The Government Cybersecurity Landscape is Changing and so Should Your Approach to Data Protection
by Gil Vega, CISSP
It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up Digital Transformation initiatives in the federal government, but with increased digital connectivity, government data has become more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Ransomware and other types of cyberthreats are already major concerns for our federal government. Today’s cyber criminals grow increasingly advanced, allocating more time, resources and research to complex attacks. To keep missions moving, it’s critical that the government implements solid data protection strategies.
Supporting government agencies and their missions requires investments in both technology and the people that use those technologies. Our civil servants, military and contractors are being targeted daily by sophisticated, well-resourced criminal actors. It only takes one employee clicking on the wrong link once. To enhance the government’s layered defense, all employees should clearly understand their personal responsibility and accountability for cybersecurity and be trained to resist efforts to compromise them.
Having previously led public sector cybersecurity efforts at numerous federal agencies, I know there is an easy solution to our cybersecurity challenges. This is why a focused effort on data security must be complimented with a similar focus on data protection We encourage our customers to adopt our 3-2-1-1-0 ”data protection zip code” strategy. That is, have THREE copies of data on at least TWO different mediums, including ONE copy stored off site, ONE immutable copy and ZERO errors after backup. Fast, flexible, hardware-agnostic backup solutions are the key to restoring critical government services that have been impacted by cyberattacks.
During my government experience, I deeply appreciated the partnership with industry that brought best practices to government, while also fully understanding and listening to the challenges that make work at a federal agency unique. Collaboration and commitment from industry made it easier for me to focus on my mission as an IT leader.
Serving in this role as partner and advisor is important to us at Veeam, and as CISO, I’ve had the opportunity to ensure Veeam’s solutions align for federal agency needs and mapped to the NIST CSF v1.1 —supporting a 3-2-1-1-0 approach with software-based data protection that works in any environment. But most importantly, this commitment has led us to launch Veeam Government Solutions (VGS). As the most trusted provider of backup solutions that deliver Cloud Data Management, Veeam protects the data that powers mission-critical applications for our more than 1,200 government customers.
With the launch of VGS, we’ll be able to more nimbly adapt to federal agency needs. Our advisory board and board of directors come with a deep background in the federal civilian and defense community and will guide VGS to better serve our government customers as they focus on the critical missions that keep our country safe and thriving.
In an era where cyberthreats are constantly evolving, VGS was developed to provide the government with technology and dedicated partnership to meet ever-changing needs. To learn more about VGS, I encourage you to read our latest press release or blog by VGS President Earl G. Matthews on why we created this subsidiary and what it will mean for you moving forward.
About the Author
As Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Veeam, Gil Vega establishes and executes Veeam’s vision and strategy to ensure its information assets and solutions are protected, while driving strategies to help customers ensure regulatory compliance and protect their critical data across multiple environments. During his career, Gil has held various cybersecurity leadership posts within the U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.
Gil also served as a member of the U.S. Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service, as and Associate Chief Information Officer and& CISO for the U.S. Department of Energy and as CISO for U.S. Immigration and& Customs Enforcement in Washington, D.C.
Gil holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Information Systems and Information Assurance, is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville and a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, having participated in combat operations in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.