Cybersecurity

Comprehensive cyber shielding for the Connected Enterprise

Most organizations in the ASEAN region have suffered a high degree of disruption and fragmentation over 2020, and this turmoil is reflected in the technology systems underpinning the business. A suddenly-distributed workforce and an enforced, swift reliance on technologies that reproduce in-person communication and collaboration have meant that IT departments have been under exceptional strain.

In addition to the security implications of the enlarged security footprint, many IT professionals have also had to cope with the organization hastily accelerating digital transformation initiatives. Migrations to new services that may have been planned to take six months or more have been rapidly completed in a matter of weeks or even days. Decisions like that, while meant to solve many problems thrust on the organization by the virus epidemic, have at least put IT functions on the back foot, if not struggling to cope with new topologies.

In many cases, the transition to cloud-based storage, compute and services has been successful from a business perspective, but the possibility of cybersecurity breach has risen sharply. Cybersecurity departments find themselves in reactive mode, rather than their preferred proactive stance. Most security professionals will tell you that taken individually, shifts in the organization’s mode of deployment of apps and services (from on-premise to cloud, for instance) are well within their ability to absorb in a security blanket sense. But taken together, multiple new apps, services and modes of working have added up to a situation in which — by necessity — a piecemeal approach to protection has had to be rushed to emplace.

While just a lucky few businesses or governmental organizations have the internal resources, expertise and budget to fulfil their weighty responsibilities, most do not. Many turn for help to MSSPs (managed security service providers) to help them produce a unified method of protecting the new shape and processes of the business.

Here at Tech Wire Asia, we’re looking at the new generation of MSSPs that are helping many companies in any vertical to adapt and protect quickly. Few lesser-known vendors have the wherewithal and the skills to protect every aspect of the modern company or not-for-profit. Most cover off a single area, like endpoint protection, or the integration of security policies into DevOps working methods, for example.

Cybersecurity

But the four providers we focus on below are more than capable of taking on, and shoring up any existing cybersecurity provision, and adapting it to the organization’s new working paradigm. We’ve deliberately chosen to look at the big-name providers, not because smaller, boutique vendors are not capable of covering all the bases required, but because this size of company has often grown by acquiring other vendors along the way. As companies grow and merge with others, the overall potential for protection grows at a faster rate: expertise coming as a direct result of the companies’ mergers.

With the ASEAN enterprise more exposed to security risk than it has been before, the following MSSPs are capable of helping companies both adapt their defences, but also create policies fit for the new working models that most organizations find themselves adopting as 2020 draws to a close.

In many ways, what is required is an openness to change and adaptability so that whatever 2021 throws at the cybersecurity professional, they have the technology partner that suites them best alongside.

VERIZON

With 28 offices across 12 countries in the Asia Pacific, Verizon Global Enterprise provides secure, global connectivity and collaboration solutions to large enterprises and governments.

It manages 500,000+ network, hosting, and security devices and 5,000+ networks in 150+ countries with a global IP network spanning over 1.3 million network route kilometers. Verizon’s cloud connect service Secure Cloud Interconnect joins five cloud gateways in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and India.

In the Asia Pacific, Verizon focuses on four areas: managing corporate networks, cybersecurity services, customer experience transformation, and fleet management telematics. Verizon also runs its Asia Pacific Advanced Security Operations Center (SOC) in Australia, one of 9 SOCS that monitor 61 billion security events globally every year.

The rise of remote working of late has accelerated a shift in how companies approach cybersecurity. Verizon’s Regional Vice-President, Asia Pacific, Robert Le Busque said that customers might have thought of cybersecurity as building a perimeter around the corporate network, but they also need to consider the information outside the ring-fence.

“Many large and small organizations have adopted new technologies such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, increased cloud-based storage and the use of third-party vendors […] While these SaaS solutions, or the cloud itself, are not inherently less secure, they have given rise to new security concerns as many organizations are hurriedly adopting them. They may be forced to do so while relying on fewer personnel and less revenue thereby multiplying the risk.”

For more information, please find out more here, or keep watching Tech Wire Asia for a fuller review of the Verizon solutions.

Cybersecurity

F5 NGINX

Since its acquisition by F5, the NGINX open-source platform has gone from strength to strength. Now offering a paid tier that comes with necessary tooling not readily available for roll-your-own deployments, the platform combines multiple security provisions into one place.

A modern NGINX roll-out now includes DDoS protection, API management, gateway and microservice traffic analysis, proxies and reverse proxying, plus the embedding of security guidelines into the structure DevOps works in. The company terms the latter “guardrails” which are designed to guide rather than stop developers, making sure that iterative operations at all stages of the development life cycle can continue without security teams having to throw virtual spanners in the works of their developer colleagues.

The NGINX platform pulls together full oversight of all features into one centralised dashboard, one that’s entirely malleable according to which elements have been deployed, and tuned to the organization’s overall needs with regards security oversight.

You can read more about NGINX from F5 Networks here on this site, or get in touch with a representative from the company in the first instance.

SYMANTEC (Broadcom)

Considered by many a market leader, Symantec is a long-term player, especially when its experience is counted in “IT years”! The company empowers companies to consolidate processes surrounding cybersecurity onto a single platform, making overall management of a security provision a great deal easier.

With the skills gap an ever-present thorn in the side of many cybersecurity professionals, Symantec makes management of multiple discrete solutions easier, yet allows a high level of granular control — perfect for fine-tuning according to changing security priorities.

One area that Symantec is known primarily to excel is in endpoint protection, the nature of which has, of course, changed a great deal over the last thirty or so years. In the early days of the internet, endpoints comprised central (usually on-premise) servers, plus client computers.

Today, however, endpoint protection covers off hardware (and software) instances as varied as IIoT devices, network infrastructure devices, virtual machines, containerised applications and, especially, mobile devices like employees’ own phones and tablets.

The personal nature of many devices’ use over the last few months has thrown into significant relief the importance of securing every piece of hardware with access to the enterprise’s intellectual property, starting with the mobile phones-come-portable computers that many people use for hours each day, for both personal and work-related uses.

Cybersecurity

MIMECAST

The unfortunate fact remains that many of the cybersecurity breaches suffered by organizations in the last couple of years have been caused by people in a company opening links and/or media sent to them by email. In fact, there is probably no seasoned cyber-security professional able to say that in all honesty, they too have not clicked on a link they shouldn’t have!

With that in mind, it’s apparent therefore that ensuring email traffic is both unhindered yet safe is a critical cornerstone of any cybersecurity provision — and that’s where Mimecast comes in.

Even at the lower end of its paid plans, the Mimecast protection on offer will remove all but a few tenths of a percent of problems, and the more expensive tiers also cover off collaborative messaging platforms, email attachments like calendar invites, and the type of communication integration platforms that many deploy.

This specialist vendor, therefore, is proud that it remains best-in-class in this most common attack vector. If your organization is heavily email-dependent, we would recommend the Mimecast platform. That’s especially true in the case of Office 365 use, which as the ubiquitous email and office suite platform remains high on the list of attractive targets for malware authors and bad actors.

*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia