Executive Viewpoint 2017 Prediction: Cohesive Networks – Enterprise Security: It Will Get Worse Before it Gets Better
For those the buy side of enterprises and organizations trying to solve the huge security issues facing us: it will get worse before it gets better. Choosing, creating, and maintaining security solutions are going to be very hard for the foreseeable future.
Choosing a Security Vendor Will be More Difficult
Deciding what security technology your organization needs today requires you to answer more who/what/when questions than ever before. The market fragmentation and rapid expansion in practically every IT vendor category means there are more players and more technologies to choose from. Only a few years ago, organizations could pick between 2 or 3 relational databases and 3 or 4 app servers. Now there are more than 6 different database types, and app servers can be anything from fully managed cloud infrastructure to a complete DIY component set.
Security is one of the categories that will continue to explode in 2017. Choosing security vendors and deciding how vendors and technologies stack up will be even more difficult in the short term. Teams involved in just keeping the buyer organization up-to-date on the solutions, services, and vendors in the market are getting overwhelmed. In fact, what we are calling ‘stack proliferation’, or the over choice in the market, is the big problem on the front end of the selection process. Yes, in the coming years there will be an inevitable industry consolidation.
The market consolidation and the test of time will eventually help IT security buyers pick the best vendors. So what can organizations do in the meantime? The easiest answer is to ignore marketing glitz and analytical reports and just try technologies in your enterprise. A proof of concept in a dev/test cloud environment can quickly sort out the implications of your vendor or technology choice.
Looking forward 6 months, maintaining the security solutions already in place will be another huge challenge. With the “stack proliferation” from vendors and solutions, there are more complex network issues to face as well.
Will you decide to buy each encrypted service or a service to encrypt the network? How do you find the weakest link in the chain in a hybrid network?
When IT teams have to encrypt 5-10 different endpoints, it simply increases the odds that there will be 5-10 weak endpoints. More endpoints equal higher odds that they are not all equally secure and future teams won’t be able to update and track each component.
A more ‘general approach’ is the best solution to maintaining the complex security inside an organization.
For example, an organization is using containers in a third party environment like Heroku. The platform is relatively undifferentiated. With a general approach to all-inclusive security, the security team can at least guarantee their containers are running inside a secure network.
Next year, the ‘general approach’ to security also avoids the “cat in the hat” problem – security inside of networks, inside of other networks with more security layers. One secure network to cover them all is better than services running independently and potentially counteracting each other.
So while teams are planning ahead for 2017, why jump through more hoops? Why not create private, encrypted networks to pull everything together?