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Architecture for success: Bridging the divide between security policies and innovations

Ron Goh, President, Southeast Asia and Korea, VMware | March 22, 2016
According to Ron Goh of VMware, virtualisation will enable organisations to bridge the divide between security policies and security innovations.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Positioned as one of the world's growth engines in recent years, ASEAN - with a combined GDP of over US$2.4 trillion, according to the Asian Development Bank - has the potential of becoming the fourth largest economy by 2050. Alongside growing market maturity, mobile and cloud continues to take center stage as businesses look for more efficient and agile work structures to remain competitive. With Gartner predicting that enterprise IT spend will reach US$62 billion by 2018, the rise of devices and complexities in infrastructures today has resulted in multi-layered work environments and subsequent security vulnerabilities. In fact, a FireEye report found Southeast Asia to have 45 percent more threats than the global average.

As mobility and cloud becomes increasingly mainstream, businesses realise that traditional approaches to network and security cannot solve today's challenges. The typical business application today is connected to several different clouds. Add in the explosion in the number of devices and the interdependency of all of these services and network elements, and security today has become more complex than ever before.

With data security becoming ever more important to enterprises, we will need to evolve our security strategy, focusing on the following three pillars: agility, simplicity, and ubiquity.

Agility: All major cloud pioneers have achieved high rates of agility through delivering an entire infrastructure stack through software. In the year 2016, waiting around for hardware provisioning and maintenance simply takes too long compared to the agility pressures that every organisation faces. Shifting to a software-defined delivery model isn't just aspirational, it's historical. If most cloud companies are operating in a software-defined context, then simply put - history is on the side of software-defined shifts. It's inevitable. Naturally, this creates friction within the IT organisation as teams look to preserve their existing skillsets, but IT roles can and will evolve. You can start this evolution by introducing a software-defined network and security stack into your data centers. That said, take caution to ensure that the solution you choose can operate across any hardware and is architected to operate across any major cloud in the future.

Simplicity: Content and applications are becoming increasingly distributed globally. 'As a service' models across infrastructure, platform and software that can operate seamlessly across environments of data centres, branch offices, computer endpoints, mobile devices and even automobiles are increasingly being considered. With massive expansion and ever increasing endpoints, the challenge often lies in not knowing where to begin. A small step in the right direction would be to move away from security models based on IP addresses. Instead, look to solutions that secure named objects - and this means ensuring security context to follow the object even when redeployed.


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