Transforming Cybersecurity as We Know It: A New Security Model

The current security model is a failure. According to Gartner, Inc., worldwide spending on information security products and services will reach $86.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 7 percent over 2016, but the cost of data breaches significantly exceeds that amount.

By the year 2019, Forbes predicts the cost will rise to $2 trillion dollars. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average amount of time it takes to detect a data breach using the current security model is 191 days. The average amount of time to contain the breach after identification adds another 66 days.

“Fundamentally,” former VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said in his opening keynote at VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas, “the technology industry has failed the customer.”

A New Security Vision

Are We Losing the Fight Against Cyberattacks?

Gelsinger continued by saying it’s time for a new vision for cybersecurity, a new security model that “transforms security as the world knows and understands it today.”  

With that in mind, VMware is increasingly playing the lead role in developing new solutions that address foundational security challenges for businesses and organizations worldwide. It is a responsibility that has become a core part of VMware’s overarching strategy. Gelsinger then outlined the details of VMware’s bold new vision for an advanced security model.

Transforming Enterprise Security

VMware’s approach turns the current security model on its head.

“The current model focuses on ‘chasing bad,’” said Gelsinger, “which is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.” VMware’s approach, according to Gelsinger, is exactly the opposite: the focus is on “‘ensuring good’ by narrowing the attack surface in a dramatic way.”

VMware’s strategy marries one of the oldest and most foundational principles in security, least privilege, with the new security capabilities made possible by virtualization. It’s a strategy that is leading the most significant security transformation in decades; one that allows organizations to go beyond a static, preventative security model to a dynamic, integrated detect-and-respond security model that extends from the data center to the cloud to the end user.

Watch the video to hear from Gelsinger on stage at VMworld as he talks about VMware’s security model.

A Three-Tiered Approach

VMware’s new security model consists of three tiers:

  • Secure infrastructure. VMware has invested more than $3 billion in developing secure infrastructure. The unique properties of a virtualized infrastructure allow it to “architect in” security measures. VMware’s security strategy already applies the principle of least privilege to provide a new and better level of protection to end users. VMware AirWatch solutions apply least privilege to computing devices, VMware Workspace ONE™ applies least privilege to user access, and VMware NSX and micro-segmentation apply least privilege to the network.
  • Integrated ecosystem. With intelligent, secure infrastructure that provides visibility into applications, VMware’s partners in the security ecosystem now have the tools they need to rapidly detect a threat. This builds the foundation they need to develop more effective and targeted responses to prevent, isolate, or eliminate any cyber threat.
  • Cyber hygiene. VMware infrastructure technologies leverage cyber hygiene best practices to deliver more effective security. Cyber hygiene best practices that are integral to VMware’s new security model include: least privilege, micro-segmentation, encryption, multifactor authentication, and patching.

Introducing VMware AppDefense

In his keynote, Gelsinger introduced a new solution called VMware AppDefense™. This final piece of VMware’s new security model, VMware AppDefense, leverages the unique properties of virtualization to protect applications running in virtualized and cloud environments.

The new solution creates a least privilege environment by capturing the intended state of applications and then monitoring how applications behave when running against that intended state.

By understanding the intended purpose of an application, organizations can now direct their security efforts to monitoring a few key behaviors instead of trying to detect every possible threat—significantly shrinking the security problem and lowering security costs.

Turning the Security Model on Its Head

VMware’s new security model radically changes the current failing approach to security. Instead of chasing a constantly expanding and changing threat landscape, it allows organizations to focus their efforts on setting protections around the applications and data that need them most.

From end-user devices to the cloud, VMware’s new security model “is a game-changing approach to security,” Gelsinger concluded, “and one that demonstrates transformation before our very eyes.”

Watch Gelsinger explain AppDefense live on stage at VMworld.