Leading Public Sector Technology Trends Highlight the Need for Threat Intelligence

6 minute read

In the recent Forrester Wave: External Threat Intelligence Services, Q1 2021 report, the 12 most significant vendors providing cyber, brand and vulnerability threat intelligence services were evaluated. After the drastic challenges and changes 2020 delivered, it comes as no surprise that the External Threat Intelligence Services (ETIS) market has evolved significantly since Forrester’s first publication of the report in 2018. Despite these changes and the rapid growth of the public attack surface, ZeroFox has remained an industry leader. With the recent acquisition of Cyveillance, ZeroFox is proud to be a Strong Performer in this new Wave and is noted by Forrester as Best in Class for Brand Threat Intelligence use cases and takedown services.

Now, Gartner has identified the top government technology trends that address the public sector’s critical challenges as we move further into the year. These trends offer key insights tied to the potential acceleration of digital innovation and transformation of public services. Let’s take a closer look at how ZeroFox aligns with these leading insights and how you can appropriately build a sound security posture moving forward.

Gartner predicts that by 2024, “60% of government AI and data analytics investments aim to directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes.” As government agencies expand their use of social media, external websites, and other digital channels to engage with the public, they have increased their vulnerability to unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, disseminating false and misleading information, impersonations and account takeovers. In today’s world, organizations must revisit legacy operations and ensure they are regrouping to meet the need for compliant operating models that can adjust as significant disruptions surface. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the acceleration of digital innovation across the government sector around the world, presenting government leaders with new opportunities to use data and technologies to build trust, agility and resilience in public institutions,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “While pandemic-related challenges will continue for some time, technology trends have emerged that address critical challenges in areas such as security, cost containment and citizen experience.”

With new vulnerabilities come new challenges in determining authority, strategy and compliance considerations. The good news is that these developments have pushed the federal government to define for the first time how agencies can best establish, fund and maintain an effective approach to security and compliance in the areas of Digital Risk Protection and Threat Intelligence. Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends is directly linked to public administration and policy issues that government leaders must address; here are the top three we’ve prioritized:

  1. Accelerated Legacy Modernization

Gartner Predicts: “Governments have experienced the limitations and risks posed by decades-old legacy infrastructure and core systems. To be better equipped to deal with the next disruption, government CIOs are accelerating the move to modern, modular architectures. While the need for legacy modernization is not new to government CIOs, the challenges related to the pandemic have only served to heighten the awareness of the resulting risks and the need for it.” The report foresees over half of all government agencies will have “modernized critical core legacy applications to improve resilience and agility” over the next four years.

Running on legacy systems poses serious risks, and although it is a recognized vulnerability, organizations face real challenges adapting quickly enough. As digital experiences accelerate, digital threats are trending higher than ever. In 2020, ZeroFox saw substantial increases in fraud and scams, phishing attempts and credential theft. As risks continue to evolve and intensify, security teams need the right tools to not only modernize the enterprise appropriately but also disrupt and thwart external threats.

ZeroFox Research: Exposure of Public Platforms in 2020
  1. Adaptive Security

Gartner Predicts: “75% of government CIOs will be directly responsible for security outside of IT by 2025, to include operational and mission-critical technology environments. An adaptive security approach treats risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process that anticipates and mitigates constantly evolving cyber threats. This approach features components for prediction, prevention, detection and response. It forgoes traditional notions of perimeter, assuming there is no boundary for safe and unsafe, a necessary conceptual shift given the migration to cloud services.”

With the added layer of a hasty transition to a remote-first world, security teams lack the visibility and control necessary to secure their assets, people and customers. And since legacy security systems aren’t built to check for threats beyond the perimeter, they often go overlooked – exposing you and your community to a wide range of cyber-attacks, scams and takeovers. To defeat the new risks of the digital-first world, effective and scalable orchestration of machine and human intelligence is a must. ZeroFox provides AI-powered protection, machine and human intelligence and full-scale adversary disruption to thwart today’s digital attacks and predict an attacker’s next move.

  1. Hyperconnected Public Services

Gartner Predicts: “by 2024, 75% of governments will have at least three enterprise-wide hyperautomation initiatives launched or underway. Hyperconnected public services is the whole-of-government use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms to automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Government CIOs can use hyperautomation principles and practices to develop hyperconnected, highly automated end-to-end business processes and public services that require minimal human intervention.”

Securing your public attack surface with protection and intelligence that fits is everything for not only governments but most industries as a whole. To start dissecting a clear path as to what this might look like in stages, we suggest taking a closer look at how you are addressing:

  1. Detection: Leverage advanced AI to analyze voluminous data at scale to rapidly identify and provide actionable alerts for fraudulent activity related to your critical assets—brands, executives, employees, domains and data.
  2. Analysis: Handle every alert in real-time with advanced automation and a team of threat intelligence experts that is always on watch.
  3. Optimization: Perform public vulnerability assessments and digital footprinting while expert threat researchers continuously apply new automation rules to stay one step ahead of evolving threats.
  4. Disruption: Stop harmful activity in its tracks with highly efficient and effective remediation and takedown capabilities across all the major platforms.
The ZeroFox Platform Detects, Analyzes, Optimizes and Disrupts

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Next Steps

Learn more about emerging trends, expected challenges and next steps in the free Gartner E-Book “Top Priorities for IT: Leadership Vision for 2021.” Gartner clients can take a deeper dive in the report “Top Technology Trends in Government for 2021” and in the companion report “Top Business Trends in Government for 2021.” 

Lastly, watch our on-demand webinar “Combating Threats Outside your Agency’s Digital Perimeter: Empowering Responsibility and Authority” to learn more. You will walk away with key insights and next steps, as well as:

  • An understanding of agencies’ intrinsic authority to respond when attacks such as social media impersonation of agency people and functions take place outside the perimeter
  • How the latest release of NIST 800-53, Rev 5. security standards apply new and updated controls to manage digital risk protection and threat intelligence
  • How organizations can implement a comprehensive program to continuously monitor and respond to impersonations, attacks, and information disclosure on social media channels, public websites, dark web sources, code sharing platforms, email and other public-facing platforms.
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