How much confidence do you have that you know what’s lurking in the dark corners of your server room, or in that datacenter you only just realised you’re still paying for? What about sensitive data uploaded to a semi-public cloud that really the HR department should have stopped using several years ago? Efficiency savings, regulatory compliance and a tight security posture are all top priorities for any IT leader. But visibility underpins them all.
Are you ready to resign?
Thrust into the spotlight thanks to the many companies that had incidents last year, everyone knows that keeping on top of what’s installed where is really important. However, with patches coming out almost daily for operating systems, servers, routers, desktops, email clients, office suites, mobile devices, firewalls and everything else that exists within a typical organisation’s infrastructure, patch management can prove a nightmare if managed manually. How do you know whether you’re vulnerable to a newly discovered security flaw, or if actually you’d installed a firmware update last month that means you’re not at risk?
Security challenges are increased when there is a lack of proper network visibility for incident detection and resolution. Large organisations say their biggest challenges are the struggle to capture network behaviour for incident detection and monitoring network flows for anomalous behaviour. Proper visibility across a network allows security teams to capture and analyse logs from network and security devices, as well as the ability to establish a baseline of normal network behaviour.
A necessary evil
Software audits are almost as routine as Christmas coming each year. So why does a 2017 report suggest that half of all firms asked to undertake software license audits by vendors are found to be non-compliant, resulting in millions of pounds in fines? A lack of visibility. But it’s not for want of trying. Hybrid cloud environments mean that spinning up new virtual machines to meet pressing changes in demand is very easy - but could just as easily leave a company in contravention of their licencing agreements. Rune Syversen, CEO of consultancy firm Crayon, agrees: “Vanson Bourne found that 67% of respondents who have adopted cloud services have seen the complexity of their software licensing increase. With multiple clouds and vendors, the options are often confusing as firms share data and resources across domains and providers.” Average penalties are over £600,000 each year, and 46% of fined organisations say it’s not their first offence. Licencing arrangements for enterprise software used across on-premise and hybrid cloud deployments are very hard to keep track of accurately. The security challenges of hybrid IT are well known, and reporting and regulatory requirements add yet another hurdle for IT professionals to overcome.
Here’s the dream
Imagine having a single, unified, pane-of-glass view across your whole IT infrastructure, with dynamic dashboards that gave you insights into networks and hardware infrastructure and across on-premise and multi-cloud setups. It’s not some far-off utopian fantasy.