Cloud Security Perspectives and Insights

The Dark Force Is Coming: Why businesses can be securer together

Greg Jensen
Sr Principal Director - Security - Cloud Business Group

Contributed By: Chris Pickett, Senior Director, Manageability & Security Experts, Oracle APAC

With Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker about to hit the big screen, fans may be looking back to where The Last Jedi left off.  This was a film where nothing seemed to go to plan. But more than being a story about failure, it was about what it means to fail and how it’s what you do about it afterwards that counts.

This must be a feeling that anyone in business with a responsibility for security must have some empathy with.

Just as in the Star Wars Galaxy the cybersphere is a dangerous place and attacks can come in any guise and from any location just when you are least expecting it. And like the Dark Side, hackers are constantly trying out new techniques to get their hands on what they perceive as having value.

The Oracle and KPMG Cloud Threat Report 2019 (CTR) showed just how vast the nature of these techniques for attack can be, the way people are being attacked, and highlighted differing opinions over what needs the most protection.

So, with such a range of different challenges and evolving threats, how can businesses best withstand these security threats? Is it even possible to stay secure when doing it alone?

If we were to read between the lines of the Rise of Skywalker trailer it would seem that the latest threat will be only be overcome by the joining up of the good.

Similarly, in the business landscape, there is a similar recognition of the need for scale.  In fact, the CTR report clearly showed this: 73% of companies think the cloud can offer a more secure environment than they can provide themselves on premise.  

This is for a number of reasons: first, cloud providers can apply greater focus and scale on their security investments for their cloud environments versus a company running IT in-house. Cloud providers have a lot of incentive to invest in the latest technologies to defend data stored in their environment. This brings me on to the second point – they can invest in the right weapons to get themselves on the front foot against attacks – proactively protecting the estate, rather than setting up on a reactionary basis. This is where automation, as a defender of business data, is coming into its own. 

Cloud environments with added automation can help make the environment self-securing and self-repairing. They are set up to defend themselves against attack, and reduce the need for human intervention.  See the difference a force shield makes in Star Wars.  

Based on machine learning, these ‘defensive’ cloud environments also help to eliminate human error, so prevention can actually be more precise than human beings operating the environments alone.

But there’s clearly still more to be done when it comes to getting on the front foot and embracing automation.

The Threat survey showed a move in the right direction; 89% of businesses have implemented auto patch management, or plan to do so within the next year, while a further 45% plan to deploy automated patch management over the next 24 months. It’s a brilliant first step, but the more automated a business can become, the more preventative and comprehensive it can be with its security measures.

Ultimately, as the Jedi learned from previous failures, coming together in one force – or a cloud environment – will help you stand the best chance against invasion. Additionally, as the level of sophistication of attacks increases, cloud with automation may be the only way to stop what was once thought unstoppable.

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