Recently organizations have been dealing with the need to digitally transform as securely as possible while meeting compliance requirements, especially in relation to data management. But the pandemic has highlighted that anyone not willing to embrace the shift to a more connected environment will face an uphill struggle to stay relevant.
Being the first to create a network security policy management (NSPM) product nearly two decades ago. FireMon understands the challenges decision-makers face as they contend with an unpredictable global economy, continuous technology, and the need to fulfill complex customer requirements.
The rapid evolution of the digital landscape that has facilitated innovation technologies often results in sprawling enterprise infrastructure. A shift requiring dynamic policies and processes on massively distributed hybrid networks helping business to keep up with the rate of change.
But it is not only business growth that requires this change. As the landscape moves towards a more cloud-enabled world, irrespective of the model, it also results in increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Take the Internet of Things (IoT) as an example. The more devices organizations have at the edge the wider the potential attack surface, and remote working environments make it increasingly difficult to apply the level of agility to enterprise security needed by this growth.
Harness flexibility and agility
Adding to IT leaders’ frustration is that there is no universally accepted way to leverage digital transformation, introduce more integrated cybersecurity, and still check the boxes required for compliance. We know the importance of being customer-led, insights-driven, and connected. But when facing an unknown cyberattack, even the best intentions get thrown out the window.
The building blocks required for organizations to embrace this shift differ significantly from business to business. The blueprint for achieving business resiliency and secure digital transformation in a modern IT era – is as elusive as it is difficult to define given the need to migrate legacy solutions to the cloud.
In this cloud and digital pressure cooker, misconfigurations inevitably occur. No matter how good your IT team, how effective the solutions are, and how integrated a cloud approach is, if mistakes or oversights are made at a fundamental level, they will compromise an organization. Misconfigurations are not intentional but an inevitable result of rapidly adapting to changing customer requirements.
But managing these moving parts, especially cyber security, while delivering optimally configured infrastructure to benefit from a transition to the cloud, is not easy, especially if you want to harness the flexibility and agility a shift to digital offers.
Viewing cyber security with new eyes
Central to this agility is having the ability to adapt and respond to changing business (and market) requirements in virtually real-time. The days or weeks it might currently take are not good enough.
Fortunately, most organizations understand how essential effective cyber security is. There is an awareness of the need to protect data, systems, and infrastructure from an attack at all costs. Now it comes down to how to do it on a practical level without taking too much focus away from the core operational mandate.
By now, most executives realize that a data breach is inevitable and no environment is entirely secure. What is vital is to guarantee all mandated policies and procedures have been put in place to mitigate against the risk of this happening. The cloud world means organizations must comply with legislation in their own countries and the regions they operate. Failure to do so carries significant financial penalties and will result in reputational damage.
Compliance and cyber security are two halves of the same coin
Balancing digital transformation with cyber security agility means being mindful of the potential for attack and adopting integrated network security policy management to reduce possible compromise.
Part of this means identifying the opportunities and risks of digital transformation efforts. This opens the door to chart the path for the processes and policies that help minimize the risks while providing the momentum required to harness opportunities.
Contrary to popular belief, network security compliance is not only about rules, and access control. And while ‘checking the boxes’ will likely always be part of this process, it is ensuring all elements perform well to help drive digital transformation in an agile manner.
Compliance and cyber security are two halves of the same coin. There is no getting around the one without requiring the other to provide guidance which is where a robust network security policy management framework factors. Not only will this integrate all the required elements in real-time, providing a full view of the entire network, but its adaptability helps business dynamically respond to evolving requirements.
Fundamentally, organizations must be able to leverage their cyber security to protect everything. From firewalls and devices (whether at the edge or on-site), to data stored in the cloud and the configurations done to process it, policy management is ultimately the glue bonding this together.