Scalable Security: Creating a Framework that Supports Growth

As Federal CISO’s work to provide stable, secure and compliant capabilities to support the agency mission the need to scale cyber capabilities becomes apparent.  Threats against Federal systems are increasing. According to the University of Maryland Threat Actors attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times a day.  Along with the marked increase in threat actors and advancing Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) agency IT infrastructure is being migrated and expanding, to include being modernized as well. According to Forbes 83% of enterprise workloads will move to the cloud by the year 2020.  At SkyePoint Decisions, we design and implement security solutions with scalability in mind.

Yet here is the question: How do you scale cyber capabilities that maintain pace with these advancements?

The answer:
Develop a cybersecurity strategy and architecture that  include a growth and scalability plan.

Identify a strategy that meets your current needs and has the vision to quickly grow with the agency’s modernization efforts. Most often, agencies have a variety of security tools as part of their cyber operations and risk management framework that need to have the ability to scale or be quickly replaced with systems that can. The best advice is to meet with a cybersecurity solution team that can assess, strategize, and propose an architecture and a roadmap that will meet your current and future needs.

When developing a cybersecurity strategy, you’ll need to take note of the following pieces.

Knowing your critically protected assets. Define and maintain an accurate inventory of all pieces necessary in the running of your network and systems. For Instance, Zero Trust Architecture implementations start in this step to allow access to only those that need it, and only when they need it. Developing a Zero Trust Architecture framework will set the stage for scalability and reduce the threat of unnecessary access issues. A trusted Cybersecurity Partner can provide an assessment of your current architecture and recommendations on how to best pivot to Zero Trust Principals.

Evaluate, refine, and develop procedures and processes designed to scale, and automate those processes where possible. Waiting until there is a breach or issue to validate procedures in the event something happens is too little, too late. You will need to create procedures that mitigate the time spent on fixing issues while maintaining a strict timeline for assessing threats, addressing vulnerabilities, and tracking current systems. Implementing Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) capabilities either with current tools or by integrating new capabilities provides agencies with greater human capacity to focus on advanced threats and risk mitigation.

Stay on top of the latest advancements. Threat Actors adjust their TTP’s to advance their capabilities and achieve their goals. The same should be said for your cyber defense capabilities. Integrating Cyber Threat Intel capabilities rooted in CTI best practices leveraging frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK helps agency CISO’s identify and prioritize the most relevant TTP’s, logs for SOC operations, and Cyber Hygiene approaches and Incident response and recovery playbooks.  By leveraging a “Purple Team” approach to rapidly identifying, testing, monitoring and remediating identified threats and vulnerabilities offers a rapid and efficient way to maintain pace with threat actors.  A strong industry partner who has their finger on the pulse of the latest, and most necessary, advancements in the cyber world will help you to stay on top as the landscape continues to progress. SkyePoint Decisions can be that capable partner.

Develop a stable platform. The security of your agency and its information are not a situation where you can piecemeal products together and hope that they play nicely. You’ll need the right architecture to identify current and future solutions for your agency needs, coupled with the security engineering and operations that support the integration and operations of the risk reducing controls.  Doing otherwise limits your visibility into potential and critical issues and suspends scalability at an agile rate.

Federal Agencies can get out of the muck and mud of technology advancements and the maintenance of several solutions by partnering with an agile, informed, and strategic Cybersecurity Team. An industry partner that focuses on providing the support needed to achieve the scalable growth necessary for continued mission success is well worth the investment.