Enhancing Hardware Security Posture in a Highly Targeted Government Entity
In the world of network security, government entities face unique challenges when it comes to safeguarding their hardware assets. A highly targeted government entity, comprising thousands of employees across multiple sites with varying security clearance levels, recognized the need to strengthen its hardware security posture in the face of emerging threats. By deploying Sepio’s solution in a standalone mode, the entity created a cutting-edge hardware sandboxing environment to fortify its network security.
Overcoming Hardware Visibility Challenges and Managing Multiple Networks
As the government entity transitioned into a hybrid work environment and provided Work from Home hardware kits to its employees, gaining visibility into the actual hardware assets in use became a challenge. Additionally, managing multiple networks across different sites with varying security clearance levels posed another obstacle. However, the flexible deployment architecture of Sepio’s solution proved instrumental in supporting diverse environments, including the Work from Home setup based on public internet infrastructure and internal separated networks.
Addressing Vendor-related Risks and Known Vulnerabilities
The government entity identified two critical use cases that required attention. Firstly, the challenge of hardware assets circulating back and forth to vendors for upgrades or repairs. Secondly, the discovery of a considerable number of “known-to-be-vulnerable” hardware assets that were purchased through standard procurement procedures without involving the cybersecurity team. To tackle these challenges, the entity implemented two key changes.
Addressing Procurement and Vulnerability Concerns
Two specific use cases troubled the government entity. The first involved hardware assets being sent back and forth to vendors for upgrades or repairs, while the second concerned the discovery of “known-to-be-vulnerable” hardware assets purchased through standard procurement procedures without involvement from the cybersecurity team. To tackle these challenges, the procurement process was modified to require vendors to provide a sample hardware asset for security clearance. Additionally, a stand-alone Sepio server acted as a “kiosk” to examine devices and determine if they were publicly known-to-be-vulnerable, mitigating risks associated with compromised assets.
Strengthening Security Consciousness and Countering Adversaries
The entity’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) recognized the importance of avoiding known-to-be-vulnerable assets, which could be exploited by sophisticated adversaries. Closing the loop between the security and procurement teams added a stronger security element to the procurement procedure. Demonstrating attacks carried out by known-to-be-vulnerable devices, such as wireless combo-mice, proved instrumental in raising security-consciousness across the organization.
Defending Against State-sponsored Attackers and Supply Chain Threats
State-sponsored attackers and internal abusers pose significant risks to sensitive government entities. To deter potential attackers and increase the chances of revealing their attacks, defensive countermeasures were implemented. These measures make attacks more difficult to execute, increase the number of breakdowns, and enhance overall network security.
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