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Zero Trust Segmentation

5 Zero Trust Takeaways From Former Federal CIO Gary Barlet

For Gary Barlet, Federal Field CTO at Illumio, Zero Trust isn’t just like throwing new clothes on old security problems – it’s a new way to approach cybersecurity altogether.  

“Zero Trust gets to the heart of trying to do your best but recognizing that there’s no such thing as perfect,” said Gary in the latest episode of The Segment: A Zero Trust Leadership podcast. “What happens when the art of the perfect fails you, and you have to deal with the breach? If modern organizations don’t make that shift, they’re just going to continue to lose.”

For 29 plus years, Zero Trust security strategies helped Gary and his federal cybersecurity teams move away from unsuccessful pursuits of perfection and toward an “assume breach” approach. For Barlet, this meant assuming that you’re never going to completely win the battle of stopping a breach, but you can try to minimize the impact of that breach by preparing proactively.  

In this episode, Gary discusses his own experience implementing Zero Trust strategies, the top cyber challenges he sees facing federal organizations today, and why embracing an “assume breach” approach to cybersecurity is so important.

Haven’t heard my other episodes with the Zero Trust experts? Listen here.  

The Segment episode 8: Gary Barlet, Federal Field CTO at Illumio

A headshot of Gary Barlet, Federal Field CTO at Illumio

Gary has nearly three decades of cloud, cybersecurity, and network experience in the U.S. federal government leading security and IT teams in both civilian agencies and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Before joining Illumio, Gary served as the Chief Information Officer at the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service. He was responsible for developing and leading strategic technology initiatives to deliver an innovative IT and security infrastructure that supported more than 1,200 users across 105 locations. He also successfully migrated the agency to the cloud and led the three-week development of a website to track over $2 trillion in pandemic relief funds at the request of the Pandemic Recovery Accountability Committee to meet a federal mandate. He was the agency’s first nominee for the prestigious Presidential Rank Award and winner of the Barry R. Snyder Joint Award from the Council of Inspectors General.  

Prior to his role at the U.S. Postal Service, he served in the Air Force in several technology leadership capacities, retiring from his role as Cyber Operations Officer.

At Illumio, Gary works with government agencies, contractors, and the broader ecosystem to build in Zero Trust Segmentation as a strategic component of the government’s Zero Trust architecture.

Connect with Gary on LinkedIn.  

The top 5 takeaways from this episode

  • 3:07: Fighting the everyday battle in cyberspace
  • 7:16: How to “assume breach”
  • 17:53: The U.S. government's top cyber challenges
  • 28:17: Breach economics
  • 35:33: The future of Zero Trust

Read the full episode transcript here.  

Listen to the next episode on June 7

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