New data loss risk demands new SSE approach | #cloudsecurity

Richard Davis, head of cyber security strategy, Netskope EMEA.

Changing risk and the move to remote work and cloud mean that organisations must move to a Security Service Edge (SSE) approach to protecting against data loss.

This is according to Richard Davis, head of cyber security strategy, EMEA at Netskope, and Yaroslav Rosomakho, field CTO, at Netskope, who were addressing a webinar on data protection this week.

Davis said: “Protecting data is not just about keeping the company secure – it’s now also key to enabling business.”

Data protection trends in SA

Davis outlined the findings of the recent Netskope data protection survey, run in partnership with ITWeb, sought to understand the trends related to data protection, data loss and the use of unsanctioned cloud applications (shadow IT) across southern Africa. 

Almost half (48%) of respondents said they did not believe their organisation had lost data in the past year and 26% said they had lost data and/or had a data loss incident in the past year. 26% said they had lost data or had incidents. However, many organisations don’t have visibility into their data and data loss incidents. 

The survey also found nearly half did not have good visibility of their data: asked whether they had visibility of data being published in SaaS and IaaS applications by their staff, 32% said they have good visibility of both, 26% said they had limited visibility in each, 11% had good visibility of IaaS but not SaaS, and 11% had good visibility of SaaS applications but not IaaS.

Among those who did experience data loss, the data that was lost was hosted in user endpoints (33%), 25% in an on-premises file server, app or database, 23% in SaaS apps and 18% in public cloud services.

More than half of respondents (53%) said that the move to remote/hybrid working had had a major influence on their technology decision making, while 37% said it had been a consideration. 10% said it had no impact.

The top three challenges that respondents anticipated in securing their data in the next three years were an increase in cyber attack volumes; an increase in cyber attack sophistication; and continual movement of data to sanctioned cloud services. Budget, resources and complexity were cited as key roadblocks respondents would face in addressing these challenges.

New approaches needed

Davis said: “A large proportion of malware is hosted in common trusted cloud platforms, so we need to think differently about how we are protecting data in cloud platforms. We have to do things like deep inspection and understand that traffic flow. We need to think about data protection in terms of breaches, but also the inadvertent loss of data caused by people using unsanctioned applications.”

Yaroslav Rosomakho, field CTO at Netskope.

Yaroslav Rosomakho, field CTO at Netskope.

“Over the past two to five years, the volumes of data we need to manage have grown exponentially, and that data is now everywhere. With hybrid work, we have people everywhere, accessing data everywhere, and the attackers are everywhere. The concept of the perimeter is one that is fading because of the services we’re using and the rise of the remote worker. SaaS usage is exploding, with 1,295 cloud apps on average in use by organisations. Every new problem used to require a new solution,” Davis said.

“What we really need is a Security Service Edge (SSE) layer in the cloud, with the access and enforcement point in the region to reduce risk, cost and make the business more agile. The key use cases driving people to SSE are to transform cloud security and accelerate the adoption of SaaS business applications, to modernise data protection, as part of a Zero Trust policy and to adopt a unified architecture.”

He highlighted Netskope Intelligent SSE, a cloud native and truly unified platform with local connectivity points in South Africa and soon elsewhere in Africa, which quickly connects people safely to their destination, follows data everywhere, understands context and delivers an exceptional user experience.

The Netskope Zero Trust engine analyses business transactions with adaptive access based on identity, cloud context, application and user trust, and device profile, data and threat protection, and analytics. All Netskope solutions are built around this core engine with one console, one agent, and one policy model to refine your security posture with closed loop analytics.

Security as a business enabler

Yaroslav Rosomakho, Field CTO, at Netskope, noted that Gartner’s paper ‘Consolidated security platforms are the future’ found that most organisations seek vendor consolidation for simplicity and operational efficiency, and 83% of organisations pursuing a vendor consolidation strategy have been doing so for at least one year.

“Many vendors jump on the consolidation wagon, and most claim they have a platform approach when they may just be pursuing a portfolio approach,” he said. “The platform approach allows organisations to leverage interdependencies and commonalities, integrate consoles, support business objectives effectively and offer integration and operational simplicity. A portfolio approach has limitations, with a set of unintegrated products, multiple consoles, a legacy approach in a ‘wrapper’ and will not fulfil the promised advantages of consolidation.”

Rosomakho said: “Gartner says that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have adopted a single vendor’s SSE platform. We see a confluence of data security controls to increase business agility, simplify operations, and reduce risk and cost. Gartner also expects that by 2027, 50% of organisations will leverage XDR to share intelligence between a previously disconnected security portfolio. This is an integral part of Netskope’s Cloud Exchange.”

“Data and people are the only strategic competitive differentiators of organisations today. Securing the data is not just ensuring unauthorised people can access the data, it’s also about ensuring data is consistent, not altered, and not encrypted by malware,” he said. “If data protection is delivered properly, it is a business enabler reducing complexity, cost and risk and increasing agility,” Rosomakho said.

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