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Changing IT strategies

| 15th September, 2016

The move from defence in depth to distributed integrity

As the IT security landscape changes, IT security strategy has to change too. But before we discuss this new IT security posture, we need to understand what is driving change in the IT security space and in which direction IT security is headed.

There are two major trends to take note of. One, the bad guys are already inside the defences, and so looking out constantly means organizations run the risk of missing them. Two, new architectures, zones of trust and mistrust, deeper analytics and insight are the way forward. In this scenario, CIOs need to take into account new methods of agile defence: distributed integrity, containerization, and analytics.

An era of self-defending applications

IDC research has predicted that by 2019, adoption of application containerization for 3rd Platform applications in private, public and hybrid cloud scenarios will rise more than 30%, producing an era of self-defending applications.

Though it is still an early innovation, application container technology is quickly gaining momentum. What makes it attractive is its ability to reduce the compute necessary to run applications and its flexibility to run in cloud environments.

In Asia Pacific (AP), container technology is still in its infancy in terms of the adoption rate. However, IDC researchers believe that the rate of adoption will increase as non-AP businesses start to reap the rewards and share the benefits publicly. However, the danger is that in the rush to containerize, security may be left out of the business conversation. Therefore, it is likely that the embedded security approach will only materialize after a number of attacks reveal issues in the architecture locally.

Tracers and tethers architecture will surpass 2nd Platform perimeter defenses

IDC has also predicted that by 2018, 2nd Platform perimeter defenses will be surpassed by 3rd Platform- architected, meshed security systems based on a tracers and tethers architecture, creating symbiotic security defenses.

IDC has identified an evolving security model that eschews defense in depth, layers, and perimeter security in favor of a 3rd Platform-architected, distributed model based on a hub-and-spokes architecture, which they call "tracers and tethers" (TnT). A TnT architecture consists of a strong centralized command and control environment connected to decentralized sensors and policy enforcement points (PEPs). IDC believes that the APeJ markets will see some of the more advanced organizations and governments move to this architecture. The vast majority, however, will still be slowly advancing on a defense in depth strategy – an entire revolution behind the current trend.

Organizations that are successful in building out a TnT architecture will have the opportunity to automate policy enforcement at the application level. The failure to adopt this security strategy will limit the ability of business to safely deliver on 3rd platform products and services, hampering future growth and competitive objectives. It will also make the organization an attractive target for hackers.

In summary, these developments should compel organizations to take steps to lay the foundation for a cohesive security architecture by identifying solutions that bridge siloed security systems. IDC researchers recommend that integration with a broad range of complimentary and competing security products will be the key to future existence.