The number of security breaches continues to rise. According to a recent survey from the VMware Carbon Black team, 92 percent of respondents reported an increase in cyberattacks in the previous 12 months, with 84 percent reporting that attacks were becoming more sophisticated.1
Organizations often attempt to address these breaches by adding more layers of protection. Many of these security solutions focus on identifying and reacting to a specific type of attack. But implementing more solutions increases management complexity.
Instead of new solutions, organizations need a new approach.
There are three primary issues with many current security approaches.
1. Security is bolted on. Typically, security teams are asked to protect applications after they are built. This can result in a large, patchwork collection of security solutions. The bolted-on approach and its consequences are all too prevalent: the average enterprise today has more than 80 security products.2
Implementing too many products—with their associated agents and interfaces—makes security difficult to manage. This bolted-on approach can also leave seams and possible misconfigurations through which hackers can gain access. Meanwhile, deploying agents onto individual systems can sap system performance and leave systems vulnerable to takeover if agents are compromised or disabled.
2. Security is too threat-centric. An approach focused on responding to threats after they appear results in security that’s too reactive. This approach may employ solutions that lack sufficient awareness about the apps and data that need protection. As a result, organisations can only react and attempt to mitigate the damage—they cannot identify new attack vectors and prevent attacks before they occur.
3. Security is too siloed. Security products do not always work well together. When products aren’t integrated, policies and processes become siloed.
Security teams can become siloed as well. An InfoSec team might be focused on hardening endpoints and preventing attacks from affecting data centre workloads. Meanwhile, a desktop services team might be concentrating on trust and authentication issues with user endpoints. And a network team might be working to protect the internal network, where one intrusion could jeopardise the entire network. Lacking big-picture visibility and control, these teams often cannot collaborate to proactively address problems.
An intrinsic approach to security can address these failings. By intrinsic, we mean that security is built in, context aware and unified.
Built in. You can strengthen security by leveraging the virtualisation layer of your infrastructure. This layer is in the ideal place to provide deep visibility into apps and data. And it can’t be compromised easily from within an app or operating system process.
Tapping into the capabilities of existing infrastructure also helps reduce complexity. By capitalising on the virtualisation layer, you can minimise the number of products, agents and interfaces required for managing security. Your administrators can also simplify policy management, creating a single policy that spans on-premises, private cloud and public cloud environments to edge environments, mobile devices and more.
Context aware. Security solutions are most effective when they are informed by the context of what they’re trying to protect. Beyond identifying specific threats, these solutions must have visibility into apps and workloads. And they must understand what those apps and workloads are supposed to be doing. Intrinsic security gives them that visibility and the context that should be the basis of security policies implemented across environments.
Unified. Intrinsic security supports integrated workflows. The right tools can help you avoid siloed processes and eliminate the seams between products. They also facilitate collaboration and information sharing among previously siloed teams.
By providing solutions to build a digital foundation for modern IT, VMware is in a unique position to address security challenges with intrinsic security.
VMware solutions turn every touchpoint into a point of control and strength, including the following:
Workloads (endpoints). VMware offers a cloud-native endpoint protection platform that works with the infrastructure to protect from modern attacks, reduce the impact on end-user devices and decrease management overhead associated with legacy antivirus solutions.
Networks. Use VMware networking security solutions to protect apps and data across multi-cloud environments by employing network security policies specific to every app and workload. A purpose-built internal firewall helps secure and inspect east-west traffic with consistent policy and fine-grain control. You can also apply secure access no matter where your users, apps and devices are located.
Workspaces. Whether you’re looking to increase worker flexibility or putting operational resiliency plans into action, you can empower more employees to work remotely by providing digital workspaces. VMware solutions give you an easy way to manage and safeguard users, applications and endpoint devices—while delivering an exceptional user experience through digital workspaces. Administrators can employ modern management and endpoint security as a single process.
Clouds. Strengthen your cloud security and compliance posture with VMware cloud security solutions, which offer real-time detection and response capabilities for multiple public cloud providers. These solutions help administrators visualise and correlate risks due to misconfigurations, threats and resource relationships.
Security threats are unlikely to diminish any time soon. An intrinsic approach to security can help you overcome some of the deficits of more traditional approaches. By leveraging your digital foundation built on VMware, you can implement intrinsic security quickly, using familiar tools. Ultimately, you’ll be better protected against growing threats—so you can stay focused on advancing innovation. ▪
1. VMware Carbon Black. “USA Threat Report: Extended Enterprise Under Threat.” July 2020.
2. IBM press release. “IBM Announces Cloud-Based Community Platform for Cyber Security Applications.” October 15, 2018.