Resource Center >  Endpoint security: Protecting sensitive data in a hybrid world
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State and local governments face a radically different cybersecurity landscape compared to just a few years ago. The rising adoption of hybrid work models, on top of existing fieldwork, means more users are operating outside the traditional office firewall. More endpoints on potentially unsecured networks provide a vastly expanded threat surface — we’ve gone from a perimeter-based scenario to a perimeter-less one. 

And hackers have taken advantage of the situation. 

According to a recent report, the number of cyberattacks targeting government agencies increased 95% in the second half of 2022 compared to the same period the year before.1

It’s not surprising — state and local governments manage large amounts of sensitive personal information, such as driver’s licenses, social security numbers, medical information, and credit card numbers. They also store financial information about their own contracts and billings. 

Unfortunately, many state and local government agencies are behind the curve when it comes to cybersecurity.

Average time to identify a cyberthreat: 225 days2
Average time to contain a cyberthreat: 92 days2
Average cost of a public sector agency breach: $2.6 million2

Beyond the financial implications, data breaches in state and local governments can also severely undermine citizens’ trust and create long-term consequences for an administration’s reputation.

And, as the level of sophistication of these attacks continues to grow with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the situation is only going to get more challenging. 



Zero Trust that starts with the endpoint

In response to growing cyberthreats and federal mandates, many state and local governments are adopting Zero Trust. Not a specific software or hardware solution, Zero Trust is a security approach that treats every network connection as potentially hostile, requiring continuous validation of credentials. 

That same level of documentable authentication at every step can also be applied to the device supply chain, ensuring that each component that goes into a user’s device can be checked against a known good state. This is increasingly important as hackers work up the supply chain in search of opportunities to insert malware and other threats before a device is even turned on. 

Lenovo ThinkShield includes a documented and auditable Zero Trust supply chain security program that leverages key Intel® technology features so IT teams know devices are secure — from the components used during manufacturing through delivery to end users. 

The Intel® Transparent Supply Chain (Intel TSC) enables supply chain transparency and verifies the state of hardware, firmware, and software integrity. The Intel® Auto Verify tool compares the “snapshot” of the direct platform data taken during manufacturing with a “snapshot” of the platform components taken at first boot to help detect tampering. Lenovo also provides a customer web portal that provides convenient access to system records for compliance audits and more.

Keeping ahead of evolving threats

One of the most important steps government agencies can take is simply ensuring that all devices are updated with the latest security patches. Several recent reports have shown that known vulnerabilities — those with available patches — remain a primary source for hackers to gain access to government systems.1

Patch management solutions like Lenovo ThinkShield Secure Endpoint can give IT teams instant visibility into remote devices for automatic risk assessment and patch remediation. 

Keeping up with a regular refresh schedule also helps maintain a stronger defense as hardware and software evolve together with enhanced security integration. Businesses report a 58% drop in security incidents with modern devices running Windows 11 Pro.3

A smarter approach to below-the-OS and OS-to-cloud security 

Lenovo ThinkShield provides a broad range of features to protect modern devices like the ThinkPad® X1 Carbon with Windows 11 Pro and Intel vPro®, An Intel® Evo™ Design, during everyday use. 

Below the OS, Intel® Hardware Shield ensures a secure handoff from the hardware to the BIOS to the operating system with every start. Additional BIOS security features include a self-healing function that reverts to a known good state if the BIOS becomes corrupted. A secure wipe function is also built into the BIOS to protect data on lost or stolen devices with SSD wipe-out functionality. 
From the OS to the cloud, ThinkShield includes best-of-breed options for multifactor authentication, online sandboxing of email and browsing, USB hardware attacks, patch remediation, and more. 

These integrated layers of protection are all engineered to work together to help keep endpoint devices safe in a world of rapidly evolving cyberthreats. 

Putting AI on the defense

Just as AI technology can be used to create more sophisticated cyberthreats, state and local governments are learning it can also be used to strengthen cybersecurity efforts to identify and assess threats faster than human-powered security teams.

IBM found that 19% of public sector agencies are employing a strategy of security driven by artificial intelligence and automation, which can reduce staff workload, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.2 In fact, organizations with extensive use of security AI and automation can reduce the cost of a data breach by nearly 40% compared to organizations that don’t incorporate such measures.4 

Available with devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad® T14 with Windows 11 Pro and Intel vPro®, An Intel® Evo™ Design, Lenovo ThinkShield XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) includes AI-based analytic machine learning to identify and resolve emerging threats. 

Taking the security burden off internal teams

Given the increasing difficulty of recruiting skilled IT security personnel, state and local governments are turning to their technology partners for managed service solutions. Lenovo ThinkShield security professionals are focused on tailoring our managed services solutions to meet your specific needs based on your priorities and in-house security capabilities. 

Together, we’ll find the optimum balance to deliver seamless protection for your hybrid workforce and free up your IT teams to focus on the strategic initiatives that keep your organization moving forward.

Take the next step to secure your organization’s hybrid workforce

Contact your Lenovo representative to learn more about our comprehensive suite of solutions for state and local governments.