Malware does not respect departmental boundaries
Federal government law enforcement agencies need to protect sensitive data such as criminal records and investigations, biometrics, tax filings, security camera footage, and personnel records. Exposure of sensitive information can disrupt operations, put staff in harm’s way, and erode trust in government. Common attacks include data exfiltration and denial of service.
Barriers to cyber compliance in law enforcement include:
- Limited staff. Agency security teams don’t have the resources to monitor growing traffic volume, including streams from edge devices like IP cameras that can carry malware. Delays in detecting and remediating threats extend the window of vulnerability.
- Lack of central monitoring across agencies. Attacks targeting multiple agencies are often more sophisticated and carry higher risk of major business disruption and information leakage. Agencies unaware that a security event is part of a multi-agency attack might underestimate its severity.
- Remediation cannot disrupt operations. Law enforcement agencies often can’t shut down a compromised device without disrupting continuity of operations. They need more nuanced remediation based on threat severity.
Solution: Holistic view of network events—and automated response
Protecting public data requires two capabilities that federal law enforcement agencies lack today. One is a holistic view of all network and server activity across multiple organizations. The other is automated remediation based on the nature of the threat and the agency’s playbook. Examples include enforcing the same list of banned network addresses across multiple agencies, sending alerts if these addresses are seen, quarantining a suspicious workload until it can be investigated, and terminating a virtual server exhibiting anomalous behavior and then spinning up a new one from a trusted source.
Benefits of automated cyber compliance in law enforcement include:
- Faster incident detection.
- Faster remediation, shortening the vulnerability window.
- Reduced resource requirements for threat mitigation.
- Increased job satisfaction because cybersecurity professionals can shift their focus from mundane monitoring activities to higher-value work—a recruitment and retention advantage.