Government Industry

Governments are responsible for keeping the critical infrastructure operational for their citizens, but they are also responsible for securing government-operated networks. In the US, published specifications like NIST 800-207 (Zero Trust Architecture), CISA’s Zero Trust Maturity Model 2.0, and the DoD Zero Trust Reference Architecture have helped government enterprises build secure networks. 

The government sector runs Operational Technology (OT) networks like the commercial sector. Military bases and government facilities have power, water, and logistics infrastructure. Governments directly run water utilities, communications networks, national power grids, pipelines, and other OT infrastructures. Each agency responsible for that infrastructure must secure it per the relevant regulations and guidelines. These facilities are increasingly under attack by bad actors of all types.

The government and defense sectors are targets not only for hackers and cybercriminals but also for hacktivists and hostile nation-states with much higher stakes than in the commercial sector.

Protecting Government Networks

The Growing Threat of AI-powered Cybersecurity Attacks on Governments

The UK’s National Cyber Security Center released a report detailing the near-term impact of AI on cyber threats. For governments, the concerning conclusions were that attacks would be more impactful because threat actors could analyze exfiltrated data faster and more effectively and use it to train AI models. Phishing attacks were explicitly highlighted as an area of concern, aligning with most Zero Trust guidelines recommending deploying phishing-resistant MFA.

Governments have been victims of high-profile attacks: the MOVEit ransomware, the Solar Winds hacks, the US Office of Personnel Management breach, and ongoing cyberattacks on the Pentagon. In the US, CISA has taken a leadership role in publishing regular updates on Cyber Threats and Advisories with highly valuable information on Nation-State Cyber Actors targeting the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors.

AI-Resistant OT Network Protection for Government Networks

The scale and scope of the risk to government networks, especially its critical OT infrastructure, cannot be underestimated. Multiple reports have detailed the use of AI to aid attacks and hacking of government networks worldwide. The first line of defense in depth for government OT networks must be a solution that resists the initial threat vectors, phishing, reconnaissance, and no-code tools that are uplifted by AI, as reported by the UK government:

BlastWave’s Government OT Cybersecurity Solutions

BlastWave is delivering a radically simplified OT Cybersecurity solution for government OT networks. BlastShield presents a minimal attack surface toward the world, with only biometric-authenticated connections allowed to enter secure OT enclaves. 

BlastWave offers three key technologies to protect Governments:

Make Devices Undiscoverable OT Security

Network Cloaking:

Network Cloaking ensures that government OT networks of any type are invisible to external threats. Rather than just obfuscating these systems, they do not appear in any scans or probes from a hacker, blocking the initial points of entry for AI-enabled hacking. With BlastShield, governments ensure OT cybersecurity and align with guidance like NIST 800-53, 800-207 (Zero Trust), CISA Zero Trust Maturity Model, and the DoD Zero Trust Reference Architecture. With Network Cloaking, AI-enhanced reconnaissance tools cannot probe into the internal workings of government networks because they have no path to reach the internal OT networks.

OT Secure Remote Access:

BlastShield provides OT Secure Remote Access to government OT systems, enabling real-time management of all systems without exposing them to cyber threats. BlastShield’s phishing-resistant MFA biometric authentication protects against GenAI-powered phishing attacks and MFA hijacking. BlastShield creates a full mesh of P2P encrypted tunnels to secure sensitive but unclassified traffic from remote users to the factory floor and any agent-enabled systems, protecting against Man-in-the-middle attacks.

Network Segmentation (MicroSegmentation):

BlastShield simplifies the challenge of microsegmentation by creating simple peer-to-peer encrypted and authenticated tunnels to each device or group of devices without complex firewall rulesets. IT and OT network staff and temporary contractors are permitted access to only the systems they are responsible for, and privileges can be granted and revoked in real-time. BlastShield prevents lateral movement by Secure Remote Access users within the network and can even provide lateral movement protection at Layer 2 for local network connections.