Visibility and security are paramount to a network because you can’t have one without the other. As technology develops, and our reliance on internet connectivity grows, new road blocks appear that make visibility harder to achieve. How can CSOs adapt to make sure they’re covering as many blind spots as they can?

 

Outside the firewall

The modern workforce demands more flexibility than ever before. Between bring your own device (BYOD) policies and mobile workforce policies, it can be difficult to keep an eye on all network traffic to keep your assets safe.

Enter Cisco Umbrella. Umbrella, a Secure Internet Gateway delivered from the cloud, grants visibility across all devices and ports. It also uses its formidable intelligence to prevent devices from connecting to malicious sites, providing extra layers of security against malware — not just on your VPN, but anywhere an endpoint connects to the internet. This is a huge step in providing peace of mind that users are safe outside of the firewall.

It’s also remarkably easy to implement. Since you’re essentially setting up your DNS to forward anything that goes external, you can get up and running with Umbrella in a matter of hours.

 

Inside the cloud

Agencies are scrambling to meet the requirements of the cloud-first mandate, and security is top of mind. While most clouds are not inherently unsecure, there are risks involved with any major transition. Most agencies also have some data that should be left on-prem. The good news is there are solutions that provide control and visibility around cloud access and usage, which can assist in making the transition as smooth as possible and can help CSOs maintain cloud security once their new infrastructure is in place.

Cloudlock is Cisco’s CASB (Cloud Access Service Broker) solution. Using advanced machine learning, Cloudlock manages what can and can’t be put into the cloud while providing insight into cloud and app usage, making compliance a much easier lift. It also adds an extra layer of data loss prevention by safeguarding against breaches, helping CSOs manage intellectual property, personal records, and other sensitive information.

One differentiator of Cloudlock versus other CASB solutions is the way that it crowdsources intelligence from other Cisco products, sharing the cyber fingerprints for emerging attacks to all subscribers. This helps CSOs adopt a preventative posture instead of a reactive one.

 

Shining a light on shadow IT

Whether we like it or not, some users are going to continue leveraging unapproved apps within our environments. And while there’s still no silver bullet to protect against shadow IT threats, there are things CSOs can do to provide a good degree of visibility. This is where the integration of Cloudlock and Umbrella differentiate the solution from the rest of the pack.

Cloudlock supports in-app integration with Umbrella, leveraging DNS logs to uncover what apps are being used by your devices. With a powerful dashboard, this integration can provide detailed information on vendors and other app attributes to inform risk analysis. CSOs can then use this information to block app categories they deem too high risk. On the flip side, visibility into shadow IT can inform the hidden needs of your work force, helping to identify future solutions and purchases.

 

Keeping an eye on the horizon

We’re at a crucial moment when use cases for leveraging the cloud are becoming more widespread, and the need to adapt is stronger than ever. But as technology develops, security is always in tow. Blind spots only exist if you don’t see them. Solutions, such as the Cloudlock and Umbrella examples above, will help you keep an eye on all the right places.


Learn more about how Cisco Cloudlock can protect your blind spots.

Related Blog Posts

See All Blogs

Fifth Domain: How Agencies Can Protect Legacy IT As They Modernize

Cybersecurity threats grow more sophisticated every year. And while the federal government has pushed forward with efforts to modernize IT, some legacy systems pose unique challenges. Often, these systems remain static even as the landscape around them continues to change.…

What You Need to Know about Data Privacy

Data privacy is the crossroads of confidentiality and integrity. When data is shared, either voluntarily or involuntarily, there’s an expectation that the collected information will be kept confidential. In general, data privacy is really about identity—social security numbers, credit card…

Cyberattacks and the DHS Directive – It’s Time for your Agency to Improve Your Authentication Protocols

By now CIOs across the federal government have seen Emergency Directive 19-1 issued by the Department of Homeland Security, which was issued in response to cyberattacks on DNS infrastructure for several executive branch agency domains. In these attacks, outsiders compromised…

NextGov: Prioritizing for Migration to the Cloud

The Cloud Smart strategic framework for cloud migration has given federal agencies some reassurance that their transition to the cloud doesn’t have to be focused solely on a timeline that could disrupt current processes. If carefully planned, the transition will…

NextGov: The Boldest Predictions for Federal Technology in 2019

Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence right now—it’s the buzz of the industry. But not many people fully understand what AI and machine learning can do. Jason Parry, our VP of Client Solutions, shares his prediction on the impact artificial…

GCN: Protecting Critical Internet Infrastructure From IoT Device Risks

As the infiltration of internet-connected devices into nearly every aspect of daily life continues to expand, so do the vulnerabilities and security risks they create for their operational networks. That includes the devices and networks used by federal agencies that…

Keeping Your Agency Secure in the Cloud

Like it or not, no government is permanently safe from cyberthreats. The agencies that protect their citizen data the longest are the ones that best assess the risks facing them daily. It’s a situation that doesn’t change after organizations adopt…

A Bridge to the Cloud

For federal agencies, the move to the cloud can be a daunting task. CIOs face an array of challenges in making the transition — from worries about data security, to concerns for budget and resources, the task requires a concerted…

GCN: Securing Data in the Cloud Requires Planning, Constant Vigilance

Government agencies know -- and have largely accepted the fact -- that moving to the cloud is inevitable. Where many start struggling is with the “how.”  How do they move legacy systems to the cloud? How do they choose the…

TechTarget: IBM Business Partners Mull Benefits, Risks of Red Hat Acquisition

IBM business partners have begun recalibrating strategies in the wake of the vendor's announcement that it would acquire open source software vendor Red Hat. IBM, which plans to purchase Red Hat for $34 billion, sparked a wildfire of questions this…

NextGov: It’s Time to Tackle the Problem of Unapproved Cloud Apps to Keep your Agency Secure

It’s a problem seen across all federal agencies: Employees are using cloud-based applications that aren’t approved or protected by IT teams. These apps range from sharing tools, such as cloud storage platforms, to social media sites or personal email accounts…

GCN: Why Blockchain Belongs in Government

Anyone with a finger on the pulse of the latest cybersecurity trends has probably noticed an increasing number of contributions to the blockchain conversation. The dialogue around blockchain, while loud, clear and growing, has been largely undirected for the past…

Federal Times: Can Industry Bridge the Government Cyber Skills Gap?

Federal agencies have until April 2019 to identify critical work roles and skill shortages in IT and cybersecurity as part of the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act. While this is a first step in determining a holistic approach to address…

CSO: Getting the Most out of Your Security Budget

There may be no more pressing need in today’s online world than quality cybersecurity, making it a top-line item for just about everyone. But even as the need builds, the salaries rise, and the expectations heighten, resources remain scarce. Security…

NextGov: The Time to Automate Security is Now

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving. Unfortunately, federal IT teams often find themselves low on resources, which means being proactive to combat them is a pipe dream. So how can leadership focus on strengthening their agency’s security posture when they spend…

CSO: Ways to Improve Your Security Team’s Response Time

When it comes to incident response, every second counts. The severity of breaches varies, but since damage done directly correlates to the time a malicious actor has access to your systems, it’s paramount that all threats are discovered and remediated…

3 Ways to Unleash the Power of Your Next-Generation Firewall

We more or less abandoned pagers more than 15 years ago. Fax machines have gone from ubiquity to near obsolescence. And floppy disks? Many of the most recent generation of tech users have never even held—let alone inserted—one. And yet,…

GCN: 3 Considerations Before Moving to the Cloud

Despite the urgency of IT modernization and the federal government's cloud-first mandate, many agencies unfortunately still find themselves lagging when it comes to cloud adoption. While cloud migration is a massive endeavor, it doesn’t have to be unmanageable, let alone…

Cisco Live 2018: Vendor Opens Management Console to Partners

In this article for TechTarget, Force 3's VP of Client Solutions Jason Parry weighs in on the new opportunities arising from Cisco DNA Center. In Cisco's latest nod to software, the company has opened its Cisco DNA Center to developers,…

NextGov: How to Integrate TIC Security with the Federal Cloud-First Mandate

When the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative was first introduced more than a decade ago, the goal was to improve security in government IT systems by limiting the number of individual external network connections to the internet. Before implementing TIC security…

CSO: Security Metrics You Need for the Board

No one wants to show up to an important meeting empty-handed. But with so many analytics right at their fingertips, how can CSOs pick the right numbers to reflect their work? Here are three imperative security metrics to have in…

4 Cloud Collaboration Investments You Should be Making

Cloud migration is a top priority for federal agencies, making for a rising demand for As-a-Service offerings. Meanwhile, agencies are still trying to plan and budget for cloud strategies, often from scratch. This creates a unique challenge for federal IT teams:…

TechTarget: JEDI cloud contract looms large for customers, providers

Public sector IT and private sector IT can be very different animals, but a looming decision by the Department of Defense has the potential to send shock waves through both sides of the IT world. In this article from TechTarget,…

GCN: Building a Better Agency Through Software Orchestration

In federal IT, there is sometimes fear that software orchestration will render the technology professional’s role obsolete. This mindset, however, is misguided. In reality, the exact opposite is true: Orchestration has the potential to not only make federal IT workers’…

Preventing Ransomware Attacks the Right Way

Ransomware attacks continue to be a major threat with no sign of slowing down. Here are some lessons organizations can learn from federal agencies to better prevent them. While ransomware is hardly a new threat, it’s far from being obsolete.…

Anomaly Detection: Stop Threats Before They Hit Your Network

In today’s IT environment, endpoint monitoring is fairly standard procedure. Most organizations have at least some sort of system in place allowing them to collect network monitor firewalls and collect network usage data to for network anomaly detection. But, by…

5 Reasons Why Vulnerability Management Is No Longer Optional

For agencies determined to create the most effective network security strategy possible, vulnerability management is no longer optional—it’s a necessity.  If there’s anything we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that cyber threats just keep coming. Thwart one and a new…

GCN: How to Leverage Containers for Cloud Migration

With the passage of the Modernizing Government Technology Act in December, federal agencies find themselves with a unique opportunity to innovate and update their legacy IT infrastructure. A top priority in their modernization endeavors? Transitioning legacy applications to the cloud.…

Platform-as-a-Service and Application Development Key to IBM Transformation

With IT customers increasingly turning to Platform-as-a-Service offerings, major technology manufacturers are following suit — including IBM. In this article for TechTarget's SearchITChannel, Force 3's senior director of software sales engineering Charles Fullwood discusses IBM's evolution to include as-a-service platforms…

Best Practices for Thwarting Insider Threats

Testing the excerpt override field.

How can we help your agency achieve its mission?

Maximize your IT investments. Learn more about solutions and services from Force 3.