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4 Key Factors in Securing the Data-First Enterprise—From Edge to Cloud

With the rate of cyberattacks at an all-time high—and no signs of abating—protecting your enterprise requires constant vigilance. Security done right can help your business manage organizational risk by empowering your teams to proactively understand and address any potential weaknesses in enterprise operations.

By introducing security into projects early on, the organization can ensure that each follows secure-by-design principles, thus reducing time to market and preventing delays caused by security issues that are discovered too late in the development lifecycle. With this “shift left” approach, security can be transformed into an innovation enabler rather than a roadblock. 

For IT and security leaders, today’s complex environment makes it both more difficult and more of an imperative to embrace security modernization. The proliferation of devices and systems at the edge—in concert with the shift to multicloud models—has resulted in dynamic and distributed operating environments where systems and data may not be physically protected and traditional approaches to security are no longer effective.

These changes in the operating environment are creating more targets at a time when adversaries are becoming highly sophisticated and better funded. It is also presenting enterprises with new vulnerabilities and a rapidly growing cybersecurity threat: the proliferation of sensitive data into every corner of the business—including areas where security operations have paid little attention.

By adopting a data-first model, IT and security teams can classify data based on risk and map its location to the enterprise. This enables the organization to follow data and keep it safe wherever it lives, leveraging automation and intelligence to verify integrity continuously. This modern approach is essential to improving cyber resiliency from edge to cloud and reducing the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.

Here are four key factors to consider in modernizing with a data-first approach to secure the enterprise and transform security into an enabler of innovation. 

Factor No. 1: Manage operational risk
The attack surface is expanding exponentially. Remote work, cloud computing, the internet of things, edge computing—these are all factors making the environment more vulnerable and more difficult to protect using legacy point solutions and processes. However, enterprises can’t allow the more complex threat environment to prevent them from doing the things that help them grow and innovate.

With a shift-left, data-first, security-by-design model, the organization can secure and protect data everywhere—in motion, in memory and at rest across all devices, applications and platforms. When security is built into all processes, at all stages, developers and security teams can collaborate to take a best-practices approach. Security teams are no longer in the position of saying no. Instead, they can enable the organization to take risks and innovate.

See related article: Deploying a Cyber-Resilient Framework to Reduce Risk and Enable Digital Transformation

Factor No. 2: Balance speed, security and complexity
As companies become more reliant on cloud-like experiences, automated pipelines and scale-up/scale-down architectures, security must be able to scale at the same speed as the rest of the digital environment. Given that developers are typically not security experts, shifting left means giving them as many self-service tools as possible. It is also important to provide developers with tools that help them protect the code they write, along with continuous delivery concepts such as security as code and compliance as code. This can help balance the requirement for speed and built-in security.

Leveraging automation and intelligence is another important factor in finding the right balance in speed, security and complexity. With security-by-design principles, organizations can more easily identify and remediate threats, thus reducing the pressure on cybersecurity teams and security operations centers. This is particularly important at a time when there is a severe shortage of experienced and qualified cybersecurity professionals.

Factor No. 3: Implement zero trust as an iterative process
Zero trust is a key trend in cybersecurity. Zero trust is a risk-aware cybersecurity model that assumes breach and uses continuous verification to ensure access is authorized and trusted, irrespective of access type, location or request. All users, devices and application instances must prove who they are and that they are authorized to access each resource. 

Implementing a zero trust model requires a data-driven approach and a strong security-first culture. When an organization adopts the collective mindset that trust is not implicit but must be applied and continuously verified using a context- and identity-based approach, the outcome can be very powerful. The business becomes empowered to establish trust and use security to mitigate risks and enable innovation and growth.

Organizations can accelerate their use of zero trust by adopting an operating model that is zero trust by design. This includes a verification framework that automates and continuously verifies the identity of workloads and systems, supported by clearly defined policies and enforcement everywhere—from silicon to the cloud and from the edge to the cloud.

See related article: Cybersecurity in the Cloud: Eliminating Confusion and Closing Gaps in Protection

Factor No. 4: Focus on continuous data protection and cyber resilience
Cyber resilience refers to an organization’s ability to continuously deliver the intended outcome, despite adverse events. This requires a cyber-resiliency framework that enables continuous protection of customer and company information at all times, in all locations. The solution must be:

  • Reliable, following a risk-driven approach with an accountable governance model.
  • Robust, with an integrated recovery architecture to protect, detect and respond to cyberincidents.
  • Resilient, combining effective controls with a continuous improvement model.
  • Responsive, with a proactive approach to incident monitoring and response.
  • Agile, with the ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to adverse conditions. 

In the face of explosive data growth and ever-increasing ransomware threats, organizations increasingly need modern, edge-to-cloud data protection that ensures continuous availability. This requires simplified approaches to ensure fast recovery from disruptions, globally consistent operations to improve efficiency, and seamless app and data mobility across clouds.

Continuous data protection can also offer the most effective protection for your business applications and data and improve overall cyber resiliency. Backup and recovery models should be continuous as well, to keep data available. When disaster recovery, backup and data mobility are brought together in a single, scalable cloud-based data management and data protection solution, data loss and downtime can be significantly minimized and data can be protected where and when it is needed most.

Embracing a shared responsibility model 
When it comes to delivering best practices in securing the data-first enterprise from edge to cloud, HPE GreenLake offers advantages and innovations that other platforms can’t provide. With HPE GreenLake, customers can leverage a shared-responsibility security model that clearly defines the security roles and responsibilities for both the consumer of the cloud service and the cloud service provider, HPE—empowering an experience that’s as secure as it is powerful.

The HPE GreenLake shared-responsibility security model is based on a comprehensive view of the entire ecosystem and a clearly delineated view of where security responsibility lies—with you, with HPE, or with your colocation provider—defined by resource location, usage, management and operation.

HPE GreenLake provides a secure-by-design hybrid cloud experience that enables organizations to manage operational risk; balance speed, security and complexity; and focus on outcome-driven continuous data protection and cyber resilience. For more information on how you can accelerate your digital transformation with a secure data-first approach to modernization, please visit HPE GreenLake.


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