Telework: The good, the bad & the ugly

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If one could listen in on the thousands of Zoom sessions taking place among federal information technology professionals, many would be concerned with remote access.

This week on Federal Tech Talk, Stephen Kovac, vice president of Global Government and Compliance at Zscaler, joins host John Gilroy to shed some light on three secured remote access issues: the new Trusted Internet Connection (TIC), Virtual Private Network (VPN) challenges, and Zero Trust.

Head shot Steven Kovac
Stephen Kovac, VP, Global Government and Compliance, Zscaler

TIC is in the middle of a third iteration. The TIC was released in 2007 and is an initiative from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The world has turned upside down since then and today’s draft is looking at use cases they will optimize for flexibility and less latency.

VPN’s were great. The problem is they are even older than the original TIC.  In the corporate world, a typical technology leader would budget his VPN system to handle 20 to 30 percent of the workforce working remotely. The healthcare crisis has certainly taxed this approach. Kovac offers some options for federal systems managers who are in a similar position.

Zero Trust is a way to micro-segment a network. In theory, it certainly looks great. However, when the DoD is looking at 900,000 remote logins, it is taken to the next level. Kovac reviews several options that will allow for scale in the complex world of the Pentagon. He covers CMMC, measuring success, and the concept of end-to-end risk mitigation.