“Data security is more complex than ever” may be the understatement of the year. Expanding connectivity and collaboration culture are increasing data security challenges at an exponential rate, but as a Silicon Valley tech company, our culture favors innovation. It is my role as a security leader at Juniper Networks to ensure that we manage security without impeding collaboration. Having this culture has helped to prepare Juniper so that we are able to maintain business continuity amidst a remote workforce, dependent on collaboration tools.
It is important to recognize that not all companies are in this same position. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to work in new ways that rapidly accelerated these challenges. For security teams, it can sometimes feel like an endless game of whack-a-mole, just putting out a new fire each day and struggling to get a full grasp on the big picture. One of the biggest questions I hear when I talk to peers in security leadership is simply, “Where do we start? Where do we focus our attention to have the greatest effect?” There’s no easy answer, and there’s no magic bullet strategy that will instantly address every data security challenge. But here are the top five key strategies that I believe are most impactful for today’s security team.
1. Start with the fundamentals: Know where all of your data is
This isn’t some innovative secret. You need to know where all of your data is, including what devices and cloud collaboration platforms it resides in. Gaining visibility into data and its movement is paramount and should be where security teams begin.
Asset management is one approach to this and it’s something that everyone wants to do, but it’s a difficult, never-ending task. I always say, show me one non-regulated industry where a company has done asset management effectively and consistently, and I’ll buy them all drinks. The cloud just makes the challenge that much more complex. As anyone who has ever installed a CASB solution can attest, you have no idea how enormous your full ecosystem is until you start gaining visibility into the cloud.
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