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Insider Threat, Shadow IT Concerns Spur Cloud Security
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tprendergast
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tprendergast,
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1/12/2015 | 7:48:03 PM
Security Investments need refreshed, not just a "shadow-IT" problem
One of the interesting things that keep being bubbled up from these surveys is that we, as an industry, are quick to categorize unexpected usage as "Shadow IT". What is really happening is that we are seeing the commoditization of IT outpace the availability of security technologies. One side is rushing to make it easier to get the technologies necessary to be agile in today's world, and the other is almost sitting still on legacy investments and technologies due to poor planning and preparation. So we, collectively as security people, were quick to demonize this as "Shadow IT", when it is really the business need driving the organization forward in our absence.

Even in the organizations that have prepared themselves for the shift, security professionals are fighting to get the budget they need to refresh their toolkit. We're shifting from a model of enterprise security sales (on 3-5 year cycles) to annual cycles necessitated by the rapidly moving cloud industry. There are several good new security paradigms being built out by startups and incumbents alike for the cloud ecosystems, but uptake is slower because organizations don't want to run multiple panes of glass to obtain a view of their risk and security postures. As we see integrations into devops toolchains, legacy security products, and even natively into cloud provider platforms, we will see the adoption rate lift significantly.

The biggest threat to cloud adoption is not malicious hackers or state-sponsored attacks, but human error, policy failure, and lack of transparency into your global security posture. Those are the key things that must be managed to enable cloud adoption with full access to the agility and flexibility that cloud can provide to organizations.

 

 
PZav
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PZav,
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1/12/2015 | 8:02:27 PM
Reality Bites
Of course in a perfect world all organizations would be able to adjust for technologies like cloud accordingly. But in the real world that's probably not going to be realistic in most cases. I wonder if those who are on the side of adoption controls have already lost and now the name of the game is how do we secure this now that this floodgate is open?
tprendergast
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tprendergast,
User Rank: Author
1/12/2015 | 10:00:08 PM
Re: Reality Bites
Reality is -- every organization is using cloud computing in some form. I've found the most risk averse organizations tend to be the ones who realize it least:

SalesForce, Workday, ADP, etc...

The list goes on and on for the processes we've outsourced for convenience, store our (potentially) most critical data in, and never remember to question it because we've come to accept those cloud services in the name of efficiency or reliability in function. 

Now that we, as an industry, are outsourcing some of the core functions of IT, there is a sudden objection. The reason is because people and process are subjec to disruption, and traditional IT functions don't understand (or dont want to understand) the new world order. This leaves them at perceived risk of losing the world they know, so terms like "shadow IT" were created to polarize the conversation. The business, not rogue employees, is moving workloads outside the constraints of traditional IT to capitalize on the gains possible through agility and time-to-market. The business will follow the money, and IT will follow the business. Savvy IT shops get ahead of the business and create a security process that enables the business, as opposed to security as a gating factor as it has historically been.

"Will they adjust" is the wrong question. "Where in the adoption cycle will they adjust" is the correct question, IMO.


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