Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 01:39

Acceleration to cloud, security ‘conflicts’ to increase in 2014

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An acceleration of moves to cloud computing and an increasing number of security conflicts are predicted for Australia next year, with businesses also expected to become application-centric rather than infrastructure-centric.

That’s the prediction of ICT solutions and services provider, Dimension Data, which also says it expects security to be a key focus area for Australian businesses in the next 12 months.

“Traditional IT operations will be challenged as the move to cloud gathers pace and the focus for management becomes application-centric rather than infrastructure-centric,” said Neil Campbell, Director of Solutions at Dimension Data.

“Much of the complexity inherent in IT infrastructure has become part of the cloud platform and responsibility for design, performance and configuration management has moved to the cloud provider. Tools and reports for infrastructure monitoring and capacity management will change when services move to the cloud and these functions must now work ‘application down’ not ‘infrastructure up’, necessitating change in processes, tools and skills. Projects and budgets will also be application driven.

According to Campbell organisations will look to leverage their data assets to drive innovation and competitive advantage, and many will look to cloud for rapid application and analytic capabilities, “while keeping their ‘big data’ in-house for performance, cost and information security reasons.”

Campbell says that new projects and innovations will leverage cloud to provide this rapid deployment and scalable services, “not just to spin up quickly but also to allow ‘fail fast’ where failure cost is minimised and the tendency to keep a project going to justify the investments made so far is overcome.”

Dimension Data expects security to be a key focus area for businesses in the next 12 months and Campbell says “security conflicts will become more the norm and this will have a powerful influence on the perceptions of business leaders.”

“If 2013 was the year that cybersecurity began to shift from an abstraction to a mainstream reality, 2014 will be the year that everybody becomes ‘cyberfluent’.”

Dimension Data says that key areas of change in the Australian security landscape will be seen in relation to:

•    Data loss prevention – organisations are rapidly reviewing and implementing Data Governance and Data Protection strategies in response to the implementation of upcoming changes to Privacy Law

•    Privilege management – insider threats are often the biggest risk to an organisation and 2014 will see the heavy adoption of privilege management - the ability to remove all forms of unnecessary or excessive administrative access for users through centralised policy

•    Cloud security – with increased adoption of cloud, organisations will require more advanced data and application level protection in the form of:

o    Cloud based DDoS Protection and Web Application Firewalling, especially for “pop up”/micro sites

o    Dynamic Application Based Data Encryption – to ensure that data placed into an organisation’s cloud-based application is secure and only accessible by the organisation’s intended users

o    Selective Automated Protection – organisations will look to uplift their security capability in-house, or look to managed security service providers, to provide selective automated protection – the ability for an organisation to streamline detection and register a security incident, have a response workflow initiated and then have the ability to “click a button” to automate the policy configuration of relevant security controls to actively protect against the incident.

And, converged communications is another service area where Dimension Data expects to see a significant push by organisations to move to the cloud. “The reduction in operational costs and IT support requirements, combined with the ability to accelerate the adoption of new unified communications services will see more demand for cloud-based delivery models,” Campbell said.

“We expect organisations to demand simplification and ‘one self-service portal’ with the ability to represent multiple vendor solutions. Businesses will demand a pure consumption-based cloud model, with the ability to scale up or down with no penalties, though many are likely to take a phased migration approach to cloud, utilising a hybrid model to maintain some level of control and guarantee the uptime of unified communication services.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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