The cybersecurity industry is at a turning point.
Traditional security approaches were already struggling to deal with rising cyberattacks, a shift to cloud and explosive growth in Internet of Things (41.6 billion IoT devices by 2025, anyone?).
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and all the changes that were fomenting for years accelerated, with remote work becoming the norm and digital transformation taking on urgency. New levels of complexity are piling on top of an environment that was already too overwhelming for most organizations.
To me, the biggest risk in cybersecurity today is that organizations can’t keep up with the amount of work it takes to be secure. The people on your cybersecurity teams are drowning under an impossible amount of manual work. When people are asked to use manual processes against machines, they can’t keep up. Meanwhile, the hackers are getting smarter every day. They use machine learning (ML) algorithms to scale attacks that can only be successfully prevented by comparable techniques.
Under these conditions, you’ve got a perfect storm brewing.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that these challenges can be addressed. In fact, now is the right time to fix things. Why? Because everything is in transition: cloud adoption, a mobile workforce, the proliferation of IoT, etc.
In this sophisticated threat landscape, you can’t be reactive — you must be proactive. You need integrated machine learning to lift the burden off cybersecurity teams, so that they can be faster and more effective in dealing with attacks. At the same time, you must embrace cloud delivery and a holistic approach to cybersecurity.
Where’s the core foundation?
A popular expression from a few years back was “the cloud changes everything.” OK, it doesn’t change everything, but it does change a lot.
When organizations move to the cloud, they’re often unprepared. Staking critical pieces of their business on a cloud future without understanding the full implications of cloud can be challenging. And it doesn’t help that they are inundated with so many disparate products on the market that don’t work easily together.
If your security teams are drowning now, the cloud will hit them like a tsunami.
Automation can help ease the burden. But it’s nearly impossible for security teams to operate successfully when there are multiple vendors that need to be manually integrated and managed.
Most organizations have taken a stopgap approach to cybersecurity over the years. Each time there is a new type of threat, a new set of startups are founded to come up with a solution to counter it.
I have seen companies with dozens, or hundreds, of disparate security products that don’t interoperate and don’t even offer the possibility of a holistic approach to cybersecurity. This has become a house of cards. One product piled on top of another, with no core foundation to hold everything together.
It’s time to act. The technology to do cybersecurity right is available. It’s all about how you deploy it.
A new model for cybersecurity
The future of cybersecurity depends on a platform approach. This will allow your cybersecurity teams to focus on security rather than continue to integrate solutions from many different vendors. It allows you to keep up with digital transformation and, along the way, battle the perfect storm.
Our network perimeters are typically well-protected, and organizations have the tools and technologies in place to identify threats and react to them in real-time within their network environments.
The cloud, however, is a completely different story. There is no established model for cloud security. The good news is that there is no big deployment of legacy security solutions in the cloud. This means organizations have a chance to get it right this time. We can also fix how to access the cloud and manage security operations centers (SOCs) to maximize ML and AI for prevention, detection, response and recovery.
Cloud security, cloud access and next-generation SOCs are interrelated. Individually and together, they present an opportunity to modernize cybersecurity. If we build the right foundation today, we can break the pattern of too many disparate tools and create a path to consuming cybersecurity innovations and solutions more easily in the future.
What is that path? With an integrated platform, organizations can still use a wide range of tools, but they can coordinate them, manage them centrally, eliminate silos and ensure that all across the organization they are fighting machines with machines, software with software.
Only with an integrated platform can cybersecurity teams leverage automation to rapidly monitor, investigate and respond across multicloud environments and distributed networks that encompass users and devices around the globe.
2020 is a year of accelerated transformation. You can break the old cybersecurity way of doing things and embrace a new approach — one driven by machine learning, cloud delivery and a platform model. This the future of cybersecurity. It is a future that, by necessity, has come upon us faster than we would have ever imagined.