November 24, 2014 By Rick M Robinson 2 min read

Information technology (IT) and the ways businesses and other organizations use that technology are undergoing a transformative change. The cloud, along with mobile — the two are deeply intertwined — are changing the ways organizations manage their crucial information.

The requirements of information security are also undergoing dramatic changes. Staying ahead of threats is an ongoing challenge in the cloud and mobile era, while the threats themselves are ever more sophisticated. What can organizations do to protect themselves and their most valued data?

Moving Beyond the Myths

At a Web event in early November, Brendan Hannigan, general manager of IBM Security Systems, presented an overview of the new world of security threats and what organizations can do to protect themselves.

The first step in staying ahead of threats is letting go of security myths that remain pervasive. Firms continue to believe they are not infected; they are. Firms also believe that what they’ve already done is sufficient; it isn’t. They look for a magic bullet; there isn’t one. Or they believe that the whole company has to be put in a state of lockdown. It doesn’t.

The key to effective security is not wishful thinking on one hand and paranoia on the other. The key is deploying intelligence.

Staying Ahead of Threats

In everyday usage, “intelligence” means being smart. In a more technical sense, it means gaining information about threats. Both meanings apply to security intelligence.

Cybercriminals and other malicious hackers are relentless and sophisticated. However, they do not have magical powers. Their efforts to break into an organization’s information systems leave telltale traces. These signals can alert the security team to the attempted attacks and guide countermeasures to block the attack and safeguard priceless information.

A key first step in security intelligence is assessing an organization’s data and setting priorities. About 70 percent of the value of publicly traded corporations is embodied in intellectual property and other crucial data. Yet these “crown jewels” of information typically account for less than 2 percent of total data holdings. Not all data is created equal; the most critical data should be afforded the highest level of security protection.

Security In and Through the Cloud

Cloud computing has become a central feature in today’s information environment. Organizations look to the cloud for reduced costs and increased efficiency. Mobile technology relies on the cloud to connect devices and users. However, anxiety about cloud security remains widespread. This need not be the case. Tools for effective, integrated security across public, private and hybrid clouds are now readily available.

The essential components of cloud security are presented in a white paper that accompanied the Web presentation. These components are visibility, security intelligence and threat-aware identity and access management. Combined, they ensure organizations know who and what is going on in their cloud environments. By staying ahead of threats, organizations can ensure the cloud is a safe, secure environment.

More from Cloud Security

AI-driven compliance: The key to cloud security

3 min read - The growth of cloud computing continues unabated, but it has also created security challenges. The acceleration of cloud adoption has created greater complexity, with limited cloud technical expertise available in the market, an explosion in connected and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and a growing need for multi-cloud environments. When organizations migrate to the cloud, there is a likelihood of data security problems given that many applications are not secure by design. When these applications migrate to cloud-native systems, mistakes in configuration…

New cybersecurity sheets from CISA and NSA: An overview

4 min read - The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and National Security Agency (NSA) have recently released new CSI (Cybersecurity Information) sheets aimed at providing information and guidelines to organizations on how to effectively secure their cloud environments.This new release includes a total of five CSI sheets, covering various aspects of cloud security such as threat mitigation, identity and access management, network security and more. Here's our overview of the new CSI sheets, what they address and the key takeaways from each.Implementing…

Why security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) is fundamental to a security platform

3 min read - Security teams today are facing increased challenges due to the remote and hybrid workforce expansion in the wake of COVID-19. Teams that were already struggling with too many tools and too much data are finding it even more difficult to collaborate and communicate as employees have moved to a virtual security operations center (SOC) model while addressing an increasing number of threats.  Disconnected teams accelerate the need for an open and connected platform approach to security . Adopting this type of…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today