In many organisations, the IT infrastructure has grown organically over time and is not built to handle the demands of a modern cloud-based world of work. IT security is a topic that causes most businesses quite the headache because the way it is handled must be adapted to suit the modern, mobile workplace. IT security measures have to be effective wherever there are data and users and simply installing a VPN and firewalls falls well short. Instead, it’s worth taking a detailed look at the changes.
It used to be standard that all of a business’s data traffic flowed through the headquarters, even that from branch offices. This approach, however, is no longer viable in an age when large bandwidth, real-time access and fast responses are the foundation of business success. In modern hybrid infrastructures, the LAN and WAN architectures also need to be adapted as needed and support flexible and fast data traffic, but this requires businesses to implement more modern firewalls and IT security solutions than just a few years ago.
A growing number of employees need to be able to access data and applications flexibly and quickly no matter if they are in the office or at home. Identities are becoming the new perimeter meaning that individual employees are front and centre when it comes to assigning permissions and access. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one example, which we now know from a range of applications and products.
Companies can no longer isolate themselves as employees are constantly connected to the internet and use cloud services. Some businesses are trying to control access through the use of VPNs, but that has some unintended consequences such as tools becoming slower and video quality suffering during online conferences. Instead of turning to outdated VPNs, companies need to look to modern technologies because only then can the highest levels of security and modern cloud-based working be ensured. The zero trust concept is one example of a modern security approach.
Many companies are facing the issue of having solutions from several security vendors integrated into their daily business. This best-of-breed approach—selecting the best solution for the job, no matter who made it—used to be very popular, but such a plethora of solutions is completely unmanageable now. But that’s not the worst of it. Most of these standalone solutions aren’t completely compatible with each other and the resulting silos create security vulnerabilities, which hackers are all too happy to exploit. A best-of-need approach—consolidating vendor solutions down to those that are really needed and work with the infrastructure—is the far more modern solution. This has the decisive advantage that individual products are interlinked and that companies operate within one vendor’s ecosystem, or that of a few selected vendors. This means security solutions can share information via interfaces which enables automation and the use of AI and machine learning.
It’s important for you to tackle the subject of IT security well-prepared and that you develop a holistic concept.