Collaborating with Government to Help Secure Federal Networks
Because of the changes that we have experienced in the world today, federal agencies are being asked to rebuild their IT networks, in essence, rebuild the airplanes they’re already flying. The impact of the pandemic – scattering hundreds of thousands of federal employees to their homes and allowing them to telework – means that all those on-premises networks have been pressed into providing connectivity at the edge of the network and providing secure access to applications for all those teleworkers.
This means that there is a huge proliferation of devices and the growth of edge computing at a scale far beyond what most agencies had implemented until now. It also means that cybersecurity is front and center these days and must be built into government networks.
The Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) 3.0 initiative is a primary driver of federal efforts to strengthen cybersecurity. It aims to accommodate all sorts of cloud, mobile and encrypted applications based on its vision of a flexible perimeter – called the edge – that protects many different hosting environments, platforms and services. It represents a significant evolution beyond the hard perimeter agencies previously had implemented.
Collaborating with a provider that understands TIC
Facing a radically expanded network environment and new security challenges for devices on the edge, agencies are looking for partners who understand how things are evolving and have a track record of successful implementations.
This is where CenturyLink comes in. Agencies can leverage our track record:
- Network and security expertise – having one of the largest, most deeply peered IP backbones in the world gives us expansive, near-real-time visibility into cyberthreats, reducing overhead drag on threat identification and eradication. Because our backbone is global, our visibility provides more opportunities to see advanced threats, which means quicker response times and rapid advanced analysis of reportable events.
- Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS) – we are one of the first providers to complete the TIC capability validation. As a leading provider of MTIPS, our infrastructure was designed for scalability and growth, allowing agencies to connect physically and logically to the public internet while meeting TIC compliance requirements.
- Security that is built-in – we prioritize security-at-scale that is “baked in” rather than “bolted on” after the fact. Users today must be able to move seamlessly between an office setting and a home or remote site. This is achieved by using multiple applications, some of which are cloud-based while others are located in a dedicated data center. CenturyLink’s TIC 3.0 solution is not about siloed support for a single user scenario. It’s about providing a comprehensive, compliant security solution for all scenarios based on secure internet connectivity.
- Security expertise – we understand that cybersecurity, cloud services and TIC 3.0 all support and advance long-term government IT transformation efforts. Our public-private partnerships with DHS’ National Risk Management Center, National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, and National Coordinating Center, among others, help protect the resiliency of the national cyber ecosystem.
Cyber protections for agencies currently in practice
Despite everything that’s happened in 2020, this remains the year of the decennial census. That means efficiently and securely collecting massive amounts of data across the entire country. The U.S. Census Bureau worked with CenturyLink in a partnership to establish scalable, secure access using MTIPS at speeds up to 40 Gbps (and higher) to more than 150 million households across the nation for a smooth and secure single-carrier solution. The secure network covers both data collection and the cloud-based applications used to analyze the data.
Another agency needed to replace an end-of-life NetFlow solution and wanted to add capabilities outside the agency’s defensive perimeter, through a service-oriented managed solution. To meet their needs, CenturyLink provided a network and security solution that improved data visibility and security in a NetFlow-as-a-service solution. This included a fully integrated DDoS solution capitalizing on CenturyLink’s network to prevent attacks from affecting the customer’s network infrastructure. This eliminated up-front capital investment requirements and long-term life cycle support by the agency.
Custom needs to meet agency cybersecurity requirements
The federal computing environment is always going to evolve, working to adapt to both new needs and emerging threats. To keep up, agencies looking to modernize their IT systems must put cybersecurity at the front and center and it must be built into government networks.
We’ve put together a brief with some key points agencies should consider when building or enhancing their security strategy.
As a company, we are invested in collaborating to solve federal IT challenges and help agencies meet their missions. We take a comprehensive approach to network-based security. We want to put modernization in motion and propel your agency into the future of federal IT.
Learn more about how to secure your federal network.
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