Cyber security is about more than stopping threats; it is also about maintaining a robust and flexible security infrastructure that can scale and evolve to keep pace with the business. It is a trite but true claim – your security is only as strong as your ability to manage it.
In my line of work, I am constantly talking to customers and industry analysts to gain insights that will help us improve security management effectiveness and efficiency in our products. More importantly, we look for trends to educate us in building into our products the capabilities to handle incipient security challenges. From our research, some trends have emerged that we believe will transform the way security is managed today.
Security Consolidation. The best-of-breed security approach widely adopted today is at odds with improving security efficiency. Many solutions result in many consoles with different interfaces to manage. It also means data silos. We are starting to notice an openness among security teams towards security consolidation that results in their having fewer management consoles to deal with. The ideal situation is for all aspects of security, from policy management, device management to threat management to be integrated into a single platform and managed holistically. We are seeing this same trend when it comes to security policy management. A unified security policy that addresses users, data, applications, physical and virtual network traffic streamlines policy administration and improves enforcement consistency across the organization. Taking it a step downstream in the security management lifecycle, if threat management is also built into the general security management platform, this would provide a closed data feedback loop for incidence response.
Security Automation. While end-to-end automated security controls are still a thing of the future, there are aspects of security management that can now be automated. These include repetitive tasks and security provisioning in the cloud. To keep pace in cloud environments where applications or services are provisioned in and out constantly, security has to be embedded into the fabric of the cloud infrastructure and automated – not sitting outside of it.
Security Operationalization. Security teams have traditionally been responsible for managing all aspects of security. This puts tremendous workload pressure on lean security teams who find themselves constantly in firefighting mode. With the emergence of on-demand services and agile DevOps, it makes sense to parse security provisioning out to the same teams responsible for these services and applications. A security policy that is segmented according to function makes it possible to operationalize security; by delegating routine configuration tasks, it frees up security teams to focus on security monitoring and incidence response.
What trends are you seeing in your organization?
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Jane Goh has worked in IT security product management for more than 10 years. Before joining Check Point, Jane held senior positions at various Silicon Valley startups and security industry leaders, including Imperva, Coverity and VeriSign. Jane currently manages the Security Management product line at Check Point. Jane has a B.Sc. from UC Irvine and an M.A. from UCLA.