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Security

Secure the Future

Enterprises need a cybersecurity strategy to protect their valuable information assets.

By Aaron Lazenby

Winter 2018

In 2016, the global economy lost more than US$450 billion to cybercrime. That’s an increase of US$336 billion since 2011.

Today, managers believe that they are not ready for the growing cybersecurity challenge—74 percent feel that existing tools are not sufficient for a hybrid cloud environment.

On top of that, by 2019 there will be at least 2 million unfilled security jobs worldwide.

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So enterprises face a real predicament: threats are rising and have a real cost, but managers generally lack the staff and the confidence in the investments they've made to mitigate new threats.

The current issue of Profit, with the theme of “Secure the Future,” was inspired by these distressing numbers—along with recent breakthrough announcements from Oracle and some forward-thinking customer case studies. As threats multiply and the security landscape evolves, enterprises need a strategy to protect their valuable information assets and plan for the disruptions (and opportunities) the future holds.

The theme starts with a big announcement Oracle made at Oracle OpenWorld back in October: autonomous database functionality in the upcoming Oracle Database 18c. Oracle Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison announced the world’s first “self-driving” database onstage at the event. This topic is addressed in this issue by both Juan Loaiza, senior vice president of database systems technology at Oracle and Michelle Malcher, Oracle ACE Director and security architect at Extreme Scale Solutions. The upshot: automated database technology will help close the gap created by all of those open security jobs, automatically addressing some of the most basic security vulnerabilities.

Recent headlines demonstrate the need for managers to secure tomorrow, today.”

Data security is one aspect of protecting the enterprise against tomorrow’s threats. Another is taking an enterprisewide view of security, especially as on-premises systems interact increasingly with third-party systems in the cloud. (See Protective Measures.) This means understanding how cloud-ready identity management solutions can track and limit user access and how a cloud-access security broker can monitor the nature of the data being transferred in and out of the enterprise. In both cases, artificial intelligence can set a baseline for normal user behavior, identify exceptions, and automatically apply remedies as needed.

But securing the future also means seeing the new opportunities that the volatile threat environment presents and building tomorrow’s business based on the insight you can derive today. Biz2Credit, featured on the cover of this issue of Profit, has done a very interesting job of this by using blockchain technology to help rationalize disparate borrower data that lives in multiple organizations. Blockchain helps protect and validate that sensitive user data and has created a new business model for the growing company—a testament to the role that novelty and innovation can play in protecting the businesses of the future.

As threats multiply and the security landscape evolves, enterprises need a strategy to protect their valuable information assets and plan for the disruptions (and opportunities) the future holds.”

In our fast-moving, results-now world, it can be hard to take the time to protect against a crisis that hasn’t already arrived. But recent headlines demonstrate the need for managers to secure tomorrow, today. Security challenges are expanding as well-defined network perimeters give way to highly distributed enterprise ecosystems created by public and hybrid clouds and mobile applications. IT and security professionals must closely manage data as it flows to these far-flung applications. But that’s not easy. Modern data centers are highly complex, and one small vulnerability, such as a previously identified bug that’s yet to be fixed, can be devastating.

Photography by Bob Adler/The Verbatim Agency, iStock.com/Chernikov_Images