The Vanishing Perimeter

by Paul Passey

As devices become ever more connected and mobile, the traditional enterprise perimeter walls will quickly crumble.  These changes may already be occurring in the form of shadow IT or  businesses within your organization going outside of your normal IT delivery methods to gain the benefit of speed and lowered cost.  This represents a risky situation if you’re responsible for securing an enterprise that is demanding change.

castle

The time when you could rely on a hardened shell exterior and a soft interior are over. Companies need to weave security into every aspect of their technology implementations instead of just relying on outdated blocking techniques. Today’s lightning fast, hyper competitive environments will require businesses to become more agile, more mobile, more elastic, and simply more accessible.  The cloud, internet of things, big data analytics, and mobile technologies will redefine computing over the next 10 years and transform nearly every facet of all businesses.   This digital transformation is already ushering in a new era of computing, and businesses must adopt a new approach to securing their data no matter where it resides.  
One of the primary challenges to securing the modern enterprise is scale.  From mainframes, then minicomputers, to workstations and PC’s, and now mobile, each technology leap resulted in a massive increases in scale.  Securing a few hundred or thousand devices is a difficult task in itself, try securing a few hundred thousand or a million devices!  iOS and Android devices are outselling PC’s 5:1 and soon that number will grow to 10:1.

 

Source: Apple, Google, Gartner, a16z

Annual Unit Sales (bn) Source: Apple, Google, Gartner, a16z

 

This new scale is the primary driver for the vanishing perimeter.  Traditional enterprises cannot contain the number of devices coming online and that are necessary to compete in today’s marketplace.  Businesses are connecting with customers in ways that were not available 5 years ago, and to think that mobile is far from mature.  

 

In addition to scale, cloud is also dramatically changing the enterprise landscape.  As our data begins its migration to cloud based services, security leaders will have to rethink their sphere of influence and their visibility into emerging technologies. Most companies are securing the enterprise based on IT architecture that was developed 25 years ago when IT had full control over computing. New computing architectures will redefine how security is implemented.  It’s one thing to walk down the hall to talk to your security administrators to revoke someone’s access, but how do you deprovision data residing in AWS, Azure, Rackspace, Dropbox, Google Cloud, or a dozen or so apps that are storing your company’s sensitive data?  Sure Box, OKTA, and other web access control applications can help, but even they have limited uses cases.   The IT sphere of influence is an ecosystem of sensors and software, custom-built for the challenge it is to solve.  Companies will need to rely on new cloud security control services that can bridge the gap between your enterprise software policies and apply them to the next generation of cloud applications to ensure corporate governance is wherever your data resides.
Hopefully, you won’t have to tackle all these problems at once.   And as your team trains themselves on these emerging technologies it is important to maintain a strategy that includes long term goals that operationalize the management of monitoring at the scale that will be necessary.  It is also important to partner with companies that can lead you on this new adventure;  companies that know the right tools, considered the landscape, overcame the challenges, avoided the pitfalls,  and can lead you down this new path.  ImagineX has brought together a unique blend of vertical expertise, integration focus, modern delivery methods, and intense focus on execution, that can help you re-invent your business to meet the future head on while keeping a sharp focus on security.  Our security services help companies navigate these challenges and guide you through this new and rapidly changing landscape.  To begin the conversation, please send an email to info@imaginexconsulting.com

 

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