3 strategies for a holistic approach to cybersecurity

By | 3 minute read | October 21, 2020

Staying ahead of cybersecurity threats is the top business challenge for executives according to IBM research. As organizations move more data to the cloud, this creates more access points through which the data can be hacked. Continued remote work mandates have also created new, vulnerable attack surfaces. Keeping data secure and compliant in this environment is a tall task for even the most sophisticated organization. 

The solution is to build in security throughout your hybrid multicloud environment, creating an IT infrastructure that provides holistic end-to-end protection. This means leveraging the security capabilities architected into all levels of your hybrid cloud environment (hardware, firmware, operating system, software), and securing the data itself at-rest, in-flight and in-use. 

Below, we’ll outline three strategies for shifting your approach to cybersecurity. You’ll learn how the technology and expertise backing IBM Z® and IBM Power Systems make IBM the best partner for you on that journey. 

For a deeper dive into these best practices and more, register for our webinar: “Build a Smarter Cybersecurity Strategy.”

Strategy 1: Encrypt data at scale with IBM Z 

Encryption is one of the best ways to protect data, as it renders stolen data useless without the encryption key. Selective encryption can be used to secure specific types of data within specific layers—at the database, application, data set or disk level. However, this approach is costly and resource-intensive, forcing organizations to make risky decisions about which data they choose to encrypt. 

Pervasive encryption on IBM Z lets you encrypt all enterprise data in-flight and at-rest, without costly application changes, to keep it secured within your environment. This method better equips you to meet compliance mandates. 

For more information on the importance of applying encryption to each stage of the data’s lifecycle, download this white paper 

Strategy 2: Protect workloads against threats with confidential computing 

There are many benefits to using a hybrid cloud environment, but from a security standpoint this also means the introduction of new risks, including insider threats from cloud and system administrators.  

The traditional model for managing IT environments relies on “operational assurance”—trusting that administrators are doing the right thing. At IBM, we believe that a zero-trust approach necessitates the move from operational assurance to “technical assurance”—in which protection controls are built into the technology to eliminate the need for administrators to access sensitive data within those environments.  

As we look to the future of data protection in hybrid cloud environments, confidential computing—the use of trusted execution environments (TEE) to protect data in use—can provide organizations with the technical assurance they need. IBM has been investing in confidential computing for over a decade, and we are on the fourth generation of our Secure Service Container technology, which is the underpinning for IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, available through the IBM Cloud and hosted on LinuxONE servers. With the latest generation of the Z platform, IBM z15 and LinuxONE III, we introduced a new hardware-enforced trusted execution environment called IBM Secure Execution for Linux. 

 To learn more about IBM’s confidential computing capabilities, read our blog post. 

Strategy 3: Build security into your IT stack with IBM Z and IBM Power Systems 

You can build security into your IT stack by working with various third-party vendors. However, this approach compounds the complexity that already exists with hybrid cloud and introduces more potential points of exposure to your network.  

Or, you could leverage the security, technology, and expertise of IBM through IBM Z and Power Systems. Both platforms offer comprehensive, end-to-end security that integrates across the entire stack—from chip to hypervisor, apps to network resources, up to security system management.  

IBM owns the security throughout, giving you more control and insight into what data is being stored and where. By identifying data flow and where it’s vulnerable, you can make informed decisions around the measures to take to protect it.   

To learn more about the benefits of a multilayered approach to security with IBM Z and IBM Power Systems, download our Power Systems eBook and visit the IBM Z Security webpage.  

>> Next steps: For more information on taking a holistic, data-centric approach to cybersecurity, register for our webinar

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