Fighting Cyber-Threats With Innovative Tech

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print
Fighting cyber-attacks

Increasingly sophisticated and dangerous cyber-threats require more innovative security approaches, including advanced automation tools, AI and blockchain.

The quest for more innovative and holistic cyber-security is also leading organizations to blockchain technology. A growing number of enterprises are using the technology internally, O'Conner points out. The next step is expanding blockchain to business partnerships and across supply chains.

SystemExperts' Hills says that the technology is particularly valuable for managing distributed ledgers, tracking goods in transit and collaborative editing. In addition, vendors are introducing products that use blockchain to secure sensitive records, replace PKI with keyless signature infrastructure, and use KSI to reduce reliance on passwords. Organizations are also turning to blockchain to develop secure, decentralized messaging systems.

Balancing Technology and Processes

A growing number of organizations are also turning to security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solutions. This can further aid in the quest for greater automation.

One of the problems with a conventional security framework, Accenture's O'Connor says, is that organizations too often approach tasks in an uncoordinated and haphazard way. An ad hoc method may lead to gaps, glitches and breakdowns.

The fallout, according to SystemExperts' Hill, is inconsistent patching, firmware updates, and the use of tools ranging from encryption to multifactor authentication. In addition, organizations are more susceptible to staff misusing administrator accounts.

A managed services approach typically addresses these issues and helps enforce a unified policy for multiple locations and across physical and cloud infrastructures. It can also help organizations scale security solutions faster, while also reducing overall complexity.

In the end, Accenture's O'Connor advises, business, IT and security leaders must better balance processes and technology. There's a greater need to handle the basics, including investing in security and building seamless protections into the fabric of the organization.

That involves educating various groups and constituencies—including both developers and senior executives—to spot and address potential problems and implement best practices. It's also essential to understand how emerging tools and technologies—AI, blockchain, automation and managed services—can take cyber-security to a higher, more reliable level.

Of course, these tools aren't a panacea, and no technology by itself will solve today's cyber-security challenges. Moreover, as the internet of things (IoT) gains adoption and cyber-thieves use AI, cyber-security headaches and battles are likely to grow.

"Organizations must create continuous security that extends to partners and into a supply chain," O'Connor emphasizes. "They must adopt a data-centric and multi-layered approach. Today, the keys to success are standardization and automation. It's all about introducing a more orchestrated and holistic framework for security."

This article was originally published on 2017-10-24
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).
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