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Transparent Orchestration of Security to Accelerate the Digital Transformation Journey
By: Sumedh Thakar, Chief Product Officer, Qualys
The extension of infrastructures from on-premises IT environments to multiple cloud ecosystems delivers organizations newly transformed digital services with increased value. However, this requires a fundamental shift in IT and security operations. Security must be orchestrated transparently to fit into the overall digital transformation framework. This approach will inspire a higher level of security confidence with IT and developer teams, enabling organizations to securely accelerate their digital transformation.
The main barriers to securing digital transformation include cultural and functional silos. In recent years, the number of functional security owners has increased, each bringing with them their own tools and their own processes. There is an overabundance of security tools, a shortage of cyber security practitioners and a lack of collaboration between teams.
However, the opportunity to build security in has never presented itself in the way it has today. According to BT's "Leading from the front" study (PDF), most CEOs (64 percent) rate security as 'very important' in 'helping their organizations to achieve digital transformation objectives.' Digital transformation means that many organizations must not only retool themselves but fundamentally overhaul processes. In particular, the DevOps paradigm presents the opportunity to build security in and throughout the lifecycle of cloud resources with embedded and seamless workflows that build security into the fabric of this new architecture. This is what we like to call Transparent-OrchestrationTM.
Transparent-Orchestration involves a re-wiring of security to match how IT infrastructure has been rebuilt. Security must be automatically provisioned across a mix of networks, spanning legacy data centers to multi-cloud ecosystems, as well as mix of systems and devices. Ultimately, Transparent-Orchestration is about being able to provision without human intervention, about dynamically shifting in sync with changing resources and at scale.
Transparent-Orchestration can be thought of in the following three steps:
- Deploy Security Transparently
IT teams need single-pane visibility across all their assets whether on premises or across multiple cloud instances and whether physical, virtual or temporary. To do this, security deployment must be automated and lightweight across physical sensors for data centers, virtual sensors for hypervisors, sensors across clouds and that span to the container level.
- Monitor and Collect Data Transparently
IT and security teams need to be enabled with up-to-date and tailored views of their security posture, fed by telemetry data that can be analyzed in near real time without the processing overhead of conventional approaches - enabling teams to predict risk or respond quickly.
- Take Action Based on Previous Steps
As resources gain scale and variety, IT and security teams must still automatically detect threats and take action. If IT teams want to prevent devices from being a vector for injecting malware into cloud resources, they must put devices into lock down, isolation or kiosk mode based on many factors.
Leading security practitioners with these right teams, processes and tools can be enablers of digital transformation. For them, Transparent-Orchestration will ultimately accelerate digital transformation by integrating security seamlessly into the IT fabric.
As Chief Product Officer at Qualys, Sumedh oversees worldwide engineering, development and product management for the Qualys software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform and integrated suite of security and compliance applications. A core systems and database engineer, Sumedh started at Qualys in 2003, architecting and delivering Qualys' PCI compliance platform.
A long time advocate of the SaaS model and cloud computing, Sumedh worked at Intacct, a cloud-based financial and accounting software provider, before working at Qualys. Previous to Intacct, Sumedh worked at Northwest Airlines to develop complex algorithms for yield and revenue management for their backend reservation system. Sumedh has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering with distinction from the University of Pune.