#InfosecurityOnline: Are the Cloud and Automation Driving or Hindering Your Business?

Consider where you can add automation and where your point solutions are not supporting your business. 

Speaking during the Infosecurity Online event Palo Alto Networks vice-president Matt Poulton said 2020 has been the year when automation has been accelerated by companies who are looking for what they can automate to be more efficient.

Poulton said COVID-19 has added “more pressure in terms of resource, or more pressure on you because of a distributed workforce,” and companies go through huge changes because of digital transformation. He said that, if digital transformation is done well, it “can shape the way you work” as multi-cloud environments become the norm, and apps are developed to be more agile, but this comes with the dilemma of whether security hinders or supports the introduction of cloud.

“We see that transformation creates a lot of risk,” he said. “More devices mean more data, as my home office is now a device sitting on the corporate network, and we’re seeing the number of endpoints increase dramatically, and this will continue to rise.”

Poulton explained that the advent of containers and Kubernetes has seen a rapid rise in the number of cloud deployments, and this is often done faster than security deployments. “Cloud is the biggest challenge organizations are facing, and the migration of data centers into cloud environments is huge.

“We at Palo Alto Networks need to create solutions to meet your challenges, as you have a lot of point solutions,” Poulton said. “We see that data is now everywhere and it is like water, how do you contain it, do you let it flow, how do you ensure it is not polluted?”

He said that innovation cannot be slowed down, and staying ahead of the increased complexity becomes harder as cloud and remote working become the norm, “and you have hundreds of mini VPNs and a huge VDI network, the perimeter is gone.”

In order to feel confident, Poulton said there is still a desire for better visibility, and for analysts to know what is “normal” and what trusted intelligence is within the organization. He added, with multi-cloud use, it is common to use 25 tools, “so how do you get simplicity, how do you get flexibility?”

He went on to say that the concept of “best of breed” is not enough anymore, as this leaves analysts looking at multiple screens in order to do an investigation, “as point solutions don’t communicate.”

He said: “You simply don’t have a 360 degree picture of your threats. So we challenge you to think, are best in breed point solutions good enough for you, as they do not scale.

“It is not about the data, it is not about good data, it is about all the data. Better decisions must come from better data. We need to give you the visibility to act quickly, so automation in terms of data intelligence as data enrichment is key.”

Poulton said cloud provides an opportunity to put a solution in place to eradicate point solutions, move into a structured format and provide visibility in one place.

“The best defense is an AI-led defense, but there are lots of things we can use clever computing power for; to automate for you and give you better visibility and detection,” he said.

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