You may have been surprised when the media broke the story that China had infiltrated the entirety of the Federal Government’s employee records. But, when two countries are continuously involved in cyber warfare, you can expect some losses. An even bigger surprise is how often businesses of every size are targeted by cybercriminals. According to this week’s Manifesto released by Gigamon, cybercriminals have breached almost every major corporation in the United States. Breaches are happening more often and they are lasting longer than in the past. How did it come to this?
This is what happens when you aren’t watching
Employees just want to get the job done. Security often comes as an afterthought. Useful new technologies, such as cloud apps, have been taking over the marketplace. These new technologies make employees more efficient, but that efficiency comes with unforeseen costs. Many businesses have turned a blind eye to the risks that cloud apps create and mainstream security solutions have blind spots too.
But, cloud visibility can turn potential risks into opportunities.
What is cloud visibility and why is it important?
Cyber threats are increasing, compliance mandates are getting more complex, and the growing use of cloud apps is creating more challenges, such as Shadow IT. Anything that employees do on a network that isn’t monitored or explicitly allowed is considered Shadow IT. The problem with Shadow IT is that just about any virtual attack, hack, or information leak can occur without a business’s ability to know or prevent it. Cloud monitoring and visibility changes that. When an organization has full visibility into cloud activity, they can answer the following fundamental questions:
- What cloud apps are being used in our organization? And, what internal applications are using cloud connections?
- Who are the employees using these cloud apps?
- What are the behavior patterns? How often are specific cloud apps used? (trends, anomalies, etc.)
- What data is being passed back and forth between cloud apps? (such as customer account numbers, financials, credit cards, confidential customer information, etc.)
- Are we at risk by exposing confidential or sensitive data? (data loss, theft, compliance violations, etc.)
Step #1 for a Good Defense: Identify the Problem
Anything you want to fix or change starts with identifying the problem. Network and cloud monitoring is mostly automated: set it and forget it. All you have to do is analyze the information. The real power comes when you add cloud visibility, which gives businesses an understanding of the scale of risk Shadow IT poses and enables smart decisions. That’s why we’ve joined Gigamon’s We Fight Smart initiative. When security companies unite, cybersecurity improves for everyone.