It takes a team to build a secure, public-sector platform
We are living through a sea change in federal technology procurement. This sea change is more than just modernization mandates. It is the mindset shift from purchasing discrete pieces of infrastructure to architecting a platform that arrays many moving parts into a global, secure whole.
This raises the stakes on everyone in the value chain. Being a good vendor isn’t enough anymore. Providers need to be good partners – both to their government customers and to each other. Platforms have many moving parts that can be too complicated for any one company to go it alone.
Lumen understands this evolution better than most companies serving the public sector. We worked hard in recent years to take discrete offerings and integrate them into a platform composed of adaptive networking, edge cloud, connected security with threat intelligence and collaboration services. Our roots are in networks, so we know how to build and manage complicated, layered, secure networks. We also know how to weave them together with all the applications and other resources that modern enterprises rely on.
Security as architecture and mindset
As headlines remind us all too frequently, security is one of the primary challenges in modernizing government IT. Viewing capability and security as tradeoffs will erode the effectiveness of one or the other. There has to be a better way – and there is.
Layered networks are increasingly typical. We have built many of them. They are part of a zero-trust approach to security. The network is functionally separated into different layers with different access permissions and authentication needs that can restrict pathways to more sensitive resources for those not authorized to see or use that data. This approach can help secure any agency’s platform.
The use case that provides the archetype of this layered approach is national security. Consider the very real needs of intelligence agencies to protect information, but also make it readily available to those with the need to know. The layered approach can achieve both goals. In a simple hypothetical example, the network can grant high-level access to User X from certain locations or through certain gateways, and require enhanced authentication if that pattern is violated. Meanwhile, User Y might have a very different access profile. There are ways of making this layered access as fine-grained as necessary.
Lumen has built expertise and resources that can enhance both access and security in these layered networks. Edge cloud, often called edge computing, puts intelligence at the network edge where access, data ingestion and application usage originates. It is also the most vulnerable within the attack surface of any IT architecture. As access devices and new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G native deployment proliferate, the danger potentially grows.
Edge cloud makes it possible to put data and applications closer to the point of access, reducing application latency to as little as 5 milliseconds. Because many of the large cloud providers already have data centers on our fiber network, we can replicate resources at the edge and maintain coordination with the centralized repositories in the cloud.
We can also move security functionality closer to the point of access. Authentication and other protocols can execute faster while acting as a primary checkpoint before any extensive network resources are made available. Lumen’s ability to deploy security protocols through the edge cloud is another layer of capability we bring to the public sector. Our edge resources also add leverage to our ability to monitor Internet traffic for DDoS and other threats as well as analyzing the emerging threats in Lumen’s Black Lotus Labs. Our cyber experts at Black Lotus are constantly learning how to improve security by monitoring and analyzing billions of DNS inquiries and NetFlow sessions, tens of thousands of Command and Control (C2) networks and other potential threats each day.
The right partner
Yet, with all our capability, Lumen recognizes that the ability to work with others is a key core competency in a fast-changing world. Going it alone or having just a single vendor build one of these complex platforms all but guarantees that some part of it will always be out of date. Collaboration with others is an important part of serving the public sector and the best way to bring the best-in-class technologies to bear on a solution.
Lumen works with many other companies, across major contracting vehicles. We ensure the technology handshakes are in place when data or application handoffs are necessary. In some instances, we even manage the accounting processes for a multi-vendor solution across an agency.
Check out our platform and our many public sector services. We are players on many teams.
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