The new frontier of enterprise security
By Rick Bradt
The world is becoming increasingly complex and scary – the security software industry is responding.
Overseeing the evolution of a company’s technology imposes existential decisions on management. The momentum is changing rapidly, with catalysts like the the remote workforce, the move to the cloud, lower-cost alternatives for telecommunications and networking, and transformative data security implementations.
The security decision is symbiotic with all the others. The rising tide of nation-state cyber warfare only further underscores the awareness of its criticality. Many CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) would recognize the enormity of security challenges over the past decade. Simply put, the CISO and his team had to choose from thousands of vendors for a plethora of point solutions, resulting in organizations often having more than 100 vendors. The ensuing challenge has been figuring out which ones actually work…and which ones don’t.
The security paradigm is changing rapidly. At a high level, the change disrupts the legacy model of only examining all data packets before allowing them into the network. Often known as “trust but verify”, this is no longer enough. The problem is the growing opacity of the network concept itself, with employees working on all sorts of devices, from all sorts of places, expecting to have access to all sorts of applications. The new model relies on converged, continuous cloud-based assessment of data integrity, user identity, user access rights, and actual usage itself.
There are four key drivers of this change. The first is the power of the cloud service provider to process big data analytics better and faster. Second, there is the evolution of the network infrastructure itself, with telecommunications transmission succumbing to the much more economical internet via “SD-WAN” (Software-Defined Wide Area Network). Third, there is a newly accepted principle in “Zero Trust”, the commitment to continuously monitor user-provided access. Indeed, in May 2021, President Biden mandated Zero Trust for all federal agencies.
Last but not least, there is the emergence of a very small number of platform providers well positioned to deliver SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), leveraging the suite of security services, but from the cloud. SASE is poised to drive a virtuous cycle of accelerating cloud shifting while creating an ever more secure business. SASE offers an innovative and comprehensive approach and goes a long way to deliver the desired “choking throat”.
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