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Part 2: Stories from the field: moving to continuous compliance and zero-touch

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How organizations are shifting their focus to continuous compliance and zero-touch security

This is the third and final installment in a series of blogs detailing my recent CouchTalk with AlgoSec Product Marketing Manager, Yitzy Tannenbaum.

To quickly recap – the first blog looked at how hybrid environments are the new normal for enterprise IT. During our talk, we explored how the complexities of cloud and on-premise networks impact organizational security posture. We then took a closer look at the typical working practices of networking professionals, and how AlgoSec’s solutions are helping them move away from a focus on troubleshooting.

In this final part, I will discuss how organizations are increasingly shifting focus to continuous compliance and zero-touch security.

Security rule overload

During our talk, we discussed the challenge for organizations dealing with a business-critical error. Clearly the priority is to get that application up and running as quickly as possible, which means there is a temptation to re-route traffic or amend a security rule fast in order to get the application running again – without necessarily optimizing the existing set of rules.

Also, when I go into any large enterprise and look at, say, the largest datacenter, typically there will be firewalls that have been in place for years. They have generally lived through organic build-up and multiple migrations across the datacenter or from firewall to firewall, which means a massive security rule set has built up over the years.

Together, these factors mean that many large organizations have a stock of security rules to clean up. Typically, when analyzing a new client’s security infrastructure, we will find that 50% (if not more) of their security policies can be cleaned up or removed. And in today’s highly dynamic enterprise network environment, that cleanup needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Moving to continuous compliance

Another effect of the increasingly dynamic, fast-moving enterprise network landscape is the requirement for organizations to move away from compliance being an exercise they complete every year or so. Auditors are recognizing this too and are looking for control sets that enable organizations to remain compliant, and alert them whenever a network change takes place that may affect that.

Of course, this is something that AlgoSec’s security policy automation technology enables. But it also has the effect of granting application owners new visibility of the risk that their applications introduce into the enterprise environment, and therefore enabling them to take greater responsibility for the wider business impact of the changes they wish to make. It is not to say that application owners now have responsibility for the security of their applications – more that they have a greater sense of how those applications affect overall risk posture.

Speeding up change requests

This discussion brought us on to the subject of zero-touch security automation. In line with a cleanup of the security rules on a typical network, and a shift to continuous compliance, zero-touch security is essential to enable organizations to remain secure and agile as their networks become more complex and fast changing.

It all falls under the long withstanding security principle of least privileged access. The reality is, and always has been, that only things that truly need to talk to each other should be connected across your network. However, as networks grow and get more complex and change organically over time, that principle falls by the wayside.

To regain control, organizations need the ability to control everything that each application and asset is connected to in a granular way and, wherever possible, in an automated way. This, of course, is what AlgoSec delivers in abundance.

To learn more about this topic, CLICK HERE to view the full video.

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