From a state of security standpoint, the past year can be summarized as the year that saw an overnight shift to remote working and rapid uptake of cloud technology. A major fallback of this shift was that critical security practices were sacrificed. It caused less technological visibility, lack of control and therefore created a larger, more varied attack surface for adversaries to target.
According to the Splunk State of Security report, in the last one year more than four in five organizations suffered at least one security incident, business email compromise and data breaches being the most common issue. As a result, organizations, especially mid-size businesses, have faced the brunt with decreased agility as well as faced challenges in their digital adoption journey.
We are nearly in mid-2021, where we are dealing with the security challenges broadly categorized under three pillars: consistency, cost and complexity. Security experts globally have cited maintaining consistency of policies and their enforcement across data centers and cloud as very critical. They have also highlighted the cost and complexity of using multiple security controls leveraging new software development models and unsafe public cloud usage as the next great security challenge.
However, with the challenges of the Data Age, we have pivoted into a new age of IT security. In this scenario, organizations need to be prepared with best practices that will help them set aside from their competition but also provide a more secure infrastructure to their critical data. Here’s how organizations can battle against the security challenges and thrive in these tough times:
Need for transparency across environments
Organizations need to stay prepared and the security teams should be able to prevent cyberattacks on cloud-based applications and data. Hybrid visibility is the key, as it is extremely difficult to maintain comprehensive security with one cloud service provider. The Splunk report also reveals that 75% of cloud infrastructure users are multi-cloud today and 87% expect to use multiple cloud service providers two years from now, which will help in establishing concrete cybersecurity measures.
We are witnessing a similar trend in India, large enterprise customers are getting ready to embrace cloud strategy and it’s getting embedded in their roadmap. There have been repeated incidents of service outage in large Indian Banks, causing stress on customer experience. Operationally it’s becoming too complex, so the adoption of cloud is going to happen faster than we think.
Cloud complexity demands consistency
Public cloud usage has now become omnipresent and security teams, therefore, need to establish consistent control around data and visibility within the complex cloud infrastructure. It is important for organizations to choose a cloud-friendly route which is agnostic in terms of both architecture and cloud service providers. Organizations in Asia Pacific lag on cloud-native application architecture adoption because the tools they use don’t support cloud native applications. However, they are likely to catch up, as it is expected that over half (approximately 56%) of business-critical workloads in the APAC region will become cloud-native 24 months from now.
Aligning with the security implications of remote workspace
Providing comprehensive data security during remote working is hard, and security teams are looking to automate, and provide seamless and secure working processes. The greater security collaboration during the initial rush to remote work has resulted in a stronger focus on process automation and the use of security analytics. We’re seeing the results, which include organizations combining security and non-security data to better identify cyber risks that could impact business. These risks can then be tracked to specific business processes.
Preparing for the future
The Solar winds cyber-attack has resulted in far reaching implications and pointed out serious loopholes in our security infrastructure. However, we need to ask what have companies done to avoid another one? Surprisingly, it was found that less than half of the CISOs had briefed their senior leadership or boards about the SolarWinds hacks and their own organizations’ positions. It’s the time for organizations to adopt a data-centric framework, which will help them to look beyond domains, enhance the collaboration across specialization, and avoid overlooking the whole criticality of issues. It is high time that organizations start investing more in this area and come with a plan for the future.
Going forward, security priorities should be broadly around conducting more security training, investigating or deploying cloud-based security analytics and investing in tools to help automate and orchestrate security processes. Additionally, it would be advisable to actively develop an integrated software architecture for security analytics and operations tools.
The biggest key takeaway from the current state of security is that security is a data problem. Organizations need to understand that it is data that needs protection and it is data that indicates the threat points and the possible actions to be taken for its prevention. Many security leaders are taking action to keep up with intensifying security challenges. While more spending and more technology are good strategies, greater focus on cloud complexity, with better analytics and a clearer view of your data, is essential.
By Jyoti Prakash, Regional Sales Director, India & SAARC Countries, Splunk