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Solve Customers’ Past Cybersecurity Challenges with an Eye to Future Trends

By Jon Bove | December 27, 2017

Enterprise technology is constantly evolving. The past fifteen years have seen immense growth and constant, rapid change in how your customers execute daily operations, engage with customers, and compete in their market. In the past several years, customers have moved to virtualized datacenters, deployed cloud-based SaaS applications, optimized for mobility, and more recently, integrated cloud consumption and the Internet of Things (IoT).

As organizations have been innovating to capitalize on the latest technology, so too have cybercriminals. As more devices become connected, consumers share more information, and environments become increasingly distributed, attacks are being crafted to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in the expanding attack surface to find and steal data.

To this end, cybersecurity must always be a critical element of your customers’ innovations to ensure that changes in enterprise technology do not leave the organization vulnerable to attacks. However, this is easier said than done.

Challenges Your Customers Face Securing the Network

Traditionally, as your customers have attempted to incorporate security alongside innovation, they have run into issues surrounding implementation, borderless networks, and performance.

Implementation

Cybersecurity has always been a challenge to implement and fine-tune, requiring ample time and resources. But now, your customers are regularly innovating and expanding their networks, meaning their security solutions have to be updated just as often to stay relevant and effective.

As new applications and services gain traction and wide use, security must also be highly and dynamically scalable to keep up with increased traffic without missing any incidents. Moreover, most security deployed with new technology are generally siloed solutions that do not integrate with the controls already deployed across the network. This means that data from every individual security solution deployed network-wide has to be collated and correlated, by hand to uncover trends or assess threat intelligence in order to detect advanced threats. Such a complex and manual process cannot keep up with the speed of today’s attacks. 

Borderless Networks

Ensuring network security is becoming increasingly difficult for your customers as their network perimeters continue to erode. Historically, organizations have only been responsible for securing on-premises device and servers and securing and monitoring the network edges. However, today’s organizations must allow network access to applications, personal mobile devices, connected IoT devices, and more. At the same time, both infrastructure and services are being distributed out to the cloud.

This makes it almost impossible to definitively deny any single device access to the network. As such, organizations now need network security that can protect against devices owned by the organization as well as by individuals, while also providing security against any vulnerable applications or code used by those devices. These additional endpoints drastically increase the threat surface, meaning perimeter defenses are not adequate, and organizations must deploy threat detection controls as well. And with the growth of shadow IT, primarily comprised of cloud-based services being used by employees yet unknown to IT, these threats can come from almost anywhere.

Performance

If today’s consumers don’t get the information they need at the speed they expect, they will often move to competitors. As such, your customers cannot sacrifice any speed or performance for the sake of security. This is another ongoing issue as organizations seek to innovate to drive efficiency and compete effectively while remaining secure.

Deploying multiple security solutions without a proper architecture in place to support and integrate each service can drastically slow down the network. This is especially true in the cloud. Many of your customers are moving to the cloud because of the scalability offered, which allows uninterrupted performance regardless of traffic spikes or sustained growth. However, effective security that can provide deep traffic inspection, especially on increasingly encrypted data, requires much more processing power than data routing, making it challenging to avoid security bottlenecks across distributed environments.

These are the primary security issues that follow your customers throughout their digital transformation initiatives. As they look to deploy security solutions that address each of these challenges, they must also look further to consider how cybersecurity solutions will have to be adapted to future trends as well.

Cybersecurity for Future Enterprise Trends

In addition, we at Fortinet have also identified three additional trends that will complicate your customer’s existing network security challenges even further:

  1. The acceleration of cloud adoption
  2. Growing numbers of connected IoT devices
  3. The cybersecurity skill shortage

To combat all of these security challenges, Fortinet has developed a security architecture designed to address current needs , as well as future trends to ensure network security is not made obsolete by the next iteration of digital innovation.

The Security Fabric

Fortinet’s Security Fabric takes an architectural approach to security, ensuring your customers do not have to sacrifice performance for protection, or vice versa. The Fabric specifically addresses the three core security challenges for current and future trends by being broad, powerful, and automated.

The Fabric offers broad and scalable security than can span the network from IoT devices to the cloud as s single, integrated system of interwoven security devices and services. This approach allows security to automatically scale and adapt as networks and workloads expand and shift. Moreover, the Fabric is built around open standards and APIs to easily integrate with a growing range of third-party security solutions to simplify data collection and incident response.

The Fabric also increases visibility across the network, allowing IT teams to examine requests and devices on a granular level regardless of their location, as well as to see a single, holistic view across the distributed environment to better observe trends and attack vectors, orchestrate policy changes, and coordinate responses. This single-pane-of-glass visibility across network segments makes it simpler for IT teams to detect anomalous activity and data movement and then leverage a system of interrelated devices and technologies to launch an effective counterstrike regardless of where an attack originates.

As cyberattacks become more frequent, and security resources and personnel diminish due to the growing cybersecurity skills gap, automated security is more important than ever. The Security Fabric gives IT teams the ability to automatically distribute threat intelligence to each solution as well as respond to detected threats in real-time to ensure maximum protection.

Final Thoughts

As your customers innovate to stay competitive, security can be considered a hindrance or even a gating factor disrupting innovation due to issues with implementation, network borders, and performance. However, failing to update cybersecurity controls alongside network changes can leave customers susceptible to new cyberattacks from a growing number of threat vectors. Moving forward, organizations should take an architectural fabric approach to protect their network, while ensuring their security controls remain relevant.  

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