Modernizing the Cyber Security Posture of the Federal Government

Transforming Agencies’ Operations, Tools, and Workforce

A New Approach to Government Cybersecurity

New threats target the government every day. In response, agencies are updating their digital transformation strategies to focus on reducing risk, modernizing IT and hiring leading talent. Although these are all distinct efforts, each with their own unique challenges, agencies need to view these holistically. Each of these goals are interconnected and any weakness in one of these areas is a weakness to security posture as a whole. In order to defend against increasingly sophisticated threats, federal cybersecurity needs a new approach – one that focuses on integrating processes, tools, and workforce together from the ground up.

Roadmap for a Secure Government

To address security challenges with limited budgets, agencies need to first focus on establishing full visibility and automating tasks where possible. Continuous, real-time visibility across the environment is critical because you can’t defend what you can’t see. Automation propels the efficiency and speed of security operations, acting as a workforce multiplier. To gain these advantages, organizations will need to: operationalize frameworks, streamline your cyber operations, and reinvest in the workforce.

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Operationalizing Frameworks

Start with a strategy that encompasses agency operations, tools and people. Agencies need to know what assets they control, how they are protected, and their capability gaps or redundancies. By evaluating capabilities against a threat-based framework, agencies can instantly gain the decisive advantage, allowing them to increase the efficiency of security operations and reduce adversary dwell time.

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White Paper

Streamlining Your Cyber Operations

Too often, agencies are forced into playing reactive defense against cyber-attacks. As a result, they adopt point solutions designed to address immediate problems without considering interoperability concerns or capability redundancies. Agencies should begin to re-imagine their stack, embracing a streamlined approach that allows for continuous monitoring for compliance, insider threats and external threats. This will also help to ease the gap commonly experienced between security and operations teams, allowing each to inform the other rather than acting in opposition.

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Supporting the Cyber Workforce

Lastly, agencies need cybersecurity talent to bolster the current workforce and close existing skills gaps. Agencies are evaluating how to attract skilled cyber professionals and incentivize training and skills development, but the human resources factor is only one part of the equation. Agencies also need to look at how emerging technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning can act as skills multipliers, amplifying the human talent already in place.

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"You can't defend your blind spots.
To gain a decisive cyber advantage, agencies need continuous real-time visibility of their managed and unmanaged assets."

-Craig Harber, Fidelis CTO

Partnering to Deliver the Decisive Advantage

Required capabilities to shine a light on your blind spots.

Proactive Capabilities

You can’t defend what you can’t see. You need continuous visibility of your cyber terrain, including managed and unmanaged assets, to determine what’s at-risk and likely paths adversaries will take to move laterally throughout the network. This understanding, when paired with rich metadata from network/cloud traffic and endpoint activity, will inform proactive defenses and enable additional defenses like dynamic deception.

Deception Capabilities

Sophisticated adversaries gain knowledge of the enterprise battlefield before exploiting a vulnerability and stealing data or disrupting business operations. Deceptive countermeasures change the advantage from the attackers to the cyber warriors by altering the cyber terrain with hundreds or thousands of decoys into the environment, which produce high fidelity alerts with zero false positives whenever a bad actor attempts to interact with the decoy.

Protective Capabilities

Enterprises need access control measures for assets, users, networks and data. In the same spirit, managed assets need AV protection and endpoint DLP to ensure proactive protection. Data loss prevention must be baked throughout the entire security stack, from network and cloud sensors to endpoints. Advanced solutions will provide cyber warriors with the ability to pair DLP capabilities with rich metadata context, giving them a critical tool for analysis and future prevention.

Reactive Capabilities

Cyber warriors have contingencies for when even the best preventive defenses are breached. Important countermeasures include automated detections, threat hunting, and automating investigations and response actions before data is stolen. You should also have signature detection to quarantine known-bad files at the endpoint; behavior analysis to kill a process at the endpoint; network session disruption upon detection of files and network behaviors; and the ability to quarantine email.

Predictive Capabilities

The rate at which security teams are being bombarded with alerts that must be triaged, investigated and responded to is overwhelming and untenable. While automation can help the incident response process, organizations also need predictive capabilities driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence – to detect anomalous activity, determine the probability of compromise and assist in metadata analysis when searching for known and unknown threats alike.

Retrospective Countermeasures

Armed with rich metadata context, cyber warriors aren’t just limited to proactive or predictive analysis. They can also analyze historical data against emerging threat intelligence. Automated, retrospective analysis provides increased visibility for cyber warriors to look at their systems over days, weeks and months and understand what happened during a breach, including how cyber defenses were penetrated, what threat did once inside the network, and what actions can prevent future breaches.

Why Fidelis?

Our Commitment to Excellence,
Our People, Our Technology

Fidelis Cybersecurity has a long history as a trusted security provider for more than 40 Civilian, Defense and Intelligence agencies including System integrators delivering unmatched data protection, threat detection, intelligence, threat hunting, and incident response solutions.

With a deep bench of subject matter expertise developed and honed in Government, Defense, and Intelligence environments, Fidelis has intimate knowledge of the unique challenges government security teams face every day.

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Our Platform

Elevate Your Security with Fidelis

Fidelis Elevate™ provides the backbone of the ideal security architecture for equipping the SOC moving forward. When deployed with complementary solutions, it can be equipped to detect and respond to the most advanced attacks as well as the unintended actions of the uninformed employee in a rapid detect, respond and hunt manner. Additionally, the Fidelis Elevate security platform provides the core functionality, including a single pane of glass management console, required by Incident Response (IR) and Cyber Hunt Forward teams that are critical to the overall cyber security of the government, agency or organization.

See It in Action

Federal Contract Vehicles

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Fidelis participates in a number of contract vehicles through Carahsoft that simplify and streamline the procurement process. These vehicles meet federal and state requirements for open competition and validate our past performance credentials.

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