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This week on Federal Tech Talk, host John Gilroy speaks with Patrick Sullivan, chief technology officer of Security Strategy at Akamai Technologies. He will give listeners a well-respected opinion on applying zero trust to federal information technology.
The discussion began by contrasting network segmentation to micro-segmentation. This is an essential prelude before beginning the conversation about zero-trust architecture. One way Sullivan describes the benefits of micro-segmentation is that it limits the “blast radius” of a cyber attack.
He draws a parallel with ship construction. Independent parts are designed to survive autonomously if there is an attack. The same applies to a cyber attack: micro-segmentation will limit the damage to a specific, defined area.
Sullivan also suggests that concepts like “orchestration” and automation will enable systems administrators. There is no way a person can manually configure a system into microsegment without taking advantage of automation capability.
Probably the highlight of the interview was the observation that the path to zero trust is not a “one size fits all.” Every federal agency varies with legacy systems and current migration. A customized approach that is based on compliance and best practices for deploying zero trust.