Why State and Local Government IT Leaders Need Stronger Multicloud Defenses

Chad Davis 缩略图
Chad Davis
Published March 15, 2024

From keeping up with constituent demands for more streamlined digital experiences to mitigating threats of evolving cybersecurity attacks, government IT department professionals are often stretched thin in their daily efforts. However, the benefits of their continued efforts while armed with more modern technology are proving to improve the lives of constituents—with new applications like the Georgia Department of Driver Services' mobile app, which allows constituents to conveniently and securely handle tasks such as fee payments and road test appointments from their smartphone.

Not surprisingly, in a new development, digital government services now share the spotlight with cybersecurity as the top priorities on the 2024 National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) list. This alignment underscores the critical need for government organizations to not only modernize their infrastructure but also fortify their defenses against evolving cyber threats.

Yet, as government IT teams grapple with limited resources and staffing shortages, they also are facing new challenges associated with modern digital government services, which increasingly are in multicloud environments.

While public cloud providers offer native networking and security capabilities, they often lack the capabilities to keep up with scalability requirements associated with utilizing different clouds. This can result in fragmented performance and inconsistent security policies, leaving government organizations vulnerable to exploitation.

Enter secure multicloud networking services (SMNS). This innovative solution approach represents a paradigm shift in how government IT departments can address the challenges of multicloud deployment. By providing comprehensive networking and security capabilities tailored to the needs of multicloud environments, SMNS offers a holistic approach to managing cloud resources while ensuring the integrity and resilience of government services.

Unraveling multicloud networking challenges

Gartner predicts in a recent report that, “By 2025, over 75% of governments will operate more than half of workloads using hyperscale cloud providers.” While this number may vary between different state and local governments agencies, the increased risk is prevalent in any expansion to the cloud, including rising complexity, losing visibility, and ultimately having less granular control over the portfolio. In fact, 9 of 10 organizations report multicloud challenges, including complexity of tools, troubleshooting procedures and APIs.

SMNS emerge as a strategic choice for state and local government technology leaders seeking to simplify the complexities associated with multicloud management. With better simplification, like an API-first infrastructure solution that can offer a unified interface, agencies gain more control over their entire application stack with solutions that are platform-independent. This also enables policy governance through automation and accelerated fault remediation.

The significance of streamlined security advancements in the multicloud age

As previously mentioned, cybersecurity and risk management is tied for the top spot on the 2024 priorities list by NASCIO. Cybersecurity and risk management has been number one on the NASCIO top ten priority list every year for a decade, and for good reason. Complex, manual intensive security solutions are simply not an option for stretched thin state and local government IT teams.

Implementing SMNS simplifies security by offering centralized management of security policies across distributed environments through an end-to-end, cloud-based approach. For example, when building exclusions, like a specific false positive, it can easily deploy this consistently from a central console. Additionally, it can streamline the consistent use of an API reputation filter. These examples along with many other similar ones, allow for an improved, detailed focus on application and API security in state and local governments, enabling IT departments to meet multicloud security challenges with greater consistency and agility.

Defense in depth security architecture key to protect applications in any environment

With multicloud strategies becoming commonplace, it's essential to adopt a layered security architecture to strengthen defenses and guarantee comprehensive and uniform protection across all environments. A vertical security architecture with complimentary controls like application layer 7 DDoS, identity management and web application and API protection are key elements to defense in depth and are becoming table stakes for modern organizations. Additionally, as detailed above, a crucial aspect of a layered security architecture is the incorporation of consistent security policies across all IT environments and stacks, so they can properly identify and remediate critical threats like the log4j2 vulnerability

With the right SMNS in place, state and government IT departments can more confidently navigate the complexities of distributed environments with greater visibility and streamlined security operations, mitigating the risk of the loss of sensitive data. Also, an SMNS that is delivered via a SaaS form factor, can significantly improve what IT teams can accomplish in day-to-day operations via a simplified user experience and an always up-to-date solution.

Learn more by watching our on-demand webinar titled, Securing Apps in Distributed Environments.