For most of the past decade, security experts have been proclaiming every year “the Year of the Hack,” and yet each year, cyber criminals manage to up their game. This year has been especially dangerous, as criminals used ransomware to lock up millions (if not billions) of files and extort an untold amount of money from their victims. Making matters worse, in many cases the ransom was a distraction rather than the end game, with hackers using the diversion to penetrate deep into the heart of corporate systems where most proprietary and highly sensitive assets are stored.
This “heart” is not so much a defined place as it is a concept—the “gooey” (or chewy) center. It’s wherever, within the network, organizations store their most precious assets—whether in a data center, an on-premise server, or a cloud environment. Historically, many technology professionals assumed that defending the perimeter—the edges of the network—would prevent hackers from getting through to the gooey center. However, as social engineering methods continue to evolve, with no signs of their success rate dropping, it’s indisputable that “perimeter detection” alone isn’t working.
The Edge Is Only the Beginning
Criminals continue to trick employees (and others with system access) into letting them penetrate the network perimeter. In many cases, they arrive weeks, months, or even years before they begin wreaking havoc, making detection less likely. Attempting to defend against these attacks solely from the perimeter is like building a fence to keep a rabbit out of your garden. That only works if the rabbit isn’t wily enough to sneak in after someone opens the gate—or isn’t already there.
Despite the obvious logic of this argument, the bulk of security budgets are still spent on the network — firewalls, intrusion detection, monitoring, etc. These investments account for billions in hardware/software expenditures, not counting the labor involved in deploying and managing these systems. Yet, virtually all security experts today assert that it is impossible to completely prevent attackers from getting in. Rather, firms must focus on limiting what they can do once they are inside and preventing them from taking anything out.
Achieving the twin goals just mentioned requires more than one approach and solution. Consequently, InterDev works with a variety of security providers that address one or more aspects of these crucial issues. One of them is Imperva, a pioneer in creating business security solutions for critical applications and high-value business data. Imperva’s award-winning solutions protect against data theft, insider abuse, and fraud by monitoring and controlling data usage and business transactions across, yet within, the organization—from storage in a database or on a file server to consumption through applications.
Given that only 20 percent of computing traffic crosses the perimeter, and 80 percent takes place inside, proactively managing activity inside the network—and stopping it when it is clearly inappropriate—must become a primary focus for organizations that wish to thrive.