The IT landscape is changing, and with that change comes challenges. One of those challenges is how we think about security perimeters. New technology like cloud-based apps and the increase in BYOD culture present challenges in access management. Big data has helped businesses use personalization and make better business decisions, but it also leaves them vulnerable for getting hacked. How organizations respond to these challenges can make a huge difference between success and failure.
These days, you don’t have to wait long for the next breaking story of a huge data breach. More and more organizations are using big data to make better business decisions and do smarter marketing, among other things. However, when companies use big data, they need to protect that data; it’s valuable to cyber criminals as well. Strong security perimeters are a must, and anti-virus is not enough to protect your borders. Some have already given up hope that protecting big data is possible. Laws are getting stricter regarding companies need to protect data, but that doesn’t mean security measures are keeping up. Big data means large amounts of data in many different formats, making security more difficult to navigate.
With applications moving to the cloud, devices are able to bypass traditional perimeter firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, resulting in a gaping security hole. The idea behind storing resources on the cloud is, in part, to make them easier to share; that also makes securing perimeters more difficult.
Traditional perimeter security does not work on the cloud because the organization using the cloud does not own the perimeter. Forcing users to access the cloud through a VPN client can be effective, but it can also mean connectivity issues and reduced battery life for devices, a productivity killer. One way to bypass these issues is to use Web virtualization where employees login to the company network from a Web portal that runs a dedicated VPN client in the cloud that connects with existing perimeter security.
The mobile workforce is growing—more people and more devices. While this may be great for productivity, it’s a nightmare for perimeter security. Security needs to be flexible enough to not hinder productivity while also keeping assets safe. To do this, organizations must first identify what needs protection, why and at what level. Effectively categorizing sensitive information is the first step in protecting it by providing the right level of access to mobile devices. While you need to encrypt intellectual property like proprietary software, product information used to close a sale does not need the same level of protection. With BYOD, protecting perimeters is important and part of that is creating and making sure employees understand the BYOD policy.
Data breaches can destroy a business; they get more expensive all the time and loss of reputation can mean the end of consumer trust. Being prepared to respond is essential, and so is perimeter protection. Perimeter security is not something businesses should put on the back burner; it needs to be assessed and updated as technology and threats advance.