District Defend Supports Zero Trust Pillars—Here's How

Enabling Zero Trust

Booz Allen’s District Defend® is a leading example of a security platform that can help organizations move toward the ZTA they need. The platform enables capabilities aligned to the zero trust pillars in the Department of Defense (DOD) zero trust reference architecture and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) maturity model. (These models are functionally equivalent.) Using DOD zero trust terms, here are a few examples of the capabilities that District Defend provides:

 

User

 
  • Conditional User Access  
    • Rule-Based Dynamic Access 
  • Alternative Flexible MFA  
  • Behavioral, Contextual ID, and Biometrics  
    • User Activity Monitoring 
  • Least-Privileged Access  
    • Deny User by Default Policy 

Device

  • Device Inventory  
    • Defense Health Tool Gap Analysis 
  • Device Detection and Compliance  
    • Comply to Connect/Compliance-Based Network Authorization 
  • Device Authorization with Real-Time Inspection  
    • Entity Activity Monitoring 
  • Remote Access 
    • Deny Device by Default Policy 
  • Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) & Mobile Device Management (MDM)  
 

Data

 
  • Data Monitoring and Sensing 
  • Data Encryption and Rights Management 
  • Data Loss Prevention  
  • Data Access Control  

Note: District Defend capabilities also extend to other pillars (e.g., the Applications & Workloads, Automation & Orchestration, and Visibility & Analytics pillars).

 

Beyond implementing zero trust principles, District Defend complies with and enforces CSfC requirements around endpoint and network encryption. In addition, it complements the CSfC strengths in multifactor authentication (MFA), location-based security, and network segmentation.  

Enhancing Endpoint Security

District Defend enhances endpoint security by automatically performing configuration validation and security checks before the data even gets decrypted on the device. This proactive endpoint protection applies zero trust principles as soon as the device is powered on, as opposed to legacy endpoint protections that only run after the device is on and connected to sensitive networks. 

In addition, District Defend is designed for data protection in a post-quantum world. In other words, right now, organizations need robust capabilities to fully wipe devices when they are being disposed of, or when they are lost or stolen. Otherwise, adversaries who gain access to devices or discarded drives may be able to recover and eventually decrypt such data once their quantum computers become sufficiently powerful. District Defend protects against this threat by performing a multistage cryptographic sanitization and forensically sound full disk wipe—remotely or via time-based triggers.

Countering the Pacing Challenge

The U.S. government has warned that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the top pacing challenge and the most active and persistent cyber threat to the nation. Moreover, the PRC is making significant investments in quantum computing and AI. Accelerating zero trust capabilities, including robust endpoint security, is vital to limit the PRC’s ability to carry out successful cyber-enabled espionage and cyberattacks.

For example, the capability that District Defend provides can help DOD and mission partners work together to address the pacing challenge. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) uses the platform for large-scale military exercises involving allies and partners: District Defend makes it easier to set up and connect all the required devices with a secure wireless experience, tailor the experience for different types of participants, and wipe all the devices once the event is over. 

To learn more about how the platform can help your organization meet its strategic and security goals for zero trust and beyond.