VMworld 2020: XDR and Cybersecurity Integration

Remote working has led to an increased demand for cybersecurity solutions. Today, almost all organisations are looking at how they can not only protect their data but also their employees who are accessing data from remote locations.

While most organisations have invested heavily on cybersecurity, be it for their cloud services or for on-premises infrastructure, employees accessing sensitive data on personal devices from remote locations on unsecured networks are a big concern for them.

Which is why most cybersecurity vendors are now offering XDR solutions for endpoints. If you were to just Google XDR security, you will find a huge list of vendors offering pretty much the same type of solution for protecting your endpoints, which in this case are your remote working employee devices.

Now, XDR is one approach to threat detection and response in cybersecurity. It’s a key element of defending an organisation’s infrastructure and data from damage and misuse. Businesses want to have visibility over their data and XDR provides them with that by connecting all the dots.

For Tom Corn, Senior VP of Security Products at VMware, XDR is ultimately about security threat detection and response. However, he added that businesses should not only be able to detect things that they can detect but also those they can’t detect, which is often non-malware

“Detecting this is looking at the actual activity and behaviour. Businesses need to find quickly where it’s happening. They need to rewind the cameras to understand the chain of where the attackers started, where they were and where have they gone, to understand the extent of the attack”, said Tom.

Watch more of what Tom has to say about XDR and why VMware is taking it seriously in our video interview with him below.

Also, as threats become more challenging and harder to detect, the ability for businesses to integrate cybersecurity is one way of ensuring they are well protected. According to Tom, for VMware, it’s not about securing things on VMware infrastructure.

“What we don’t want is to see is security become the lowest common denominator – only do things that you can do everywhere. For example, we’ve made our Carbon Black agentless on vSphere. We can’t do that everywhere but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it on vSphere. We need to make sure that we are supporting native EC2, native Google Cloud, bare metal and such”. 

One of the integrations announced at VMworld 2020 was the one-click integrations between VMware and Zscaler which will enable mutual customers to stop zero-day threats from impacting endpoints and enable true-zero trust conditional access to internal applications.

The flexible prevention policies and endpoint response actions of VMware Carbon Black combined with the advanced threat protection, sandboxing, better secure private applications access capabilities and visibility into files and corporate assets of Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange provide an endpoint-to-cloud solution that identifies risk across any environment.
This mutual solution also prevents those risks from impacting endpoints, enables zero-trust conditional access to internal applications and automatically responds in real-time to any activity found to be malicious.
While VMware is actively consolidating, Tom clearly stated that they are not trying to create ‘one security product to rule them all’. He added that VMware does not solve anything, they need to be able to operationalise technology with things available.

“Few companies can do a wholesome change of everything. Even though our platforms might have a whole range of capabilities, businesses will only want to start with a few as they are still using others. Over time, they may add more as contracts change and such”.

Tom stated that integrations are a big priority for VMware and the culture comes from vSphere whereby as a platform, the ecosystem is everything.

“We see it as the value to our customer to making it easier to operationalise the technology in their workflow and system. They need to get more value out of the assets they already have and fill in the pieces that are not solved”, he concluded. 

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