Like many mergers, the 2016 formation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) from two previously separate UK federal government departments offered the chance to innovate on multiple levels.
Although replacing our legacy on-premises IT infrastructure with a multi-cloud strategy and adopting business applications like Microsoft 365 were a given, our team took the opportunity to move our enterprises even further into the future.
We envisioned developing a platform that went beyond delivering business applications to our department, and other agencies. Instead, it would serve as the foundation for creating more commonality and connection across government departments and technology estates, enabling everyone to collaborate more effectively.
As this type of information sharing is a significant departure from traditional norms, we required a security solution that would enable securing access to data, applications, and services based on a granular set of policies, with zero trust as the guiding principle. We determined the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange offered all of the right capabilities.
Developing a next-generation application platform
For the next step in our journey, we developed what we call our Cirrus platform, which delivers networking infrastructure and business applications to BEIS workers and other government entities. It integrates the Zero Trust Exchange as the critical security wrapper that protects billions of transactions between end users and their applications every month.
Integrating the Zero Trust Exchange into Cirrus permits us to support our department’s hybrid work environment—whether individuals travel between our department’s seven locations or work from home—with consistent, high-performance user experiences.
Partnering with Zscaler also supplies us with the flexibility, agility, and scalability to evolve Cirrus as circumstances change, add new agencies to deliver Cirrus as a managed service, and help other agencies adopt Cirrus on their own, should they so choose.
Regardless, having the Zero Trust Exchange as our robust common cybersecurity solution, providing differentiated zero trust access based on job needs, is fundamental to enabling cross-departmental collaboration.
Toward an interoperable future
Now we’re moving our vision into the next phase. As the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) of the Cirrus programme, I’m working with other departments to develop interoperability strategies and processes that leverage Cirrus and zero trust.
For instance, within our department, we run a grant management service. The interoperability question is: how do we make that service more accessible and usable by other agencies?
On a larger scale, our vision is to provide all government workers, whether employees or contractors, the ability to move seamlessly across departments and job assignments throughout their careers.
Getting from here to there
To learn more about how our deployment of the Zero Trust Exchange within Cirrus help us get from where we were to where we wanted to be, I invite you to read the accompanying case study BEIS Secures Next-Gen Government App Platform. There you’ll find details on the significant outcomes we’re already achieving through our partnership with Zscaler.