Strategically Moving Towards a Secure Hybrid IT

May 10, 2017

Owing to lack of strategic foresight or sheer laziness, security has traditionally taken a back seat in IT Systems integrations. Lack of security foresight in IT endeavors can impact businesses in the course of time, thus it is recommended to look into security related aspects from the very start -- be it at the time of integration, upgrades or migration of IT tool or solutions. Nowadays, security considerations such as in Software Development Life Cycle are integrated into each layer of technology engagement. With that backdrop, security loopholes and cyber vulnerabilities are becoming complex, leading to obstructing identity, data and information theft. Present day IT setup needs to expand and cater to a wider base -- move ahead of on-premise and embrace hybrid IT.

As we are in a hybrid era, a mix of IT touch-points,  including on-premise, cloud (multi-tenant and/or single-tenant) infrastructure, are to be secured. Most of the time we have the understanding that security is perceived to be a disabler, rather than be rightly viewed as a workflow-business enabler. Furthermore, the narrative so far could give out clues that decision makers might go by -- in an attempt to create secure agile hybrid IT systems, a lot of layers of complexity will get added that can drive cost, maintenance, up.

In a nutshell, it is correct to say that border-specific security is not enough as the IT landscape is getting redefined and wider at each step with the introduction of new technologies, apps, tools, approaches and practices. Thus enterprises are expected to explore beyond perimeter security solutions to place a fool-proof security of their critical assets, infrastructure, data and users.

Why Your Business Should Embrace Hybrid IT

Based on my engagement with organizations' security folks and top decision makers from various industries, I have found following reasons and compulsions for businesses to move beyond perimeter security and embrace Hybrid IT:

  1. Managing and protecting identities is no longer a stand-alone task -- it takes into consideration a complex set of criteria, including users, platforms and applications. Identity management has become dynamic as one user is connected to multiple access touch points creating exponential numbers of stand-alone identities. The security perimeter has to be widen to incorporate identity while it establishes interaction with data, tools, applications and devices. In a hybrid environment, users are constantly accessing data and application on varied devices and on cloud environments, irrespective of where the identity resides. Identities, therefore, need to be protected on a constant basis and without impeding the experience of the user.
  2. Data management within a secure radar cannot be overlooked. Data is no longer just a necessary asset that stays within the secure radius of an organization. With mobility, cloud computing and collaborative business environment -- data has become flexible and dynamic. Though, the origin of data could be within a single organization, it is being used by partners, vendors, employees, in the cloud, cross nations etc. The traditional solutions focused on silo approach, a more integrated and holistic approach is being embraced by companies now to classify, protect and track data in the highly digitized environment that crosses all boundaries.
  3. To stay competitive in the market, harness global resources poll -- there is an imminent need for businesses to diversify beyond defined border. Enterprises are to be empowered to confidently take a step without getting stuck-up with security and regulatory issues. This means securely moving to cloud, strengthening existing IT setups, synchronizing legacy IT systems, so on. It might translate into strategically defining the complete security framework -- including approach, roadmap and architecture.
  4. Staying in track with best of industry standards and practices is crucial, as no one is spared, cyber-attacks are the norm of the day. As every enterprise has almost now become susceptible to data breach, which may significantly damage the reputation of a firm, organizations need to proactively detect system-process-network related threats. Researching about breaches that occurred in large organizations can help in developing security solutions for both on-premises and in the cloud to detect threats and respond immediately. Furthermore, how vulnerabilities enter in to the system is also important and includes monitoring super users’ accounts. Letting go of key security considerations for privilege users can make a deep dent in IT security endeavors of an organization.
  5. Allowing your resources to juggle between various IT hats - IT security is a vast function within its own niche. Cloud and on-premise need different skill sets to keep the system running, integrated and optimized. The first point if to recognizing that management of hybrid setups need a different skill-set and knowledge-base from those needed to manage legacy solutions. They need to possess a working knowledge of varied capabilities including SOA, automation, vendor management, application migration & integration, establish work-flows in distributed IT architectures, PAM, API, hybrid IT monitoring and so on. The IT professionals need a wide range of talents that allow them to juggle between various technical hats.

For a modern hybrid enterprise, relying on traditional perimeter security is not sufficient. Centrify has found that forward-thinking enterprises are shifting their security focus from eroding perimeters to user identities -- and the results have been impressive. Centrify’s hybrid IT solutions enable creation of productive and efficient IT Security ecosystem, including reduced conflicts from compliance audits and achieve transparency. Avancer, an IT Security specialist, offers strategic insights in how to implement secure hybrid IT solutions end-to-end. Avancer’s experts can help in tactical integration of Centrify’s solutions to create a connected, integrated and comprehensive IT environment.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author blog are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Centrify.

This is written by the individual author in his/her personal capacity, and the opinions, views and/or thoughts expressed herein are solely the author’s own. They are not intended to and may not necessarily reflect the official policy or position, or the opinions or views of ThycoticCentrify or its affiliates, employees, or any other group or individual.