Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec
Waves of digital transformation have impacted businesses and governments alike. Technologies such as cloud, mobility, and analytics businesses are able to stay flexible and scalable, while also maintaining a competitive edge. However, as companies embrace the digitized environment, security needs to be considered an integral part of the plan and not an afterthought. As systems grow more complex, become more interconnected, and handle more information, their exposure to vulnerabilities increases - whether due to malicious intent or human error. Consumerization of IT has further blurred the lines between personal and enterprise computing devices, wherein enterprise mobility continues to impact the enterprise IT ecosystem in India and across the globe.
The convergence of these trends has driven an explosion in the number of endpoints in an enterprise, improving access to corporate information, both on-premise and outside the corporate network. On the other hand, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) Vol. 21, cybercriminals are undergoing an organizational shift. They are adopting corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses in order to increase the efficiency of their attacks against enterprises and consumers. Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and highly skilled technical staff. It is no more a question of if or when an organization will be attacked - but how often.
Need of the Hour
As enterprises continue their journey of digital transformation, the potential for huge paydays means large-scale attacks are here to stay, signaling that companies of all sizes need to re-examine, re-think, and possibly re-architect their security posture. Security is increasingly becoming a part of boardroom agenda across organizations. It is time to go offensive and leverage the next generation of both threat and information protection technologies to fight sophisticated adversaries. This posture would entail: keeping adversaries out, protecting the valuable information that is inside, continuously gathering and applying intelligence to gain advantage, and providing comprehensive incident response and forensic support, in case of a breach.
Several enterprises today lack holistic IT security practices and technologies to deal with the new set of challenges posed by the advanced threats we are seeing today. Usage of anti-virus is no more solution for businesses. Advanced threats, such as ransomware, remote access trojans, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and zero-day attacks are on the rise. Security professionals can no longer rely on using individual point products at each control point to stop them. Given the complexity of infrastructure, businesses need to streamline solutions and capitalize on existing investments, deploying solutions which will integrate with prevailing infrastructure. Solutions like Symantec Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) leverage existing threat-protection infrastructure, helping companies to achieve an effective data-protection regime without the expense and implementation issues from vendors. It correlates suspicious activity across all control points and prioritizes the events that pose the most risk to an organization, thus addressing and remediating the risk in a time-efficient manner. This also provides the customer the ability to remediate everywhere, across all three control points. Implementation of requisite cloud and datacenter security solutions are also important as businesses progress toward automation and virtualization to achieve agility and cost savings benefits. A large number of data breaches can be prevented with best practices including patching vulnerabilities, maintaining good software hygiene, deploying email filters, using intrusion prevention and detection software, restricting third-party access to company data, employing encryption where appropriate to secure confidential data, and implementing data loss prevention (DLP) technology. Distinct threats require advanced security, including at the device-level, which will render malware useless.
Requisite solutions, best practices, coupled with ongoing education and training prepares an organization to protect against security breaches. The need of the hour is to adopt a scalable and flexible strategy, taking advantage of new features to equip them to combat unforeseen challenges to their security infrastructure.