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GCN : May 2014
PERIM The threat landscape for government enterprises is evolving rapidly and the stakes are ratcheting higher as public and private sector organizations become more dependent on distributed computing re- sources and remote access. As a result, the focus in cybersecurity is moving away from the perimeter and the point security tools traditionally deployed there and toward the use of analytics and monitoring to provide visibility and rapid response. "Advancements have introduced thou- sands of applications, threats and vulner- abilities into communications networks, which are increasingly hidden from tra- ditional network security devices," the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee said in a 2013 report to the president. At the same time, both data and its us- ers are more likely to reside outside the enterprise today. And targeted multistage attacks are becoming better at penetrat- ing perimeter defenses. "Solely securing network perimeters is no longer an effec- tive method to address dispersed comput- ing platforms, greater worker mobility and social media," the NSTAC report con- cluded. But although security is moving beyond a reactive model based on point security products to one of enterprise awareness and response, this does not mean that point solutions or perimeter defenses are obsolete. "These are things you still have to do," said Wallace Sann, federal CTO at Fore- Scout Technologies. Firewalls, antivirus, intrusion detection and the like still are picking off the low-hanging fruit of cyber- attacks. These tools are not enough by them- selves to stop stealthier targeted attacks from penetrating chinks in perimeter defenses, but they can generate essen- BY WILLIAM JACKSON BEYOND THE Traditional network defense tools can't stop stealthier attacks from penetrating agency defenses, but they can improve awareness at the perimeter. Now new technologies are emerging to break down data silos generated by point security products with automated tools that talk to each other. 20 GCN MAY 2014 • GCN.COM