March 23, 2023
Working away from the conventional office space became the accepted norm during the pandemic, pushing enterprises to undertake a significant people, place, process, and technology transformation. As the companies prepare for a “new normal”, research has found that 58% of executives are willing to be primarily at home or adopt a hybrid system.
In the post-pandemic world, employees are shuffling between the physical office and a remote culture, making cybersecurity a rising concern for data-centric organisations. Consequentially, IT teams need to reinvent themselves to create safe and empowering work environments that focus on delivering a seamless employee experience irrespective of the work location.
Unfortunately, security architectures that rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and firewalls to restrict resources won’t cut it beyond the corporate boundaries. This is where enterprises supporting a hybrid workforce need Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS), especially when choosing a Colocation Data Center (DC).
The Cybersecurity Challenges Faced In A Hybrid Environment
A hybrid architecture is connected through automated enforcement, creating a correlation between signal, security and orchestration. While this is one of the most important pros of the environment, it also leaves the people, services, and devices blatantly vulnerable.
As companies begin to adapt to the hybrid model, strong authentication has seen more than a 220 per cent increase in adoption. Still, the Azure Active Directory (by Microsoft) observes over 61 million password attacks daily. Legacy protocols like MAPI, IMAP, SMTP, and POP are other sources of compromise. None of these supports Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), which makes the entire process an unusable experience.
Once authentication is bypassed, data is flown across different touchpoints from smartphones to on-premise workloads, creating a substantial attack surface. Rooted or jailbroken devices are further known to exploit the system vulnerabilities without the explicit restrictions of an office firewall.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) has been ramping up on a steady level. Due to the inclusion of Public IPs and an enhanced bandwidth, short-duration attacks have become quite prevalent in the financial and gaming industry. Compared to 2020, the first half of 2021 saw such exploits rising by 25 per cent.
Whether cloud-based, on-premises or on virtual machines, data depending on multiple infrastructures represents a serious threat vector. Organisations moving to the cloud especially require threat protection, mitigation tools, and incident recovery strategies. As the matrix evolves to include personal devices, infrastructures also need to identify prioritisation gaps and progress towards the holistic security of their services.
The hybrid model requires sensitive data to leave the devices, apps, and infrastructure to networks outside of the organisational purview. So, while encryption and loss prevention continue to be the core components, the continuous availability of information opens up new compliance and security challenges. The storage, access, flow and lifecycle need to be reiterated across the entire spectrum to maintain data integrity.
What Organisations Should Do To Mitigate Such Challenges
A hybrid implementation presents an opportunity to diversify the storage deployment requirements to parallel platforms. In scenarios where high throughput connectivity is required, choosing a cloud-adjacent approach would be performance suitable and cost-effective. In contrast, for an all-local process, a virtual storage solution with a colocation DC can be considered apt. Whether an organisation goes for an edge resource or a cloud infrastructure, below are a few key areas to prioritise:
- Strategies need to be re-evaluated to draw maximum value from the processes while practising digital empathy in the form of a wider range of security capabilities.
- A Zero-Trust implementation that applies a “never trust, always verify” approach must be followed in the hybrid environment.
- Data security signals across diverse systems, processes, products, and endpoints should be delivered to understand impending threats.
- Integrated security systems built into the fundamental architecture of Colocation Data Centers and enterprise applications can help improve the complete visibility within the system.
What Is SECaaS, And How Does It Help?
At the foundation, Security-As-A-Service (SECaaS) is the process of protecting critical information while reducing the costs by outsourcing the process to a third-party provider. It is designed to deliver non-disruptive performance within an efficient and scalable environment. SECaaS can be described as a subscription model hosted by Data Centers and cloud platforms built to provide on-demand competencies within the existing infrastructure. Suppose an organisation is not too keen on spreading the outlay for an on-premise cybersecurity team but needs the capabilities to keep functioning under a hybrid structure, SECaaS can help in multiple ways:
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
The aggregation of relevant data from multiple sources allows the enterprise to identify deviations from the standardised practices and creates a buffer to take appropriate action in time.
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
By monitoring and filtering the web traffic at the inception level before it reaches the data access point, applications can be cohesively protected from malware, spware, and adware. Common attacks can be avoided effectively, resulting in significant cost savings.
Complete DDoS Protection
Maintaining service availability during a Volumetric DDoS attack, SECaaS proficiencies ensure that the excess traffic is off-tracked the system before any network congestion. This makes it simpler for the IT team to administer and control the processes for a faster recovery.
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)
Using an arrangement of automated and manual testing, SECaaS is completed with a web application audit that identifies any technical and business logic flaws in the application workflows. The use of an updated knowledge base and expert applications patches any security loopholes pre-existing within the hybrid environment.
With businesses offering vastly different experiences routed through a diverse set of services and applications, creating a comprehensive, one-size-for-all hybrid environment is an improbable solution.
At Web Werks, we start with the basics to build a customised architecture at our Colocation Data Centers. The idea is to address the current gaps in the system and then create additional levels of protection over the same for cohesive data protection. By optimising the security across a hybrid model, Web Werks ensures that your IT perimeter expands to every device on which your data can be accessed.
Talk to our SECaaS experts today to know more about how you can secure your corporate-remote environment.