Attributed to: Steven Gan, Country Manager for Southeast Asia at Qualys
The digital economy of Southeast Asia is growing rapidly, introducing significant benefits to the region but also increasing exposure to cyber threats.
As Southeast Asian enterprises digitally transform business processes to boost efficiency and sharpen their competitive advantage, it is inevitable for IT environments to become distributed, elastic and hybrid, which in turn can create challenges for security teams.
In a world where connected devices are exploding, visibility across all devices, both known and unknown, as well as environments, is essential. The increasing cloud, mobility and virtualisation adoption has blurred and even erased IT network barriers.
As a knee-jerk reaction, enterprises would usually turn to accumulating heterogeneous point solutions to address security and control issues but the result is often ineffective and counterproductive.
For decades, companies have struggled to maintain detailed, up-to-date security asset inventories. With the rapid explosion of technologies including mobile, containers, DevOps and cloud services, the task is even more challenging. The issue is more exasperating if the IT team deals with a heterogeneous stack of tools that are difficult to use and costly to deploy, integrate and manage.
Because of its difficulty to integrate, manage and scale a plethora of disparate security products, this strategy results in operational silos, increased costs and data fragmentation. It also makes organisations vulnerable to opportunistic hackers who take advantage of attack vectors created by the speed, openness and interconnectedness of modern IT systems.
Let’s use the example of the recently discovered Log4j vulnerability. Log4j is one of the most popular logging libraries used online by developers. Because it is both open-source and free, the library essentially touches every aspect of the internet, running on over 15 billion devices worldwide. It is portable across infrastructure, applications and endpoints, making it susceptible to exploitation.
Defending against a vulnerability such as Log4j requires a consolidated approach integrating multiple security solutions to quickly prevent and detect the vulnerability, as well as responding to its presence from a unified platform.
Visibility and Control Over New Boundaries
Creating an accurate inventory of the entire hybrid environment that includes anything connected to the network, which is constantly up-to-date and seamlessly integrated into the security stack, is the foundation for a comprehensive security programme.
Traditional best-of-breed point solutions can no longer do the job as they are siloed solutions that do not interact with each other and cannot offer the visibility enterprises need today. The result is that enterprises cannot secure what they do not know or see.
One Security Platform
The recommended approach is to build a unified platform that would allow for the acquisition of more telemetry, to enable organisations to create integrated solutions that eliminate false positives and facilitate automation.
The platform should be integrated, centralised and cloud-based to provide a single view of all IT assets as well as their vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. Enterprises must be able to slice, dice and analyse the data, visualise it with graphs and reports, share the findings with multiple stakeholders and respond to threats.
Addressing Emerging Challenges Ahead
The pandemic has accelerated migration to the cloud for numerous enterprises. To maximise investments in cloud and other innovations, enterprises must be agile enough to weather the changes ahead, including defending the organisation against security threats on an ongoing basis.
Other challenges on the rise include operating in an ever-expanding interconnected world that creates a complex ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers; the continuation of remote work in the new normal and associated security concerns and greater accountability on budgets, security posture and reducing risk.
Security is a journey and a long battle to fight. Enterprises must consistently improve their security posture against sophisticated threats, to focus time and resources on sharpening their competitive edge.
The advancement of innovations in recent years, including security automation, AI and machine learning, can help enterprises mitigate risks and achieve compliance through the unified platform approach while enhancing their overall security posture against new challenges ahead.