Q and A with Peter Christy of 451 Research: Security Challenges for the Digital Enterprise

Q and A with Peter Christy of 451 Research: Security Challenges for the Digital Enterprise

I am excited to join Peter Christy, 451 Research Director, in our upcoming webinar on August 20 - Cloud Computing and the Digital Enterprise: Security Challenges and Opportunities. In preparation for our discussion on how to best secure today’s modern data center, I sat down with Peter to preview some of the questions we will be answering during the webinar.

Thanks for taking the time today, Peter - in your research, you often talk about the “digitalization” of the world - can you describe that a bit for us?

Absolutely - digitalization is the technological shift towards “software-defined everything” that is transforming business rapidly. As technology advances, like the birth of cloud computing from x86 hardware architecture to virtualized servers, these new platforms and applications are able to consume and process larger volumes of data than ever before. At the same time, end-users are demanding mobile access to more data and services, anytime, anywhere. This “perfect storm” is requiring organizations - and their underlying infrastructure - to adopt elastic, on-demand service models that make resources available quickly and at a lower cost for consumption, and ultimately to support a responsive and agile business.

We, too, see many of our own customers in the midst of this digital shift to transform their data centers for greater speed and agility to meet the needs of their business. We’re also seeing customers voice security concerns because of this shift - Peter, how are you seeing digitalization change the way organizations are securing their data centers?

Great question - and one that I get often. Without doubt, digitalization breaks the traditional infrastructure trust model. In the old, hardware-centric silos, assets and individuals outside the network perimeter were considered “bad” while anyone inside was considered “good”. But in today’s cloud environments, the physical hardware boundary is irrelevant. Instead, security must adapt to a new architecture where trusted vs. untrusted users or workloads are identified at a much more granular level in order to have greater context and also where policies can scale dynamically with the assets being protected.

It’s true that the traditional perimeter is not something that exists in cloud infrastructure - and security solutions that force virtualized workloads into these silos negate the benefits of consolidating. So, Peter, now that we understand the challenges of securing the modern data center, what’s one piece of advice you have for organizations to help overcome them?

My most important advice is that it’s impossible to solve these cloud computing security challenges incrementally. What I mean is, organizations cannot simply adapt current technologies that were built for hardware and hope to make them work in a high-scale, virtualized world. They need to take advantage of new software-defined, virtually-deployed architectures for compute, and apply them to security.

To catch Peter and Keith’s full discussion, register for our joint webinar on August 20 at 10am PST.