By Andy Daudelin
Among the 10 most stressful C-Suite roles of 2014 in business today is the role of chief information security officer (CISO). These IT security leaders set the strategy for the way a company protects itself from constantly evolving cyber threats – and they must implement these strategies without disrupting the speed of the business or its ability to innovate.
The threat landscape today is fraught with risk. IBM’s most recent Cyber Security Intelligence Index confirms that the average company faces 1.57 million security events per week, with 1,400 of those identified as actual attacks. And earlier this year, I discussed how new security threats and regulations will make 2014 a critical year for compliance and audit demands, and organizations need to be better prepared.
Cloud and mobile technologies are an excellent example of the balance CISOs must strike as they strive to protect the IT infrastructure while incorporating emerging technologies. Many companies are finding cloud an ideal platform for emerging business applications and are integrating those cloud-based services with their traditional technology platforms. It’s the CISO’s mission to secure all of this – and its underlying data – as a single seamless service.
Most organizations have a network security infrastructure in place that combines a number of different managed security capabilities such as firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection systems, web and e-mail filtering and a host of other controls such as anti-denial-of-service protection. Consider a hospital network, a regional bank or any other organization with multiple physical locations. The complexities can pile up quickly and can seriously limit a company’s ability to fend off increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.
Simplified, integrated security management tools are a must – but are only part of the answer. An effective network security program also requires constant monitoring and analysis of network traffic to detect new security attacks, as well as the correlation and analytics that can reduce false positives and validate the severity of identified attacks.
Yet, most network security infrastructures today fall short:
• As businesses grow, as employees become more mobile, and as partners and customers demand new levels of connectivity, the network infrastructure expands in inefficient ways. Many businesses end up with a complex, intertwined set of network connections that are secured via an inconsistent array of network security devices with a sub-optimal cost profile.
• As the threat landscape becomes more sophisticated and dangerous than ever before, the complexity and cost of maintaining the network security architecture makes it increasingly difficult for IT departments to focus resources where they count: detecting and blocking attacks against the business.
Fortunately, advances in technology and delivery models – such as cloud computing – now make this possible, providing new opportunities for organizations of any size to optimize their network security architecture and drive significant gains in reducing costs and complexity, increasing operational efficiencies, and improving the ability to detect and block security threats.
Today, AT&T and IBM announced a new joint security offering offering that enables organizations to simplify their security systems and to adapt them every day with the help of real-time security intelligence analysis.
The joint service brings together AT&T Secure Network Gateway Service, our integrated security platform, and IBM’s advanced threat intelligence and analytics to provide a level of security intelligence far deeper than ever available before. Moreover, the combined security information will give these companies unparalleled visibility into emerging threats and attacks.
The service enables organizations to create hybrid security infrastructures that blend on-premise and cloud-based managed security capabilities without having to increase capital expenditures or staff demands.
This capability is also possible because of the strategic partnership between AT&T and IBM, each of which is bringing its industry-leading expertise and solutions to help organizations meet a critical and complex business need.
Collaboration and building ecosystems of partners is a growing trend we’ll continue to see in our respective industries, and one that is an important driver of AT&T’s own strategy to consistently drive innovation and deliver services that helps organizations transform and do their business.
Andy Daudelin is Vice President of Security Services for AT&T Business Solutions, and is responsible for scaling the company’s security services across its global network and integrating them into AT&T’s business solutions portfolio.