One Mesh, Secure Environments: Simplifying Data Protection
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One Mesh, Secure Environments: Simplifying Data Protection

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Perla Velasco By Perla Velasco | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 06/07/2023 - 13:57

The modern IT landscape has become increasingly intricate, with organizations relying on multi-cloud and multi-vendor infrastructures to meet their technological needs. However, this complexity poses significant challenges when it comes to protecting valuable data assets. In response, organizations are embracing the concept of cybersecurity mesh to tackle these complexities and ensure a comprehensive approach to data security.

By extending security controls and visibility across various interconnected components, organizations can create secure environments that prioritize data protection. However, such efforts do not come without challenges.  The first step towards implementing a cybersecurity mesh is to integrate a risk-based approach to implement the appropriate security measures for operations, says Aimed Pimentel, Mexico Leader, WOMCY.

A cybersecurity mesh can fortify a company’s complex digital infrastructures and protect its data in distributed environments. As businesses adopt multi-vendor and multi-cloud infrastructures, the need for a unified ecosystem of tools and controls becomes crucial. A study commissioned by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure found that 98% of surveyed enterprises are already using or planning to use at least two cloud infrastructure providers, with 31% using four or more. This widespread adoption emphasizes the importance of comprehensive security measures. Cybersecurity mesh enables organizations to extend security controls across diverse environments, creating a cohesive defense strategy that adapts to dynamic ecosystems.

To this end, taking a holistic approach to risk identification is crucial. “A business model should include risk-mitigation from within the system architecture to promptly identify risks and respond appropriately to an attack,” says Omar Alcalá, Cybersecurity Manager for SE - LATAM, Tenable.

To promptly identify risks, organizations must develop enhanced risk evaluation strategies. “Risk assessment has to be based on information protection. It involves evaluating the management of information and its impact on operations. These risk analyses provide general insights into operations,” says Roberto Flores, CISO, Viva Aerobus.

When sensitive and operational information is distributed across different platforms, the biggest challenge is identifying which information is the most valuable and needs to be protected, as well as how to protect it without causing disruptions to users or operations. "Organizations have to implement automated technologies to achieve efficient and accurate discovery. With these insights, protection policies and procedures can be managed," says Alfonso Villalba Almeida, Co-Founder and COO, Kriptos.

Insights become a valuable resource to guide the seamless implementation of cybersecurity measures across all platforms. “The mesh architecture requires intelligent identification of valuable data that guides a highly segmented information strategy. Therefore, platform architectures must include security strategies in their design,” says Asgard León Ochoa, CISO, TV Azteca.

Cybersecurity mesh solutions evolve at a rapid pace, and some changes are part of their maturation. Thus, flexible strategies must be developed within the team responsible for the systems to ensure interoperability. This is especially important as business operations are often multisegmented and spread across various platforms and services.

Oftentimes, companies contract a wide range of services from different providers, with some operations being in the cloud and others in site. This complexity makes it challenging to determine how to implement security controls, which is why flexibility is crucial to adapt to each contracted service, explains Flores.

The cybersecurity mesh presents an opportunity to adapt to an increasingly segmented world, which is why companies need to start understanding and embracing it, says Villalba. The natural evolution of these technologies means that companies no longer worry just about data loss but also about preventing data leaks, with an emphasis on the role of trust. "It is not just about preventing information loss, but also about the trust that exists towards the organization," says Ochoa.

Cybersecurity strategies once used to be based on patching problems that arose during operations. Now security must be implemented from the beginning, with a concept of cybersecurity embedded in the architecture's conception, explains Alcalá.

An additional challenge to ensuring business continuity and avoiding disruptions is the need for trained and specialized talent. Another difficulty is hyper-segmentation, as it is challenging to have experts in the numerous platforms in use, and this specialization requires a learning curve that top-level management must understand, says Villalba.

The need for flexible operations is apparent, both for the talent managing the platforms and the decision-making departments, says Ochoa. Businesses should also avoid neglecting the responsibility of users when trying to avoid compromising data. "With remote work, for example, employees can connect from networks that may pose a vulnerability to the system. Security strategies must consider system manipulation through user actions," says Alcalá.

By interconnecting security tools and platforms, businesses can proactively detect and respond to emerging threats, safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring operational continuity in a rapidly evolving threat landscape.

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