There is no silver bullet when it comes to protecting sensitive data. No single security technology investment will eliminate the risk of data theft or a mistake exposing sensitive information. To proactively defend against attackers, enterprise security teams are learning that they need to collect and centralize security and compliance information from all the tools at their disposal.
Current Approaches to Data Security Lack Scale
Organizations today need to effectively secure and maintain the integrity of corporate data, which is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 40–50 percent, according to IDC’s Global DataSphere research. This growth is influenced by digital transformation strategies, a continuous process in which enterprises analyze customer data to create new business models, products and services that enhance the customer experience.
To help enable transformation, businesses are turning to a hybrid mix of on-premises and cloud-based technologies to increase agility, remain competitive and drive their organizations forward. This has resulted in an influx of cloud-hosted database infrastructure and services proliferating within the enterprise.
Data Security Challenges that Arise When Adapting to Modern Technologies
Attackers are seizing on the vulnerabilities generated by the struggle of enterprise security teams to manage data security across hybrid and multicloud environments. Likewise, data security tools for discovering, classifying, monitoring and protecting sensitive data are often designed for specific environments and narrow use cases. As a result, teams are overwhelmed with limited data security visibility, fragmented compliance reporting and disjointed workflows across their on-premises and cloud-hosted data stores.
IDC studies have identified this lack of situational awareness and the ineffectiveness of existing security infrastructure to enforce data governance policies. The result is data exposure or worse. Nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated their organization experienced four or more security breaches in the last three years, according to IDC’s 2020 Data Security Survey. The survey, which reached 620 IT and IT security professionals in North America and Europe, detailed the daunting challenges that today’s security teams are facing.
A Next-Generation Data Security Approach to Support the Hybrid Multicloud
Forward-leaning organizations are managing these challenges by adopting a next-generation data security approach to protect sensitive data across heterogeneous and highly distributed environments. A next-generation data security approach is centered around holistic visualization that provides a comprehensive overview of the organization’s security posture. Taking this approach, security teams can quickly identify areas of risk and mitigate the highest risks to sensitive data, no matter where it resides.
This approach deals with the bottlenecks and inefficiencies that lead to data exposure and costly data breaches. It also addresses the declining visibility and control over sensitive data as it spans hybrid multicloud environments. Through a set of powerful, integrated data security components, security teams can gain a comprehensive, centralized view of security risks and take action.
IDC studies have found that the most successful organizations take systematic steps when embarking on a next-generation data security approach. These steps include establishing a data triage team of key stakeholders who understand established business processes and typical workflows, and considering how existing security is applied to address data in motion, data at rest (stored in databases and data stores) and data in use (cached in places not intended for long-term storage).
How to Kick-Start Your Next-Generation Data Security Program
To help ensure the success of a next-generation data security approach, security teams need to utilize data security solutions that integrate and interoperate with the rest of the security and IT infrastructure, and extend protection policies to data wherever it currently resides or will reside in the future. This includes solutions that can interoperate with software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) applications and cloud repositories to augment native data protection capabilities and ensure data governance policies remain consistent regardless of the location of sensitive data assets.
An effective solution must incorporate the following:
- Automated discovery and classification
- Ongoing vulnerability assessments
- Real-time activity monitoring
- Risk posture assessment
- Customizable key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Ability to protect data across environments
- Long-term security and compliance reporting across on-premises and cloud-hosted data stores
To learn more about how such solutions can safeguard critical data in hybrid and multicloud environments, download the IDC white paper, “Adopting a Next-Generation Data Security Approach,” sponsored by IBM.
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Author: Robyn Westervelt