Guest blog by Richard Curran, Intel Security Officer for EMEA,
As part of our ongoing deep dive into the changing landscape of risk and security, we’re speaking with our valued partners to share as many perspectives as possible on the cyber security challenges facing today’s organisations. Richard Curran gives below his views on why IT departments must change their approach to security and look towards a next generation solution…
In just a couple of years the old methods of IT security have become outdated and are now failing to offer the protection that today’s businesses need. We need a new approach.
While security may have the same priorities as other areas of the business – be more effective on a smaller budget, and ensure that you can prove your value to the C-suite – the landscape is constantly shifting. To put this change into context: while in 2005 organisations could expect to fend off one new cyber threat per week, Intel’s Global Threat Intelligence were identifying five new threats per second in 2015!
Not only are the threats more frequent, but they have become more sophisticated, breaching the perimeter defences with ease and, subsequently, running riot with unfettered access to confidential or mission critical data and applications.
Organisations must react, matching these attacks by pushing security further into the core of the infrastructure. If perimeter defence is no longer enough, then organisations need to take new perspective.
One of the new solutions on the market is VMware NSX. With its ability to secure an organisation’s technology stack all the way down to the virtual machine level, NSX is coming when it is needed most.
For Intel, NSX works with our security suite to provide an operational and architectural technology that allows users to efficiently and consistently implement an effective security platform. We’re no longer securing our infrastructure; security comes from the infrastructure itself. This means no more questions over how organisations can embed security into their data centre – instead, through a software-defined approach, security is already integrated and ready to scale up as the data centre grows. It’s a whole new way of looking at the problem, limiting even the most serious threat to your organisation’s security.
Crucially, VMware and Intel’s partnership works on several levels…
Firstly, from a management perspective, providing a central point in the software-defined data center from which all security services and policies can be dictated and, ultimately, implemented.
What’s more, it also works from an operational standpoint, as Intel technologies and NSX are able to share information about workloads, policies and network events, and users are able to automate their security, as well as ensure it is adaptable against ever-changing threats.
Also, at an architectural level this combination of “hardened” Intel technologies such as Intel® TXT (Intel Trusted Execution Technologies) works wonders. Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) is the foundation for a chain of trust from server infrastructure into a known software environment and thus ensures that the software being executed hasn’t been compromised.
As NSX can provide a fundamental lock-down on services through its micro-segmentation capabilities, security can then be focused on higher risk infrastructure – for example, putting a spotlight on externally exposed servers. As ever, adaptability is key, and protection needs only be applied to relevant workloads, and can be removed if, or when, they are decommissioned.
As the cloud age continues, we’re going to see more Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) investing in this level of protection as it addresses a critical challenge within their infrastructure – specifically, what happens if one hacker breaches the outer defense. Using the traditional perimeter defense approach, that malware could run amok, moving from east to west through servers and disrupting any number of customers using the CSP’s services.
With NSX and Intel, even if a would-be-hacker makes it through the perimeter, they will be unable to move any further through the network. Stopped in their tracks, your organisation will be all the safer for it.
For more information on the VMware Partner Programme, visit: http://www.vmware.com/uk/partners.html
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