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A security trifecta: Encryption, analytics and applications

By Heather Wright, Fri 15 May 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Data encryption, application security and analytics are proving hot security areas, offering businesses ways to ensure that even if breached, they can remain ahead of the game – and providing resellers new opportunities in the burgeoning security market.

Marco Corrent, HP Enterprise Security Products ANZ regional channel director, says data encryption is riding high thanks in part to the move to cloud.

He says data encryption mitigates against any perceived risks of putting data in the cloud and ensures if it is stolen, or breached in some way, the data won’t be able to be accessed due to it being encrypted.

“If an adversary does breach your network and steal data, if that data is encrypted and needs a special key to decrypt it, it’s worthless to the adversary,” Corrent says.

“It’s an area that is really gaining momentum because you’ve got a lot of customers moving data and workloads to the cloud. They no longer have full visibility and full control of that data.”

 “If a customer is looking to deploy a cloud strategy, that’s one of the best, hottest areas to be talking security at the moment,” Corrent says.

"Those customers often will have to present a risk assessment to the business and one of the key issues in that risk assessment is security and who has ultimate control of the data."

HP Enterprise Security, which has just appointed Duo as its second New Zealand distributor, alongside Arrow, recently bolstered its portfolio, acquiring Voltage Security in February to expand its data encryption offerings. Voltage sits alongside HP’s Atalla information security and encryption business and highlights the trend to focus on end-to-end protection of data itself.

Corrent says protecting applications from attack is also proving a key area.

"What we are seeing now is cusotmer built applications that are facing the web, are tied in to back-end company systesm and critical customer data," he says.

“Adversaries are recognising that they can target those applications for vulnerabilities.”

He says unintentionally, many applications are open for vulnerabilities, having been written without a security focus in mind.

“Applications are designed for a particular business outcome and genearlly are developed with functionality in mind. And for forever and a day, application developers have been writing applications without a real focus on security in mind, as this has traditionally been the responsibility of the security teams within an organisation.

“Now customers are realising that they’ve made significant investments in firewalls and perimeter security, but they’ve deployed custom build web facing applications, and while there are levels of security behind the application, if an adversary can get in via the app, that’s a new vector for attack.

“Those applications now need to be secured.

“It’s an area we are really seeing take off.”

But despite best efforts Corrent says being able to protect against attacks is becoming more and more difficult due to the sophistication and velocity of targeted cyberattacks, and many companies are investing in analytics.

“That way they can monitor their networks and applications and see nefarious behaviour and shut it down more quickly,” he says.

“While perimeter security is still front of mind with many customers, they understand that they are still being breached and that security information and event management solutions (SIEM) solutions help identify the adversary once they're in.

“You can spend a lot of money keeping them out, but it’s very hard to stop a rogue employee, or someone bringing a USB stick in, or someone responding to a phishing email.”

While security may be a hot topic, Corrent says there are many New Zealand organisations that are still not fully aware of the sophistication of the adversaries and similar to Australia, there is an attitude that targets are the really large enterprises and government department.

"In reality it can happen to any organisation that holds valuable customer data or intellectual property," he adds.

“I’m not sure there have been enough examples of severe high profile seccurity breaches in the New Zealand market to really spark customers up to thinking that they can be a target of a sophisticated attack and that they have to start thinking about it in more detail.

“In Australia the threat landscape is becoming more prevalent and there are more and more examples of breaches, with some Australian organisations in various industry verticals and some federal government agencies breached and reported in the press.

"That has generated a lot of interest at the highest levels within organisations to really start considering cyber security as a key requirement."

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