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The first five crucial security steps

In the business world, a recent phenomenon called the “third platform” is creating all kinds of havoc for business security practitioners.

A hard-perimeter defense and signature-based virus detection, are rendered almost useless by all the various ways of working that the third platform enables, and these days to say that traditional security does not work anymore, is an understatement.

According to RSA’s Technical Consultant Director, Jeffrey Kok, “Until a higher level of cyber security practices becomes the accepted norm, we are all screwed.

“In 2000, all of the world’s virus could be contained in a 1.44-inch floppy disk. Today, there are over 10 million new virus signature created on a daily basis!”

In summary, technologies, processes and mindsets need to evolve along with the new threats as the old paradigms simply do not hold true anymore.

What businesses need to do

There are five specific steps that Kok recommends for businesses to take.

The first, very simply and fundamentally is to stop believing that advanced preventive techniques (APT) solutions are enough. RSA for one, believes that they only eliminate threats to a certain level only.

Secondly, beyond advanced preventive and protection solutions that are automated, organisations need deep pervasive visibility into what’s happening. Kok said, “The bad guys are working like normal people. They have already compromised your environment and are avoiding detection. This is happening across networks, systems and devices.”

Identity and authentication are now also more important than ever. Kok opined that security has to follow both identity and applications. More importantly, how you look at your identity or secure it, should be consistent throughout the 2nd and 3rd platform.

“Focus on identity and information. Infrastructure can have less relevance,” Kok said, adding that business can address this by having stronger authentication without relying on passwords.

For the fourth point, he also pointed out that bad guys collaborate and share information, while the defence often works in siloes. “External threat intelligence is a core capability and leveraging this is ultra important.”

Last but not least, businesses have to figure out what matters most and what is mission critical, while they are designing their cybersecurity strategy.

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