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Evolving Cyber Security Solutions
The evolution of cyber security solutions and services over the years has been instrumental in protecting organizations and individuals from emerging risks and cyberattacks. The nature of cyber security in organizations has also transformed from being centralized – where the security team takes full ownership of securing the IT landscape, to being more collaborative. There has been an emphasis on sharing the responsibility with application teams and with all employees in general.
The pandemic and the challenges that it brought to the fore have played into the hands of cybercriminals. The rapid global adoption of technologies and solutions to overcome the pandemic-induced challenges gave cybercriminals almost a free hand to attack vulnerable systems and infrastructure. There was no time for organizations to quickly ramp up remote working and services while also stepping up security measures. This resulted in exponential growth of the threat ecosystem. Ransomware became deadlier than ever. Cybercriminals continue to use ransomware to conjure up debilitating cyberattacks.
Another new reality is the expanding organizational perimeter due to extensive cloud adoption, use of mobile devices for work, and the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) and the related IIoT (Industrial IoT) and IoMT (Medical). When these devices connect to the corporate network, they extend the perimeter of the organization to the edge. IoT devices increases cyber security risks due to their dependence on newer communication technologies such as 5G, Wi-Fi-6, and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) since they require high throughput and very low latency. The increased risks are also because of the lack of standards regulating the different IoT device vendors and 3rd party cloud providers.
Implementation of technologies like Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has become important in these times where remote work has become the norm. ZTNA helps security teams track access in real-time, round-the-clock. The clearly defined controls grant access only at the application, data, and services levels and not to the entire network. ZTNA eliminates the gaps in other secure remote access technologies.
Intent-based networking is also proving very effective in creating robust networks. It is an advanced version of software-defined networking that leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to automatically direct the network to enable the defined ‘intent’. Intelligence infused networking software configures, defines policies, builds event response mechanisms, scales, and protects the network. This type of network drives higher levels of security since the intelligence in network monitoring constantly scans for threats and any breach is immediately detected and remediated. An intent-based network gives administrators a 360o view of the network and its performance and provides a continuous stream of data about itself to enable analytics for actionable insights.
Such solutions implemented in alignment with Gartner’s CARTA (Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment) framework are helping enterprises strengthen their networks. CARTA is a strategic approach to information security where decisions and security responses are made based on risk and trust and continuously adapted to the context and learnings gained over time.
DevSecOps is a widely adopted development methodology that tightly integrates infrastructure and application security into every phase of the software development lifecycle. It is a natural progression from DevOps due to the demand for secure software delivered at the speed of agile and DevOps-led development and deployment. Application security testing and fixes as a separate process at the end negated the very purpose of DevOps and became an unacceptable hurdle. DevSecOps addresses security issues as they emerge when they’re easier and less expensive to fix. Additionally, DevSecOps makes application and infrastructure security a shared responsibility of development, security, and IT operations teams, rather than the sole responsibility of the security team.
Gartner’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework addresses the new challenges of expanding boundaries and is a cloud-based enterprise security framework. The SASE model delivers network and security services ensuring controls at the edge, from a cloud-native platform. This integrated with ZTNA, Web Application and API protection as a Service (WAAPaaS) and Cloud Secure Web Gateway (SWG) coupled with technologies like Single Sign-On (SSO), Multi-Factor authentication (MFA), and data encryption are helping to strengthen security and to provide operational resilience in emerging digital business scenarios. All these technologies use AI/ML at some level to build intelligence into dynamic asset discovery, real-time monitoring including edge monitoring, threat intelligence, proactive vulnerability detection and pre-emptive auto-remediation of security vulnerabilities.
The unpleasant truth is that while security vendors are using AI/ML technologies to build advanced security solutions, cybercriminals are also using them to build malware to outsmart the tools. This is why the evolution of cyber security can never stop and needs to be an on-going process. While technology is one enabler of secure enterprises, the building of a security conscious culture at work is critical – a culture where every employee feels fully responsible to adopt safe security practices.
GAVS has extensive experience and expertise in providing comprehensive cyber security and data privacy solutions to organizations across industries. You can find more information at the respective links.