The word perimeter literally means a line that delineates an area, and the literal meaning of the word used to perfectly fit when describing an organization’s IT infrastructure which was contained within a physical space (the data center). In today’s world, the idea of a physical line – with safety and control on one side, and the wild west on the other – has become less analogous to information security, and defining a perimeter has become increasingly challenging.
90% of the data in existence today was generated in the past two years however whilst volumes of data are increasing, the half-life of data, the time period to measure the usefulness of data, is decreasing. As more devices in use today are mobile; a major concern for security teams is the common disconnect from the traditional local network for more than half of the time they are used. A final statistic to throw into this discussion is 85%; the percentage of enterprise internet traffic that is going to and from cloud services today. All of these statistics point very clearly at the obsolescence of the traditional idea of a perimeter for information security.
With the majority of enterprise data now spending most of its existence outside of the perimeter, one of two outcomes become clear.
- IT and security teams that attempt to ensure all data is routed back within the perimeter to aid visibility and apply security controls will likely cause problematic latency issues which ultimately disrupt business agility and productivity.
- IT and security teams who allow the transfer of data to and from the cloud and mobile devices to continue will leave large volumes of data and activities unchecked and unprotected.
Why Should we Reimagine the Perimeter?
1 – Protect data and users everywhere
The rapid adoption of cloud and mobile has resulted in data transitioning to locations where traditional security technology is blind. Organizations need to take a data-centric approach to cloud security, following data everywhere it goes, from its creation through to being exposed in the cloud including data going to ungoverned cloud apps and ungoverned personal devices.
2 – Safely enable the cloud and web
Cloud traffic dominates web traffic, with cloud services making up the majority of enterprise web traffic. Securing this environment, without slowing down the business, demands a new security model, based on a contextual knowledge of the cloud.
3 – Deliver security that is fast and scalable
When it comes to security, performance and scale are often the biggest challenge. Reliance on the public internet to deliver inline security causes performance challenges, and an appliance-based approach to deploying security does not scale. The network perimeter is dissolving. A new perimeter is needed that can protect data and users everywhere, without introducing friction to the business. As organizations transform digitally so should their perimeter.
The network perimeter is dissolving. A new perimeter is needed that can protect data and users everywhere, without introducing friction to the business. As organizations transform digitally so should their perimeter.