Enterprise “Overextended”? You Need To Evolve Your Identity Strategy

The rapid adoption of mobile devices and cloud services together with a multitude of new partnerships and customer-facing applications has extended the identity boundary of today’s enterprise. For the extended enterprise, identity and access management (IAM) is more than just provisioning employees with and enforcing the appropriate access to corporate resources. It’s about the ability to oversee access by a variety of populations, from employees to partners to consumers, and protect a variety of sensitive resources (including data) that may reside on or off the organization’s premises – all while helping to protect the organization from increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals and resourceful fraudsters.

Unfortunately, legacy approaches to IAM are failing us because they can’t manage access from consumer endpoints, they don’t support rapid adoption of cloud services, they can’t provide security data exchange across user populations, and offer no help against emerging threats.

We at Forrester have been promulgating a Zero Trust Model of information security. It eliminates the idea of distinct trusted internal networks versus untrusted external networks, and requires security pros to verify and secure all resources, limit and strictly enforce access control, and inspect and log all network traffic. Zero Trust applies effectively to identity as well. It requires security and identity pros to: 1) center on sensitive applications and data; 2) unify treatment of access channels, populations, and hosting models; and 3) prepare for interactions at Internet scale. Moving toward Zero Trust identity not only helps you improve business agility and achieve compliance – it even helps you enhance customer experience and deliver on your org’s API monetization strategy.

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The Biggest Risk To BC Preparedness – Third-Party Risk

At the recent Disaster Recovery Journal Fall World conference, I gave a presentation of the state of BC readiness. I had some great discussions with the audience (especially about where BC should report), but one of the statistics that really stood out for me and I made it a point to emphasize with the audience, is the state of partner BC readiness.

According to the joint Forrester/Disaster Recovery Journal survey on BC readiness, 51% of BC influencers and decision-makers report that they do not assess the readiness of their partners. If this doesn’t shock you, it should. Forrester estimates that the typical large enterprise has hundreds of third-party relationships – everyone from supply chain partners to business process outsourcers, IT service providers and of course cloud providers. As our reliance on these partners increases so does our risk – if they’re down, it greatly affects your organization’s business performance. And with the increasing availability of cloud services, the number of third parties your organization works with only increases, because now, business owners can quickly adopt a cloud service to meet a business need without the approval of the CIO or CISO and sometimes without the approval of any kind of central procurement organization.

Even among those organizations that do assess partner BC readiness, their efforts are superficial. Only 17% include partners in their own tests and only 10% conduct tests specifically of their critical partners.

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What Are S&R Pros Doing About Data Security And Privacy?

Data security consistently tops the laundry list of security priorities because it must. Organizations are collecting data, creating data, using data, and storing data in some way or another. Mishandle data or disregard privacy, and you’ve got a public relations fiasco on your hands with the potential to disrupt business operations or hurt the bottom line.

So, we know that data security is a priority, but what does that mean? What are organizations actually doing here? How much are they spending, and where are they focusing their efforts? And what are they doing about privacy? I’ve dug into data from Forrester’s Forrsights Security Survey, Q2 2012 and data from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) to answer these questions in a newly published benchmarks report for our Data Security and Privacy playbook. Note: This is not a shopping list, nor a check list, nor is it a “spend x% on data security because your peers are doing so!” manifesto. This report is meant to be a starting point for discussion for S&R pros within their organizations to take a closer look at their own data security and privacy strategy.

Key findings include:

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Incident Response Isn’t About Point Solutions; It’s About An Ecosystem

Today EMC announced the acquisition of Silicium Security.  Silicium’s ECAT product is a malware threat detection and response solution.  ECAT did not adopt the failed signature based approach to malware detection and instead leveraged whitelisting and anomaly detection.  Incident response teams can leverage ECAT to quickly identify and remediate compromised hosts.  ECAT joins NetWitness and enVision.  

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Cloud-Native Identity Management Is Suddenly Looking Like A Winner

 

Doing access management with the help of cloud-based services is a pretty comfortable proposition by now. For more than a decade, we've been doing federated single sign-on to and from apps that are themselves in external domains. Looking at the recent Forrester Wave™ on enterprise cloud identity and access management, all three vendors we identified as leaders specialize in various kinds of cloud-app SSO and access control -- the cloud identity 1.0 ur-scenario. (Join us tomorrow, September 20, for a client webinar to review this Wave!)
 
What about identity management in the cloud? It's been harder to find. Two other vendors we looked at in the Wave provide cloud interfaces to familiar on-premises provisioning solutions such as the IBM and Oracle suites. And all the vendors rely on hooking into an organization's on-premises directory as the single source of truth.
 
Okay, then, what about putting that single source of truth into a store with a cloud-native interface, as my colleague Andras discussed on our Security & Risk blogs recently? That’s even more rare -- but the writing is on the wall. Microsoft went bold with its Windows Azure Active Directory moves, providing non-LDAP RESTful interfaces. Cool. (I’d like it to support SCIM as well, though, since you ask.)
 
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When It Comes To Data Security, You Don’t Need A Silver Bullet, You Need A Framework

There is truth to the meme, “data is the new oil.” Data is the lifeblood of today's digital businesses, and for economic and even political gain, highly skilled cybercriminals are determined to steal it. Meanwhile, customers around the globe have become highly sensitive to how organizations track, use, and store their personal data, and it's very difficult for security pros to stay one step ahead of changing privacy laws and demands. Plus, as data volumes explode, it's becoming a herculean task to protect sensitive data and prevent privacy infringements (today we talk in petabytes, not terabytes).

Every day, vendors introduce a new product that claims to be the silver bullet to data security challenges. Consider that DLP remains one of the most popular search terms by security pros on Forrester.com. In the case of data security, there is no silver bullet. There is no way to solve the problem without a process framework that outlines how you go about discovering, classifying, analyzing, and then ultimately defending data. Forrester has created a framework to help security pros protect data – we call it the Data Security And Control Framework. If you take a framework approach, you will:

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AVG: What They’re Doing Right, Where They (And Other Vendors) Just Make Noise, And What It Means For S&R Pros

I spent a jam-packed day with security software and services provider AVG last week, checking out their 2013 product line-up for free antivirus and paid premium products, and participating in roundtable discussions with press, analysts, and AVG executives about consumer security, mobile, privacy and policy. Here are my reactions to what AVG is doing:

LOVE: Outside in perspective, from both a micro and macro perspective. Most vendors will do and mention the importance of customer experience and feedback, but AVG hammered the point home in every _single_ conversation. On a macro level, AVG is very sophisticated about privacy. They are actively engaged in conversations with governments, are sensitive to the complexity that comes with balancing privacy and national security objectives, and closely follow global privacy policy developments and implications for consumers. Maybe I haven’t been connecting with the right folks from other vendors, but I don’t have these types of conversations often outside of an academic setting.

LIKE: Consumer data (yes, I’m biased here, being the data nerd). AVG has lots of it and it’s all free. This is awesome because it’s a great resource not just for the industry but for other parties to use in education and awareness program design. They’ve done studies across 11 countries for their Digital Diaries studies, surveying parents and kids of different age brackets from 0 to 17 to understand online behaviors and attitudes. Here’s a data nugget that caught my attention: by the time they are two years old, 81% of children have some kind of digital footprint (online photographs, personal data, email and/or social networking accounts). 81%!

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Application Whitelisting Offers A Tantalizing Alternative To Popular "Whack-A-Mole" Antivirus Strategies

Guest Post From Researcher Chris Sherman

Traditional antivirus techniques have been fighting a losing battle for years. Popular hacker exploit kits pounce on new vulnerabilities quickly while advanced tools such as polymorphic viruses propagate their malicious intents.  As a result, signature databases (known as “blacklists”) have ballooned in size, causing strain on a company’s infrastructure and endpoint performance. Combined with the fact that antivirus vendors  miss a significant number of the unknown or zero-day threats, many security professionals are left questioning their antivirus-centric approach to endpoint protection.  As the number of malware samples rise, this traditional "Whack-A-Mole" blacklist strategy of signature-based antivirus protection is simply unscalable.

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