Rafael Chávez
Country Manager México
F5
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Cybersecurity Must Keep Pace with Evolving Threats

By Sofía Hanna | Wed, 04/20/2022 - 09:30

Q: What are the evolving challenges regarding cybersecurity?

A: One of the key challenges is that cybersecurity has to evolve continuously. Every time a new solution is developed, a hacker will try to attack it. The best option today may not be the best option in the future, so customers need to constantly analyze how to evolve and migrate their cybersecurity infrastructure. Cyberattacks are continuously evolving and cybercriminals are always trying to find new ways to attack users.

In the past, hackers chose specific targets, usually in the finance sector, government or emblematic institutions. Now, everyone is a target, not just the largest institutions or companies. Attackers are targeting everybody because there are millions of potential victims and a large potential revenue. Anybody using a device connected to the internet can be attacked now.

Q: What are the specific challenges of cybersecurity within the finance sector?

A: Financial institutions face a highly challenging environment. The pandemic accelerated digitalization and clients are now accustomed to completing monetary transactions through their mobile phones. As operations increase, security becomes even more important for customers.

In addition, clients want immediate availability. In the past, if platforms were not available, clients visited a bank branch the following day. Today, everybody expects immediacy. For financial institutions it is no longer only about security but also about performance and availability.

Q: What is a proactive cybersecurity system and why is it necessary?

A: A proactive security system is one that evolves from specific security devices into an integrated service that provides security in transactions, financial or otherwise. Companies used to implement specific technologies, such as an antivirus or a firewall, but this is not sufficient for modern attacks. Customers need to ensure their transactions are secure, which requires an analysis of the entire process, including the code and the location from where the operation is taking place. Modern applications no longer involve a single place but different data centers, clouds or services running on servers. Banks now have to consider these changes to ensure that operations are secure and reliable.

Q: What role does the cloud play within F5 customers’ operations?

A: Infrastructure has changed over the years. To avoid problems from platforms going offline or unavailable servers, customers have diversified and adopted new infrastructure, including the cloud. The cloud is elastic, faster and less expensive. When a company grows from 600 transactions per minute to 5,000, the cloud can scale up to support that volume of traffic. It can also de-escalate when traffic contracts. The cloud has become one of the key elements within our customers’ infrastructure but it also has to be protected. Security in the cloud today is different from what customers had in the past.

Q: How can F5 help customers that already have some cybersecurity software?

A: All customers have already implemented some cybersecurity protections. F5 does not eliminate what they have. We leverage it and add extra layers of security to distribute among different platforms. Customers may have servers and applications in different locations. F5 not only balances the traffic among all different locations, it also provides security for those transactions through different components included in our technology.

In addition, F5 helps customers use multicloud environments with a safe platform. It is usually difficult to use different clouds, especially if the customer is not a cloud expert. With F5, clients can use multiple clouds simultaneously, regardless of the complexity of use, while implementing only one security policy. We also monitor transactions and identify different or suspicious behavior to proactively prevent potential fraud. This is a unique solution in this market.

Q: What additional solutions does F5 offer for customers with modern applications?

A: F5 also has solutions to protect modern applications, which are divided into different micro services. Clients can run micro services in parallel in different locations or platforms but they need to maintain a good inventory to protect them. One of the main vulnerabilities today comes from using application programming interfaces (APIs) and our technology can provide API access control.

We also have technologies to identify and protect customers against bots, which have become a key problem. Hackers use bots to attack webpages and to access different databases.

Q: What are the trends and main technologies being implemented in the cybersecurity world?

A: Hackers will continue to find new ways to fool customers, steal credentials and access protected systems. It is essential to protect the infrastructure and ensure that all transactions are protected by securing APIs and applications, which can be done by ensuring credentials belong to the correct user.

Investments will continue in technologies such as AI and behavioral analysis, which are essential to cybersecurity because they help to predict potential attacks. F5 will continue to invest and develop those functionalities.

Q: As cybersecurity becomes a standard practice in corporate activities, what will be the next step in innovation for service providers?

A: Companies recognize that implementing and managing all cybersecurity infrastructure is complicated, so they want to rely on a third-party player to provide cybersecurity as a service. Cybersecurity can be in the cloud, so clients do not need to buy or implement hardware on their own. Cybersecurity strategies involve both technology and users.

 

F5 powers applications throughout their entire life cycle across any multicloud environment so customers, including enterprise businesses, service providers, governments and consumer brands, can deliver differentiated, high-performing and secure digital experiences.

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst