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Automating Government Compliance and Security

This blog is the first in a four-part series on infrastructure automation for government agencies that are modernizing digital systems while grappling with budget and staffing constraints and the challenges of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the drive towards modernization and, with it, the need to ensure security and compliance requirements across a host of legacy systems and processes. How can government agencies lay the foundation to support future missions with innovation, assurance, and security?

Reaping the benefits of automation

Many government agencies are turning to enterprise-grade solutions for large-scale deployment and mission-critical systems. Fortunately, Puppet’s advancements in infrastructure automation allow for a smooth path to compliance and digital transformation, even on tight deadlines. The right secure infrastructure automation solution enables agencies to achieve their transformation and compliance objectives even when facing resource and budget limitations.

For example, one of Puppet’s customers, a federal agency in the energy sector, expanded its Linux servers from 30 percent to 98 percent compliance to meet Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) through Puppet’s continuous compliance solution. As a result, the agency saved on fees paid due to non-compliance, time spent on manual intervention, and gained visibility into its infrastructure.

Government agencies that embrace enterprise-grade infrastructure automation can enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Speed: Achieve compliance faster and complete program rollout and updates on time.
  • Simplicity: Program teams can effortlessly manage their infrastructure and lower program costs by automating management and compliance. IT staff enjoy the ease of a “write once, run everywhere” implementation.
  • Assurance: Intelligent continuous compliance reduces the risks in rolling out new systems and updates.

How infrastructure automation wins for federal agencies

There are three use cases where a modern, secure infrastructure automation platform helps federal agencies become faster and more efficient. We will explore each use case in-depth in the next three blogs.

  • Continuous Security and Compliance. Compliance regulations such as DISA STIGs can be exhaustive and tedious. But automation can ensure that each new app or system meets all requirements. Furthermore, some advanced automation systems can monitor drift and enforce system state automatically—as often as every 30 minutes.
  • Digital Transformation Assurance. Rolling out new systems and making changes always run the risk of disrupting some mission-critical systems. Automation can ensure consistency of deployment, so configuration changes don’t wreak havoc on vital systems. Some platforms will even allow agency staff to preview the potential effect of proposed changes before implementing them—for additional peace of mind.
  • Fast-Track Modernization. The lift and shift of legacy systems to the cloud can be complex—with many repetitive, manual administrative tasks. Modern automation can increase mission success and effectiveness while scaling across thousands of cloud and legacy applications. A modern automation platform can bring much needed relief to overburdened IT teams and help ensure modernization efforts stay on track without compromising the mission. Join us for the next blog, which explores how infrastructure automation helps agencies modernize more efficiently and maintain a continuously compliant and secure posture.

Alexa Sevilla is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at Puppet.

Learn more

  • Watch how a U.S. government agency uses Puppet to meet strict IT security standards.
  • Learn more about navigating the "new normal" with self-healing infrastructure automation for government agencies.
  • Read the solutions brief on Assured Security Compliance for Federal Agencies.
  • Learn the true value of continuous compliance.