Gus Hunt, managing director and cyber strategy lead at Accenture’s federal services arm, has said that agencies need senior leadership and stakeholder coordination to properly execute zero-trust implementation and improve cyber resilience.
Hunt wrote in an opinion piece published Monday on FCW that federal agencies should undertake an incremental approach to zero-trust and first consider identifying initial stakeholders and key mission partners.
Agencies should also perform a gap analysis of current cyber infrastructure to determine missing components of the proposed zero-trust architecture before implementing a roadmap, he noted.
According to Hunt, zero-trust environments can help agencies address uncertainties in remote network environments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that new cloud-based telework approaches entail procedures such as microsegmentation to support a zero-trust architecture that also offers automated support for decisionmaking and transparency.
“Implementing zero trust requires agencies to establish clear policies, procedures, and processes,” said Hunt. “For example, an executive-level data governance board comprised of mission, IT, and cybersecurity leadership is essential to decide and enforce data security and access control rules for the enterprise.”
Hunt’s comments come after Accenture released its Third Annual State of Federal Cyber Resilience Report stating that security breaches in federal systems dropped by 43 percent despite experiencing a rise in targeted attacks.