By now, you've probably heard of software-defined networking (SDN): the emerging IT paradigm that abstracts networking hardware into programmable components for unprecedented data center agility and flexibility. In the same vein, parallel infosec developments currently underway are transforming rigid and complex physical security architectures into highly-adaptable, easily-managed, and ubiquitous mechanisms for IT security. This is software-defined security (SDSec)—a new model of infosec that just might save us from digital armageddon.
So what exactly is SDSec? Simply put, it's the abstracting of traditional hardware-based security approaches to a higher level, primarily with policies and objects that are defined by the user/organization. Because infosec in an SDSec environment is implemented, controlled, and managed by security software, organizations realize similar benefits—namely, agility and high adaptability—as other software-centric computing paradigms, but in this case—to improve the efficacy of cyber threat mitigation. It gives firms large and small the capability to protect their infrastructures cost-effectively and comprehensively, from the datacenter to the cloud.
The Dire Need for Scalable, Continuous Security
The more important and difficult question is not why, but how—that is, how can companies not just survive, but thrive in a landscape of digital threats?
SDSec is a natural outgrowth of virtualization technologies, the cloud, and SDN. But it's a gross understatement to say that SDSec is merely security for SDN and cloud environments abstracted into software controllers and frameworks. Consider the fact that APT-based cyberweaponry and malware like Stuxnet and Flame cost $100 million to develop a few years ago; these days, they can be had for just $10,000. This makes commercially motivated attacks an affordable endeavor for cyber criminals or malice-bent organizations. And with cyber ransom incidents on the rise, businesses and organizations—even governments will increasingly see their intellectual property and data held hostage. The City of Detroit was the latest municipality to fall victim to cyber ransom, to the tune of $800,000. High-value targets such as critical national infrastructures, financial systems, or other law enforcement agencies will increasingly come into the crosshairs, but as low-hanging fruit (i.e., poorly-secured infrastructures) are the shortest path of least resistance for hackers—any organization is fair game, especially those that are poorly secured.
UpGuard and SDSec
The best way to improve the efficacy of IT security in today's threat landscape is by implementing software-managed, policy-driven and governed security where most security controls such as intrusion detection, network segmentation and access controls are automated and monitored through software. UpGuard platform for continuous security is SDSec at its best: cost-effective, scalable, and comprehensive vulnerability detection for infrastructures of all sizes and compositions. As part of your continuous security toolchain, UpGuard provides the crucial validation layers to ensure that the whole IT and software delivery pipeline is bolstered for a strong security posture. Give it a test drive today, it's free for up to 10 nodes.
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