Saturday 26 March 2016

A hard perimeter defence alone isn't enough

With the rapid adoption of blended on- and off-premise technology solutions, the traditional security perimeter is fast paling into insignificance. Information increasingly resides beyond the corporate boundary as data moves to mobile devices, cloud services, and other locations outside of the organisation’s network. Users are becoming more mobile and business stakeholders are increasingly specifying the shrink wrapped solutions they wish to consume.

These demands increasingly blur the corporate boundary and make management more complex, presenting an ever increasing challenge for those trying to maintain security of the organisation’s information assets. More than ever, these factors mean that the security approach now needs to be agile, layered, and responsive to users, but lets not forget that the internal threat remains.

Maintaining visibility of where data resides, how it is accessed and where it is used is key to any security strategy. In the past this was very straightforward as all data remained within an organisation on its network, PCs and servers. Even the traffic to the Internet passed through narrow choke points, but no more. Achieving the required visibility is much more complex today.

It’s impossible to adequately secure information without understanding where it rests, who has access to it, and how it is transmitted. While some visibility of data movements still exists within the corporate network, it isn’t complete. Unmanaged devices, particularly those not connecting via the corporate network, may access cloud services directly and as such data movements are largely invisible.

While cyber threats are without doubt an important consideration, we should not forget the internal threat. A robust perimeter may be a good first line of defence, but it does little to protect against those with legitimate physical and logical access within that perimeter. Multiple levels of defence, comprehensive monitoring, alerting and timely investigation and response are now essential components necessary to complement risk and vulnerability assessments.

AgilityIS can work with you, advising on current good practice, to ensure that appropriate security is implemented in a cost effective and pragmatic manner.