. Insider threats can include employees who knowingly or unknowingly violate security policies, contractors who have access to sensitive data or even compromised devices that are brought onto the network. Zero trust ensures that every user and device is continuously authenticated and authorized, reducing the risk of insider threats.

Another benefit of implementing zero trust with a focus on identity is that it helps to protect against external threats. The traditional approach to identity security is to build a perimeter around the network and assume that anything inside the perimeter is safe. However, with the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, this approach is no longer effective.

Zero trust assumes the network already is compromised.

LEARN MORE: How identity and access management supports a zero-trust environment.

Address Zero Trust with Intelligent Identity and Access Management

Implementing intelligent identity and access management solutions can help build an identity-centric security posture that aligns with the tenets of zero trust, preventing and mitigating the impact of identity-based attacks by protecting the privileged identities and access that threat actors target.

Privileged access management is foundational to intelligent identity and access management, and to zero trust, for several key reasons.

First, PAM helps to control and monitor access to privileged accounts, which is a critical component of zero trust because it ensures that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and applications.

Second, PAM solutions can help to secure endpoints such as laptops, desktops and servers, ensuring that only authorized applications and processes are allowed to run on endpoints, reducing the risk of malware and other threats.

Finally, PAM solutions help to manage user identities and access to resources, ensuring that all users are authenticated and authorized before they can access any resources.

EXPLORE: Why agencies are moving toward a single digital identity to enhance cybersecurity.

Zero Trust Aligns with Government and Education Priorities

Zero trust is a critical cybersecurity framework that is essential for state and local governments and educational institutions. These organizations collect and store sensitive information, making them prime targets for cyberattacks.

By implementing zero trust identity controls with a trusted partner, state and local governments and educational institutions can protect against insider and external threats, reduce the risk of data breaches, and ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their sensitive data.

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