In an ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats, keeping pace with the latest developments and guidelines is crucial. In line with this, we would like to draw your attention to the recent Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 23-02: Mitigating the Risk from Internet-Exposed Management Interfaces published by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on June 13, 2023. This new directive requires federal civilian executive branch (FCEB) agencies to take steps to reduce their attack surface created by insecure or misconfigured management interfaces and provides implementation guidance that encapsulates best practices for the evolving cybersecurity landscape. At iboss, we not only acknowledge the value of this directive but also firmly believe in its principles and the need to promptly implement them.
First, agencies need to identify in-scope interfaces and then determine the best plan of action to remediate this risk. Given the limited remediation window of 14 days when notified by CISA or an applicable device is discovered by the agency, removing the interface from being internet accessible is an option and might be a quick win, but it may not be the most tenable path forward.
Alternatively, BOD 23-02 emphasizes the need to align with a Zero Trust approach, vis a vis OMB M-22-09, NIST 800-207 and others, for securing access to management interfaces, an option we wholeheartedly endorse.
By effectively controlling access to management interfaces, it is possible to prevent many potential breaches from ever occurring. Instead of reacting to a breach after it has happened, this approach allows you to secure your data and systems ahead of time, considerably reducing the risk of data loss and the damage associated with it.
Why is this an important issue to consider? Aside from the fact that CISA has issued a BOD to FCEB agencies, recent threat campaigns highlight that threat actor tactics have moved to targeting these types of devices to evade protections and establish persistence in a network. As some of these devices have a need to be internet facing for management access efficiencies (i.e. hybrid workforce) or as part of disaster planning needs, and combined with the challenge of security budgets, misconfigurations or default configurations, and software version and patch cadence, the risk implications are significant.
In our experience, unauthorized access to management interfaces is one of the most common root causes of data loss and destruction. Often overlooked in the grander security scheme, these interfaces serve as vital control points for your systems and networks. Hence, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access, and always with the least privilege principle, is paramount.
How can iboss help? The iboss Zero Trust Security Service Edge (SSE) platform is designed against NIST 800-207 tenets to embody the principle of least privilege. As a SaaS offering that includes critical Zero Trust capabilities such as Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), malware defense, and the ability to deliver a local, on-premises policy enforcement point (PEP) through a single unified management console and policy engine, you can help ensure all current devices in scope are secured and future devices are proactively identified and secured in compliance with BOD 23-02 requirements. As outlined in the BOD, additional Zero Trust benefits include micro-segmentation and the ability to force modern authentication, including non-supported legacy applications, providing your agency with a solid foundation toward your Zero Trust Architecture and reducing risk to your organization. No matter where your users are or what devices they use, the iboss platform delivers consistent security policies and per-request access decisions to resources, such as management interfaces.
In conclusion, the new CISA directive reminds us of the importance of evolving our security posture to keep up with today’s cyber threats. iboss’s Zero Trust SSE platform is purpose-built to meet these guidelines and to protect your organization from security breaches and data loss. Our commitment is to provide enhanced security while enabling access to any resource securely, supporting organizations without sacrificing efficiency or productivity.