Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

3/7/2016
07:15 AM
Amrit Williams
Amrit Williams
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

Cloud Survival Guide: 3 Tips For CISOs

To thrive in the cloud era, CISOs must refashion their roles as business enablers, adopt automation wherever possible, and go back to the basics on security hygiene.

We’re undergoing one of the biggest transformational changes in IT since the introduction of the personal computer. We’ve evolved from mainframe to the PC client-server era, to cloud computing and mobile. Companies can now spin-up compute and storage resources in minutes and end-users can access information from almost anywhere, including 35,000 feet in the air.

This brings great opportunities for businesses to redefine themselves, but it also brings new challenges. Among the biggest concerns I hear about are how to keep corporate data secure, regardless of where it resides. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) still need to protect the business, but they need to do so facing an increasingly hostile threat environment, transformational IT change, regulatory and compliance initiatives and a serious lack of security talent.  

What’s a CISO to do? I have three suggestions:

Be a business enabler, not a gatekeeper

Despite having “security” in the title, the top priority for any CISO isn’t to just lock data down; it’s to enable the business. No longer can the security team be the department of “no” to end users and executives who want to use new technologies that will help them do their jobs better. This means CISOs need to put an end to draconian policies that restrict behaviors such as the use of mobile devices, cloud apps and new software tools. They need to allow the business to adopt new technologies, especially those that improve productivity and efficiency while lowering costs.

 The shift from restrictive to permissive requires a serious change in the way CISOs think about their role and about security. The correct mindset should mirror the overall IT environment. CISOs need to embrace the dynamic openness of data flows and devices in today’s cloud-based environments where perimeter walls have fallen down, letting data flow into and out of the network. Similarly, it’s futile to hold end users back from the technologies they want to use. The result is rogue and shadow IT that compromises security all the more.

Take advantage of automation
As data, devices, users and workloads multiply, your security team needs to become more agile and efficient by taking advantage of scalable technologies that enable automation and granular control of data, devices, users and workloads. For example, one area where security automation can support modern infrastructure is in the way new code can be developed and delivered. Delivering new code to customers used to take six months. Now organizations can deliver code every hour if they want.

Automation platforms also help IT keep on top of security and improve efficiency during staff shortages. Instead of sticking with manual processes, CISOs can turn to automation and free their personnel to focus on higher level tasks software can’t do, such as analyzing  potential threats, dealing with policy violations and misuse of corporate resources, and adopting innovative technologies to improve the business overall.

Don’t forget the basics
Instead of trying to find a silver bullet to take on sophisticated and stealthy advanced persistent threat attacks, CISOs can benefit greatly from practicing good security hygiene. Things like strong access controls, data encryption, software updates and patching, threat detection and vulnerability management are all basic and easy, yet many companies are woefully inadequate about doing them consistently. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could have been easily avoided. Instead of worrying about so-called “next-gen” technologies, CISOs should look back at best practices from the past ten years and follow them.

Related Content:

 

Interop 2016 Las VegasFind out more about security threats at Interop 2016, May 2-6, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas. Register today and receive an early bird discount of $200.

Amrit Williams has over 20 years of experience in information security and is currently the chief technology officer of CloudPassage. Amrit has held a variety of engineering, management and consulting positions prior to joining CloudPassage. Previously, Williams was the ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DorisG987
50%
50%
DorisG987,
User Rank: Strategist
3/12/2016 | 5:51:59 AM
CISO Training
Edgar Perez is teaching a 3 Day Masterclass in Cybersecurity designed for C-level executives and senior managers. Furthermore, he offers cyber security workshops for boards of directors and CXOs worldwide. He is the author of The Speed Traders and Knightmare on Wall Street, and his comprehensive training programs have been widely recognized by the media for his independent and non-biased approach.
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
3/7/2016 | 9:25:30 AM
CASB
I highly recommend incorporating a CASB. This will not only help identify shadow IT on the network but allow you to incorporate DLP in the cloud space. As the article stated, you don't want to be a gatekeeper and block things unnecessarily. Ultimately, you are there to support the business but that does not mean you do not want to monitor what type of data is being funneled into the cloud.
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...