Zero Trust and Privilege Management in Defense Security


IMG_1711Michael Saintcross, Senior Director for Federal at BeyondTrust, sat down with Francis Rose at WEST 24 and discussed the critical role of zero trust in securing data and networks within the defense sector, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by the naval and defense industries. Highlighting a recent critical warning from the Volt Typhoon system about ceasing the use of certain technologies due to advanced persistent threats, Saintcross emphasized the importance of focusing on internal security measures, particularly privilege management. He identified the management of user identity and privileges as a foundational element of zero trust, crucial for preventing adversaries from compromising the integrity and availability of mission data. Saintcross argued that the biggest security investments should prioritize privilege management across users, assets, applications, and workloads, to prevent lateral movement by adversaries, thereby enhancing the interior fortifications of defense networks.

Saintcross further explained the multifaceted nature of zero trust, noting its importance in stopping lateral movement within networks—a concept that extends beyond merely horizontal and vertical defenses to include three-dimensional strategies for securing privileged control. He stressed the adaptability of zero trust strategies to the specific needs of various military domains, from underwater to space, underscoring the need for prioritizing investments based on the highest risk activities and privilege controls. This approach, he argued, is essential for shutting down potential compromise scenarios and achieving more effective control over mission-critical data and systems. Through a focus on privilege management within the zero trust framework, Saintcross believes the defense sector can significantly improve its resilience against sophisticated cyber threats, thereby ensuring the security of its networks and data in an increasingly complex digital battlefield.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The importance of zero trust in preventing lateral movement of threats.
  2. The need for prioritizing investments in privilege management.
  3. The ongoing challenge of securing networks against sophisticated cyber threats.


Join our Newsletter

Please fill out the requested information below