new tech can transform your business, but pose new security risks


Revolutionary technology trends are rising to the fore, and intertwining in powerful ways, to reshape businesses, industries and even entire social structures.

Some of it sounds wonderful (the massive acceleration of smartphones in the developing world enables unprecedented access to formal economies). Some of it sounds scary (predictions that 40-50 percent of jobs could be lost to artificial intelligence).… And some of it just sounds confusing (how are we as businesses going to make sense of the flood of new data we’re gathering?).One thing for sure, is that business is changing. But as you embrace new technologies, partnerships and ecosystems, your threat landscape rapidly expands, and security becomes far more complex. 

Wide visibility

Darren Anstee, chief security technologist at Arbor Networks, highlights the need for organisations to have a “well-orchestrated set of integrated, next-generation endpoint and network security solutions – to protect them while allowing their users to benefit from the latest new technologies”.This begins with having real-time visibility over everything happening on your network. “It’s critical to have broad and deep traffic visibility and early-warning threat detection. When these alarm bells ring, you can jump immediately into action.”

It’s only by viewing your security landscape through a wide-angle lens, across a vast swathe of systems and access points, which you can hope to, intercept threats. Anstee advises that the different components of your security architecture should co-exist in a state of harmony. Different security solutions should work together to detect patterns, pass information between each other, and thwart multi-vector attacks that try to penetrate different areas of the organisation simultaneously. Consolidate all these tools into a central dashboard, he adds, to create a clear view of your overall security posture. This allows you to more easily benchmark your approach against compliance requirements and industry best-practices. 

Balanced approach

Pivotal trends are certainly changing the very nature of business – and leaders are grappling with how best to apply the Cloud, Software-as-a-Service, Mobility, The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and more. Anstee says businesses shouldn’t shy away from exploring or embracing cutting-edge technologies, but advises that security is considered as upfront, as the number one priority: “With new connected devices, enterprise mobility, APIs and more fluid partner networks, the security perimeter is extending outwards.”

“As your network expands, grows more complex, and accepts new types of devices, you need the most advanced threat monitoring and protection tools.” Your security solutions should be composed to fit your unique needs, with the core function of ensuring iron-clad protection for your most critical assets (the likes of identity, data, device and apps). Further to this, you should embed real-time monitoring and advanced analytics – to respond to malicious activities outside and inside the organisation.

“New innovations are essential to the health and future of the business, but before bringing new innovations into the organisation, the IT and the executive team should clearly define the benefits, the risks, the policies, and the way it affects your broader security posture.” Moving towards more modern, more digital ways-of-working also requires an accompanying cultural change, adds Anstee. Instil the principles of vigilance and personal accountability around security issues, so that security considerations become a part of the organisation’s DNA.

Ultimately, these converging technological ‘hyper-trends’ will mean massive volumes of data passing through your network. With the right network security tool at the heart of your security portfolio, you can detect incoming threats, while also improving traffic flow, optimising service performance, and providing business insights.

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