September 18, 2023
Akamai has been a well know partner in many federal technology projects for many years. Some of their activities are obvious – some not as easy to see as it may appear.
Rob San Martin is a twenty-year veteran of Akamai and sits down to give a broad overview of some of the ways Akamai is improving federal cybersecurity that may not be obvious to the common observer.
One: Akamai sees one-third of the world’s Internet traffic every day. Being in the “catbird” seat allows it to see threats that are not apparent to smaller organizations. Of course, Akamai provides this information as a paid service to commercial companies, but they also share this with federal organizations in a timely fashion.
Further, Akamai is developed a method to “anonymize” threat activity to share it with the larger cybersecurity community.
Two: “Privilege creep,” is an attempt to describe what happens over a period in many large organizations. A person may start off with one set of permissions and they grow and grow. After a few years, the person may have changed jobs and retained rights to see documents that no longer apply. Akamai can and assist with micro segmentation that can limit the extent of overprivileged.
Three: Many in the industry say cybersecurity must work despite users. This means that there is automation in place that can manage threats without humans.
For example, a federal agency had a serious misconfiguration. Normally, the process was to go to a generic database of common vulnerabilities, discover what it can do. Then, set up some kind or test bed for remediation. Finally, the solution is distributed over the system.
It is possible for Akamai to determine a weakness and assign a patch before the standard vulnerability lists even include it.
Akamai works in the background of many federal agencies to agencies to accomplish tasks like adding automation, setting up networks, and improving user experience.
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to listen to Ep. 89 Federal Websites: How to Transform the Experience
John Gilroy appeared on National Public Radio in Washington DC for 25 years. He wrote 523 technology columns for The Washington Post. Currently, John is an award-winning lecturer at Georgetown University. Forgot to mention — he has recorded over 1,000 podcast interviews.