Top Federal Civilian Cybersecurity Trends in FY21

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

With the recent Solarwinds breach, IT vendors who sell to the government may be wondering about its impact on their customers’ needs. Federal civilian agencies have already made cybersecurity a top priority for FY21, so while the breach by itself will not directly spur significant new initiatives or projects, it still emphasized the urgency of getting defenses up to speed.

With fresh awareness around cybersecurity gaps, there has never been a better time to check on your government customers and help them fulfill their security needs. Read on for a high-level overview of the top 3 trends in federal cybersecurity for FY21.

1) Identity Credential and Access Management

A White House overview of the FY21 cybersecurity budget aligned the 5 categories of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover) with a breakdown of agency spending, and showed that agencies will spend the most ($2.7B) on “Protect.” That includes access and credential management. As federal civilian agencies begin to explore zero-trust environments, ICAM plays a critical role in ensuring that every employee can access only what they need and no more.

Since hackers used compromised credentials and passwords as a part of the SolarWinds breach, when talking to your government customers, explain how your solution allows them to properly manage and secure employee credentials.

2) Mobile Device Security / Secure Network Access

With widespread government teleworking continuing for the immediate future, remotely securing devices such as phones and tablets has come to the forefront of agencies’ security priorities. CISA recently released for feedback a TIC 3.0 draft use case around remote users and personal mobile devices. The guidance indicates multiple solutions- such as VPNs, CASBs, and MFA – to ensure secure network access and data protection, although mobile device security often includes application security as well.

There is no “one size fits all” solution, but your government customers will want to get the most bang for their buck. Mobile device and network security vendors will want to speak to how their product integrates with other solutions, as well as user friendliness.

3) Continuous Monitoring

Obviously, staying ahead of adversaries to prevent incidents like the Solarwinds breach will continue to form a vital part of civilian agencies’ cybersecurity portfolios. Monitoring systems and networks and probing unusual activity is key, but the federal government faces a severe lack of cyber analysts to conduct this activity. There is a clear need here for automated or AI-driven solutions that can support the federal cyber workforce.

Conclusion

In short, cybersecurity continues to be a significant focus for federal civilian agencies heading into the second quarter of FY21. They want to protect their information and stay ahead of bad actors, and IT vendors are in a perfect position to help them do that.

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Here are some of the latest FY21 on-demand webinars the immixGroup Market Intelligence team has recently released you might be interested in viewing:


About Jessica Parks
Jessica Parks is an analyst with the Market Intelligence team at immixGroup, providing actionable analysis to help technology suppliers shorten their sales cycles. She holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in political science from UNC Chapel Hill.

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