How Security Experts are Surviving Cloud Transformation

August 17, 2021
Tim Wade
Deputy Chief Technology Officer
How Security Experts are Surviving Cloud Transformation

Cloud is certainly something most organizations are familiar with by now and even the businesses that haven’t fully adopted definitely have it on their road map. However, as we all witnessed the world change this past year and a half through the pandemic, it was in fact rapid cloud adoption that made the biggest technology splash. Driven by the need to adapt to the remote workforce as a way to keep everyone connected, productive and moving forward—the cloud is what made it possible.  

But this rapid transformation hasn’t always felt like success, particularly for network defenders trying to play catch-up. And when you consider all the cyberattacks making headlines these days, shouldn’t we stop to ask if security is in fact surviving cloud transformation? And what exactly does security need in order to go back on the offensive and manage the inherent risks of this journey?

I recently joined a panel along with two cloud security experts from Splunk—Doug Lhotka, Executive Security Advisor and Michael Natkin, Security Strategist, where we discussed this exact topic. My Vectra colleague Marcus Hartwig moderated the session, and now you can catch the on-demand version for the complete dialog.

It was great to be joined by these two industry vets for their unique perspective on how the cloud continues to change everything we know about security. Doug is a self-described cyber therapist having built a career in enterprise and security architecture, and anytime you get a chance to talk to someone like Michael with 30 years of experience solving security challenges, there’s no shortage of insight to be gained. Make sure you tune in, and in the meantime, here are a couple of the takeaways from the conversation:

Death of prevention security and the new security mindset

Doug may have summed this up best in saying, “the days of moats and castles are gone.” Summarizing that the traditional prevention approach to stopping adversaries just isn’t relevant in the cloud. And this isn’t just about the erosion of the perimeter, it’s also because today’s businesses demand agility when it comes to deploying and managing software and services, as Michael pointed out. Legacy, prevention-focused security has a reputation for being looked at by organizations as a “cost center” or “second-class citizen” that just slows down development—which isn’t going to help solve cloud security challenges. On the other hand, security leaders should be taking the initiative to align goals with overall business objectives, paving the way for rapidly achieving those objectives as a business enabler even as detection, response, and recovery capabilities are maintained to manage the risk of moving quickly.

The philosophy of success

At the root of this is changing the philosophy of modern enterprise security. The idea that you’re going to prevent every security incident isn’t realistic, in fact Vectra recently surveyed hundreds of security professionals in the latest State of Security Report where every single participating organization said they had experienced a cloud security incident. So, if defenders can’t prevent every incident, where does that leave us? Surprisingly there’s still a lot we can do when we focus on the resilience of mitigating risk before material damage.  

This change of focus includes gaining visibility across your domain and doing so in a way that gives you the quickest time to value. Every opportunity you have to detect an unfolding attack is an opportunity for an attacker to slip up, notify your defenders, and find themselves contained and expelled. And both Doug and Michael recommended having a clear inventory, so you know what to protect and always having valuable, actionable data to leverage.

To get all the insight discussed and make sure your organization survives cloud transformation, tune into the on-demand webinar, Surviving Cloud Transformation.