In the dynamic and often perilous landscape of cybersecurity, safeguarding sensitive government data is not just a priority but a necessity. The implementation of the Zero Trust Executive Order 14028 alongside the Federal Government Mandate M-22-09 marks a critical pivot towards fortifying the cybersecurity frameworks of federal entities. This article delves into the heart of these groundbreaking initiatives, examining their synergies and explicating the integral role of NextLabs in enabling organizations to meet and surpass these stringent standards.

Understanding the Zero Trust Executive Order 14028

Issued by the U.S. President, the Zero Trust Executive Order 14028 is a significant milestone, marking a transformative shift in the federal approach to cybersecurity. This directive acknowledges the escalating and evolving nature of cyber threats and proposes a comprehensive overhaul of the existing security paradigms. By mandating a move away from traditional perimeter-based defenses, the order advocates for a resilient, data-centric Zero Trust security model, a strategy that assumes no entity inside or outside the network is trusted by default.

The Zero Trust framework is built on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” It demands continuous verification of all users and devices, whether they are operating within or outside of network boundaries. This approach ensures that trust is never assumed, irrespective of the location or credentials, and is continuously validated through robust authentication and authorization measures. This shift necessitates an intricate orchestration of advanced technologies and policies, including multi-factor authentication, identity and access management, and least privilege access controls, all aimed at minimizing the attack surface and reducing the probability of unauthorized access and data breaches.

The Executive Order further emphasizes the need for federal agencies to adopt secure cloud services and protect critical infrastructure by implementing secure and encrypted communication channels. It calls for agencies to enhance their incident response capabilities and to share threat information more rapidly and efficiently, fostering a collaborative defense stance against common adversaries.

By adopting this framework, federal agencies are expected to achieve a dynamic and adaptive security posture, capable of preemptively identifying and mitigating threats before they materialize. The order sets a clear timeline and benchmarks for agencies, pushing for swift and decisive action in fortifying the nation’s cyber defenses. In essence, the Zero Trust Executive Order 14028 is not just a set of guidelines but a directive that catalyzes a fundamental shift towards a more secure, vigilant, and resilient digital government infrastructure.

Understanding Federal Government Mandate M-22-09

Complementing the Zero Trust Executive Order, Federal Government Mandate M-22-09 emerges as a pivotal directive from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This mandate is not merely a guideline but a comprehensive action plan, commanding federal agencies to adopt and integrate Zero Trust architectures within their cybersecurity protocols. It articulates explicit, actionable steps, setting forth a clear timeline and framework for agencies to systematically overhaul their security measures. The mandate underscores the urgency of this transition, propelling agencies towards adopting a more robust, resilient, and adaptive cybersecurity posture.

M-22-09 is instrumental in catalyzing a cultural and technological shift in how federal entities conceptualize and implement cybersecurity. By specifying milestones and objectives, it ensures that the adoption of Zero Trust is not an abstract ideal but a tangible, measurable progression towards a fortified defense against cyber threats. It also emphasizes the necessity of continuous improvement and adaptation in cybersecurity strategies, reflecting the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of cyber risks. This mandate, therefore, not only directs an immediate enhancement of federal cyber defenses but also lays the groundwork for sustained security evolution, ensuring that federal agencies remain agile and responsive to new threats and technologies. As such, M-22-09 is a testament to the government’s commitment to safeguarding national data assets and infrastructure through proactive, forward-thinking, and comprehensive cybersecurity reforms.

Organizations Impacted by These Initiatives

  • Federal Agencies: Mandated to architect and implement Zero Trust strategies, these agencies are at the vanguard of adopting stringent cybersecurity measures to shield their critical data assets and infrastructure.
  • Federal Contractors and Suppliers: The ripple effect of these mandates extends to a vast constellation of private sector entities. Federal contractors and suppliers, integral to the government ecosystem, must align with Zero Trust prerequisites to continue their partnerships and protect the nation’s data integrity.

How NextLabs Catalyzes Compliance and Security Enhancement

NextLabs stands at the intersection of innovation and security, offering an array of solutions meticulously designed to assist both federal agencies and their contractors in navigating the complexities of Zero Trust compliance:

  • Automated Data Classification: NextLabs’ sophisticated tools proficiently classify sensitive data, laying the groundwork for rigorous access control in accordance with Zero Trust protocols.
  • Granular Access Control: By implementing precise access policies, NextLabs ensures that data is accessible only to authenticated and authorized users, minimizing the risk of breaches and unauthorized access.
  • Enhanced Authentication and Authorization: NextLabs fortifies the authentication framework with robust Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) capabilities, central to the Zero Trust model, thereby reinforcing user identity verification and access legitimacy.
  • Robust Data Encryption: With state-of-the-art encryption solutions, NextLabs ensures the integrity and confidentiality of data in transit and at rest, a critical component of Zero Trust architecture.
  • Comprehensive Audit and Monitoring: The suite of NextLabs tools provides exhaustive monitoring and audit capabilities, enabling organizations to track access and changes to data, an essential feature for maintaining transparency and accountability.
  • Rigorous Governance and Policy Enforcement: NextLabs’ technologies empower organizations to enforce and manage stringent governance policies consistently, a cornerstone in maintaining a Zero Trust environment.


As cyber threats continue to evolve with alarming sophistication, the Zero Trust Executive Order 14028 and Federal Government Mandate M-22-09 represent monumental strides towards a more secure and resilient federal cybersecurity landscape. Through its comprehensive suite of products, NextLabs is pivotal in guiding organizations along this transformative journey. By facilitating strict compliance, enhancing data protection, and bolstering overall cybersecurity postures, NextLabs ensures that federal agencies and their partners are well-equipped to confront and neutralize the cyber threats of today and tomorrow. In the relentless pursuit of national cybersecurity, the collaboration with NextLabs emerges as a keystone in securing the nation’s digital frontiers against the ever-evolving threats.

NextLabs Compliance Blog Series

Please see other posts in NextLabs’ blog series on Compliance