2020 09 23  On 18 September Acronis hosted a fascinating virtual conference to get a cross-industry view of the latest cyber protection trends, strategies and tools that leaders are tapping into today. We’ve shared the link to the recording below so you can watch the keynotes and panel discussions yourself. In this post though we dig into our top takeaways from the first panel discussion, moderated by Christelle Heikkila, IT director at Arsenal FC. The discussion covered how you can achieve better security, more automation and lower costs.

  1. The perimeter is dead

This comes as no surprise to anyone supporting a remote work scenario, but with the rise of cloud computing, additional devices, applications and data anywhere, the perimeter is dead and the new lines of defence are identity and data integrity. If identity is the new perimeter then data needs to be your focus: where it is, whether it is encrypted, and who is accessing it.

  1. The cloud is a critical security challenge

Thanks to the rapid uptick in cloud computing due to remote working, plus a shortage of cloud knowledge and experience in how to secure the data moving off-site, companies run the risk of exposing critical data due to basic errors. For instance, simple database misconfigurations could mean everyone can access valuable data.

  1. One layer of protection is not enough

As cybercrime gets more industrialised, sophisticated and complex, and attackers are encouraged by the profits to be made from ransomware payouts that run into tens of millions of dollars, defenders can no longer rely on one thing to protect them. Attacks could be set up over months and years using multiple points of entry to gather information and survey the landscape before launching a big attack slam dunk.

But the problem with adding multiple security layers is, in the words of Frank Dickson, IDC’s program vice president, cybersecurity products, “complexity is the enemy of security.” You can watch Frank’s keynote in the recording to find out more on this.

So it is essential that these additional security layers are integrated, efficient and automated.

  1. Fight fire with fire: attackers are using AI, ML and automation and so should you

One of the reasons attacks have become so sophisticated is that cybercriminals are deploying the latest technologies to develop their malware. This technology, particularly artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, has to be key weapons in defenders’ arsenals too, to enable them to detect, defend against and respond to cyberattacks.

For example:

  • Cloud computing logs provide valuable information about who is accessing data. But the sheer number of the logs mean they are pretty worthless without using AI and ML to spot and flag any outlier behaviour.
  • Likewise it is not just enough to add additional alerts to the daily noise we’re all facing. Ideally security systems need to automatically act on any incidents in real time and then just let you know the incident has been resolved.
  1. Good IT is good IT security

IT operations and cybersecurity teams have sometimes worked at cross-purposes, but in today’s security landscape this is not feasible nor effective. Security is a shared responsibility and should be baked into overall systems and processes from the get-go. Ideally security and IT operations need to collaborate and work towards shared goals, with cybersecurity teams raising awareness of, educating about and advocating for security throughout. Further, there is an opportunity to shift the perception that cybersecurity teams are business preventers instead of being enablers.

This is just a snapshot of some of the insights shared during the virtual conference. You can watch the full recording here.

And hopefully this whets your appetite for the upcoming Acronis Global Cyber Summit next month – read more and register here, now!

Written for publication on the Synapsys website on 23 September 2020