—-CT News Bureau

New Delhi, July 22: As cyber security becomes the prime focus area of enterprises, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, the Security Division of EMC Corporation, has cautioned businesses. He called upon SE Asian companies and governments to re-think their traditional approaches to cyber defense as they increasingly turn to mobile and cloud technologies to store and access data and systems.

Amit Yoran

At the RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan, he discussed how the rapid growth of mobile and cloud technologies in Asia are a boon to the organizations and industries of the region and also pose a significant threat to their legacy security operations. As mobile and cloud technologies decentralize organizations’ digital environments, the perimeter on which traditional cyber defenses are based is disappearing.

Despite the disappearing perimeter, Asian businesses and businesses around the world continue to rely primarily on perimeter protection technologies like firewalls, anti-virus, and intrusion detection systems to prevent breaches, only to see those tools invariably fail under the onslaught of today’s advanced attacks, Yoran said.

Compounding that failure is the current practice of relying on SIEM and other signature-based tools that require historical experience to detect advanced threats, which oftentimes have no precedent. This combination of antiquated technologies and misguided practices is the root of the vast majority of today’s security failings.

Yoran asked the audience to re-think their approach to security, using the dramatic digital evolution of Singapore Post and the region’s other postal services as an example of the level of change required in cybersecurity. The top executive at RSA went on to outline a new approach to security focused on faster detection of and more effective response to cyber threats in a series of five principles:

1. Acceptance that even advanced protections are insufficient for today’s threats - “No matter how high or smart the walls, focused adversaries will find ways over, under, around, and through.”

2. Deep, pervasive visibility from the endpoint to the network to the cloud is necessary – “The single most common and catastrophic mistake made by security teams today is under-scoping an incident and rushing to clean up compromised systems before understanding the broader campaign.”

3. Effective management of identities matters more than ever - “In a world with no perimeter and with fewer security anchor points, identity and authentication matter more than ever . . . At some point in every successful attack campaign, the abuse of identity is a stepping stone the attackers use to impose their will.”

4. Organizations must leverage external threat intelligence - “[Threat intelligence] should be machine-readable and automated for increased speed and leverage. It should be operationalized into your security program and tailored to our organization’s assets and interests so that analysts can quickly address the threats that pose the greatest risk.”

5. Security programs must be guided by an understanding of risk - “You must understand what matters to your business and what is mission critical. You have to . . . defend what’s important and defend it with everything you have.”

Yoran concluded by reminding the audience that the technologies already exist for companies to move to a more effective approach to security focused on faster detection and response to security threats. What is lacking is the will. “This is not a technology problem. This is a mindset problem,” Yoran said.