Cloud Threat Protection: A Good Defense Is a Strong Offense in Data Security

Many of the same characteristics that make cloud computing attractive — scalability, flexibility, accessibility, rapid application deployment, user self-service, enhanced collaboration and location independence — can also make it challenging to secure.

Traditional data security defenses such as firewalls and antivirus software have proven insufficient against today’s threats. That’s why attackers continually improve their techniques and evolve their malware to evade detection by taking advantage of insufficient and disconnected security technologies.

Security threats are on the rise in today’s digital landscape, and organizations often have no way to conduct forensic analysis on suspected incidents. They are faced with a sea of security information coming from dozens of tools and from different parts of the organization.

Today’s fragmented approach to cloud security does not provide sufficient threat protection or increased requirement support. To stay ahead of advanced threats, data security teams need integrated solutions that are designed to help disrupt the entire life cycle of an attack — from the initial break-in to the final exfiltration of sensitive data — with preemptive defenses, powerful analytics and open integrations.

What today’s organizations need for their clouds are integrated, comprehensive solutions that can deliver security intelligence. Advanced security intelligence solutions can close security gaps by using labor-saving automation to analyze millions of events occurring within the cloud through the normalization and correlation of these events with advanced threat intelligence. These tools can then remove false positives, add context and help you reduce vulnerabilities.

Cloud-based threat protection helps companies find advanced malware that has evaded existing data security measures. Security teams require evolving defenses that are able to actively prevent previously unseen threats.

Data Security Is a Big (Data) Problem

Where the security market has gravitated toward threats, business analytics gravitates toward risk. Common measurements today include both the severity and sophistication of the attack.

Utilizing business analytics, organizations can break down the existing communication barrier between executive decision-makers and technical subject matter experts using easily understood risk scores that reveal current and historical perspectives on the performance of the enterprise security policy and the origin of the risk.

Organizations need real-time analytics on massive amounts of security-relevant data from across the enterprise to detect stealthy attackers lurking within the enterprise — as well as the ability to predict and prioritize security weaknesses before an attack occurs. They also need incident forensics to help identify root causes and respond to future attacks.

In response, organizations are turning to new, proactive solutions. Detection-only technologies may help to identify attacks, but they are effective only after the attacks have been successfully executed. Detection is absolutely important, but it is not a deterrent; prevention is sometimes harder, but it can also be much more effective against threats.

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Crystal Moody

Product Manager, Security Intelligence

Crystal has spent the past decade fostering innovation and new product development, focused on solving market problems in information security and cloud computing. Crystal is currently a product manager focused on Security Intelligence for IBM Security Services. Prior to joining IBM, Crystal spent several years with Dell as a product manager for Incident Response and Security Consulting. Crystal holds a masters degree in Economics from Georgia State University.