Enhancing Cyber Situational Awareness through Security Integration

18 minutes, 49 seconds. That is the average amount of time it takes for a foreign nation-state actor to pivot to other areas of a network after gaining initial access to the system. 

Cyber operators are inundated with alerts from tens of millions of devices and endpoints -- ranging from laptops and desktops to scanners, printers, smartphones, switches, cameras, and USB thumb drives, making it easy for malicious activity to get lost in the noise. Compounding these difficulties are the sheer size, complexity, and distributed structure of DoD networks; these factors, along with DoD’s unique need for mobility, cloud access, and complicated joint operations, make it near impossible to maintain clear visibility and constant, complete situational awareness.

Today’s DoD networks make up the core of the command and control infrastructure that provide warfighters access to the mission-critical services they need to maintain operations and complete their missions. They must also provide access to users from anywhere in the world while supporting various access methods. Weary of an ever-expanding attack surface, defense organizations are looking for ways to maintain effective cybersecurity situational awareness and remove the gap between data and action. 

One approach to doing so is known as Comply to Connect (C2C). Similar to the concept of Zero Trust, C2C provides a framework for validating new devices, evaluating their compliance with DoD security policies, and continuously monitoring assets to ensure they remain secure. Defense organizations are encouraged by the potential for automation, visibility, and speed to make the C2C vision a reality and eliminate many of the recurring tasks, updates, patches, and fixes that currently dominate their cybersecurity teams. 

While independent solutions may fulfill some of these needs, there is still no single product designed to meet the full spectrum of compliance and remediation requirements and holistically defend against vulnerabilities and attacks. What defense organizations need is a connected security layer that integrates all tools and systems, streamlines security processes, and powers security automation. By implementing an independent integration layer equipped with data analytics, organizations can harmonize disparate proprietary vendor technologies into one, holistic system, leverage automation as necessary, and maximize the value of their people, processes, and tools. 

Properly planned and implemented, the integration and orchestration layer signifies a readily adaptable, nimble, fix-on-the-fly C2C environment that will arm DoD network cyber defenses against new and unknown threats.

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