protect-critical-assets

Protect critical assets

Safeguarding data, apps and endpoints

protect-critical-assets

Protect critical assets

Safeguarding data, apps and endpoints

Deliver data like water

In today’s information-driven economy, your data is your most valuable asset. Are you doing everything you can to protect it from unauthorized access, exposure and theft?

deliver_data_image

Just as all life on earth depends on clean water to thrive, your business requires the same from data. In fact, the conversation around critical assets in the enterprise all flows from this source. Just as society uses complex, integrated infrastructures to keep potable water flowing into our homes. Likewise, your security infrastructure needs to meet critical requirements to protect and facilitate the flow of data. It’s vital to be able to locate, store, manage and transport data quickly, efficiently and securely. To keep data secure, you need the right people, processes and technology in place to manage data from the source to the apps and endpoints accessing it.

Cybercriminals know just how valuable your assets are, and many of them possess the skills, technology and diligence to drill down into your infrastructure to gain access. To protect your organization’s vital data — financial information, health records, identity data, trade secrets — and the apps and endpoints with access to that data, you need to walk a precarious line between access and control.

Challenges of critical asset protection

Make crystal clear what’s critical

Only about 2 - 3 percent of the data flowing through your enterprise is truly mission-critical, and the first step in safeguarding it is to determine exactly what it is and where it lives. However, mission-critical data should never be misconstrued with sensitive data, which still requires safeguarding at rest and in transit through apps and endpoints.

The loss or exposure of this data won’t necessarily bring the walls crashing down around you, but any kind of data loss is a cause for concern when meeting regulatory compliance or guarding your brand’s reputation.


In other words, while protecting the data classified as “sensitive” is a basic best practice that shouldn’t be ignored, all data needs some form of protection at the source and across all points of transit as it turns from simply data into actionable intelligence.


Assets, assets, everywhere

Many organizations simply don’t know where to look for security issues relating to their critical assets, or which strategy gaps to address first. As more employees access corporate data via mobile devices and apps, IT departments are tasked with creating policies and implementing technologies to govern countless endpoints across multiple platforms. They struggle to secure endpoints, apps and data while still empowering staff with seamless access to work effectively at the speed of the business.

The security talent drought

And while data volumes increase exponentially every year, a chronic shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals leaves companies exposed today, and even more so tomorrow. Between the expanse of new endpoints obscured by shadow IT, internet of things, increasing regulatory compliance and the “appification” of access, the challenges of protecting critical assets are only expected to increase.


The vulnerable state of data


83%

83%

Of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020¹


20.8

billion

20.8 billion

“Things” to secure by 2020²


68%

68%

Increase in app dev by companies³


57%

57%

Of CISOs don’t know where their data is⁴


38.4%

38.4%

IT security professionals are only aware of 38.4% of the applications known to IT administrators⁵

An optimized critical asset protection strategy needs to keep intruders out while enabling authorized users to access and interact with data at the speed, scale and complexity of your business.

Establishing balance image

Establishing this vital balance between security and usability means diving in headfirst into three main areas:


  • Intelligent visibility, which lets you find and prioritize critical assets (data, apps and endpoints) while also swiftly and accurately identifying risks

  • Proactive mitigation, which informs the policies and practices to safeguard assets with automated threat response, while maintaining maximum accessibility and usability

  • Continuous control, which optimizes security at the speed of business while dynamically adhering to rapid regulatory changes and internal policies for protection.

Where do you see your greatest security challenge right now?

%

responds data

%

responds apps

%

responds endpoints

Data

Apps

Endpoints

Wavy floating lines across the screen from middle of the page to right edge.

Gain actionable insights with intelligent visibility

Protect your business’s most important assets with an enterprise-wide investigation of what you have, where you are exposed to the greatest risks, and which assets are absolutely mission-critical. An efficient, streamlined approach to establishing intelligent visibility begins with a comprehensive inventory of data, apps and endpoints. Then you can categorize these assets and prioritize critical assets and the resources you use to protect them.

As you create an inventory of each asset category, you’ll gain a clearer picture of your current security posture by asking these targeted questions:

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data.

Data

  • What kinds of data do you have? Is it structured, unstructured or semi-structured?
  • Does your data meet compliance requirements?
  • Does it include classified, sensitive, personal, financial or operations information?
  • Where is it stored? Where does it travel?
  • Can you automatically locate databases and pinpoint critical data within them?
  • Do you have high visibility — down to the granular level — into database transactions and access privileges?

See proactive and scalable data protection in action

Hackers and malicious insiders understand the complex ecosystems of enterprise technology. Outsmarting cybercriminals starts with thinking like them: understanding the vulnerabilities in your enterprise’s technology ecosystem and proactively working to strengthen defenses.

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Apps

  • How do you identify app vulnerabilities and how quickly are you able to do it?
  • Are your apps secure by design, or are you constantly uncovering vulnerabilities that need to be patched on the fly?
  • How can you retool your development process to eliminate backtracking and constant updates?
  • Do you have a way to see all enterprise apps across networks, cloud and endpoints?
  • Does your technology include built-in reporting capabilities for decision-makers?

AppSec on Cloud creates actionable results for fast code fixes

Securing your organization’s web and mobile applications requires the capacity to analyze vast amounts of code, and chances are that you face the additional risks associated with open-source development. In fact, of the 60 percent of enterprises that use open-source software, most don’t have specific policies approval processes in place for analyzing open-source code.

Pictogram depicting endpoints as represented by a mobile device and a computer connected by lines.

Endpoints

  • Which endpoints can and should have access to critical data and apps?
  • Who has access to these endpoints, and what devices are they using?
  • Do you have a one-pane view of all endpoint devices, including the data and apps they can access?
  • Do you receive instant alerts for non-compliant endpoints?
  • Is your infrastructure set up to enable AI insights from structured and unstructured data sources?

Gain insights quickly with smart unified endpoint management

Conventional mobile device management (MDM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions aren’t designed to discover and prioritize the areas that have the most significant impact on your organization. Instead, they rely on you and your team to self-discover risks and opportunities related to endpoints users, apps and data. With the sheer amount of analysis that your department is likely tasked with, this approach simply isn't going to be sustainable.

Once you have a high-level inventory of the assets that fuel your business, you can then begin to categorize them and prioritize both the assets and the methods you use to protect them.


Asking some strategic questions will help you separate your assets hierarchically according to how critical they are to your business and how you will protect them with an intelligent combination of people, processes and technology.


Pictogram depicting security as represented by a check box and a lock interconnected.

The most helpful questions for categorizing your assets include:



Security: What are the risks are my critical assets currently and which assets are most vulnerable? For example, are the risks internal or external? How well am I able to detect both malicious attacks and compromises resulting from simple human error?


Compliance: What regulatory requirements must I meet? What costs do I risk incurring if I’m found to be out of compliance?


Privacy: Whose sensitive information is entrusted to me, and is it sufficiently secure?


Competition: Are my trade secrets or other mission-critical information at risk of exposure or theft?


Best practices: Am I making the best use of people, processes and technology to protect critical assets? In what areas do I need to streamline, become more agile, upgrade hardware or software, or implement more effective policies?

Once you’ve expanded upon your critical assets inventory with more detailed questions, you will have the information you need to prioritize your next steps according to how urgently you need to remediate each category of risk.

See smarter with AI

Providing insights into endpoints

Mobile devices continue to be a boon for business, while busting the traditional models of IT management. Never before has a technology been more out of IT’s hands, but rather a people’s choice in form factor and the software that powers it. Keeping reasonable levels of control on such a technology goes far beyond the capabilities of traditional mobile device management that relies too heavily on structured data flowing from manufacturers and software developers.

IT and security departments need help from artificial intelligence that can keep pace with structured data for standard mobile policies. Depending on the data accessed and the type of device, AI can give insight from unstructured data to protect unique environments that might need more (or less) control. AI is about seeing more, but more importantly, it’s about being able to do more with that information once it becomes clear.

Thwart threats with proactive mitigation

The best place to begin mitigation strategies is with proactive, dynamic and responsive policy creation. With the right policies and a day-to-day approach to process optimization, you reduce risks and enable your business to thrive and grow, even in the face of cyber uncertainty.

To determine which policies and rules you need to create and how to enforce them, consider several questions according to the critical data, apps and endpoints you have. When considering data policy, how will you detect database vulnerabilities and configuration flaws? What practices will you use to log, monitor and mitigate issues as they emerge? When access to critical data is compromised, what action plans should be put in place to block threats, execute an alert strategy, ensure business continuity and recover from the incident?

Endpoints are the means through which data is accessed, processed and disseminated, so how should policies be distributed across your devices? How will policies be adapted for different types of devices and users? What policies should you implement to control access to endpoints? What protocols will govern the response to departures from policy?

Key mitigation capabilities for endpoints, apps and data

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data.

Data encryption at rest or in transit

Centralized access controls across all data environments

Outlier detection analytics to identify anomalous behavior

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Whitelisting and blacklisting of apps by device and user groups

Control of data sharing in apps with containers for mobile

Blocking of data sharing in apps

Pictogram depicting endpoints as represented by a mobile device and a computer connected by lines.

Deployment of devices with network configurations

Automatic quarantine/blocking of non-compliant endpoints

Ability to patch thousands of endpoints at once

Respond faster with automation


In a perfect world, all breaches would be identified before any incidents occur. In a truly perfect world, we would know the DNA of all incidents to expunge them before they become averse events. We don’t live in a perfect world though, so we must create best-case scenarios instead.

Automating the processes between incident detection and removal is a pivotal first step in a best-case scenario. For data, the tie between anomalous behavior and removal of access rights keeps advanced persistent threats from their low and slow siphoning of valuable information. For endpoints, automated policies that revoke network access when say malware is detected on the device slows the spread of malicious code by keeping the threat isolated. For apps, security automation has become a must so DevOps can keep pace with the speed of business while also ensuring data integrity no matter what platform is accessing and using data.

Pictogram depicting security automation as represented by a mobile phone, tablet, and a desktop computer and a lock.

Achieve continuous control over threats and regulations


Maintain momentum with an ongoing commitment to control. Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for protecting critical assets can transform your business and pave the way to future success, but only if you put it into action with a day-to-day, boots-on-the-ground commitment to executing and refining your approach.

Once you’ve generated a prioritized inventory of critical assets and put the right people, processes and technology in place, the new plan for everyday operations will create a constructive feedback loop that enables you to maintain control, learn what works best and make the right adjustments for improvement. Continuous control is an ongoing process of constant refinement and responsive adaptation.

The more you discover along the way, the more you can educate leadership and bring key players into alignment with your strategy. Securing their commitment is a vital element in influencing the cultural shift you’ll need to gain enterprise-wide support for the cause of critical asset protection.

Periodic reviews and brainstorming sessions around the following capabilities should be built into annual schedules:

  • Review, definition and refinement of policies, rules, action plans and compliance
  • Prevention of shadow IT
  • Regulatory and legal compliance
  • Improvement of usability, productivity and access
  • C-suite alignment with regular updates and education sessions
  • Evaluation of roles, skills, training and culture development
  • Reporting and analytics for endpoints, apps and data

ISS: Safeguarding mobile devices

Manual app provisioning and device management processes were time-consuming and created challenges for users. Working with IBM and Atea, ISS deployed an enterprise mobility management platform that helps staff quickly provision and update its mobile apps and better safeguard mobile devices.

Top priorities for enabling continuous control of endpoints, apps and data

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data

Access management across database instances

Advanced and centralized audit reporting

Monitoring and analytics on database performance characteristics and access

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Prioritization of app assets based on risk level and potential to impact business

Distribution of corporate apps to disrupt shadow IT

Testing and repair of apps prior to deployment

Pictogram depicting security as represented by a check box and a lock interconnected.

Automatic policy creation for endpoints

Zero-day OS updates

Continuous monitoring, patching and enforcement of security policies across endpoints

Scale for success with extensibility


Out-of-the-box capabilities in security solutions remain a steadfast need for resource strapped security departments. Any system that can do more with fewer resources is in fact the ultimate goal for information technology. However, that box needs to have very flexible sides that can be taken down to accommodate new feeds, greater speeds and overall scalability to keep pace with your business goals.

You not only need to ask if your security solutions have room for expansion, but how that expansion occurs. Will you have to be ever be offline to accommodate growth? How quickly can your solution scale beyond its initial capabilities, and how much effort is involved (both yours and the vendors) to make those changes a reality? Is there an easy plug-and-play way to grow without disrupting everyday operations for smaller changes to environments? If your security solutions for data, endpoints and apps can’t scale beyond its core functions, then it’s not right for your business; it simply works for right now.

Wavy floating lines across the screen from the left edge and ending in the middle.

Improve security with the power of people


Black hats have evolved from the solitary denizens of dark basements to full-blown businesses replete with office, regular business hours and even healthcare and other perks. Also, they only need to get their job done right once to exfiltrate precious information from your systems. And frankly, there are far more of them than there are of you.


Also, security as its own discipline is still in its infancy.


Many cybersecurity professionals sat on the side of IT until the pervasive use of the internet in business and ultimate escalation of threats once systems were opened up to the world. There simply hasn’t been enough time societally speaking to train and equip the forces we need to keep the black hats at bay.

You need expertise and guidance to discover which assets need what level of protection, a plan to protect those assets with the smartest and least complicated systems possible, and expert support for responding to those incidents should your in-house talent or technologies fall short.

The all-too-common pattern of piecemeal, stopgap measures causes more confusion than clarity and sends the most seasoned security professionals on needless wild goose hunts, while the real threats remain undetected. The right services partner will close your gaps today and prepare your people to respond more effectively on their own tomorrow.

During the next year, what’s your top priority for protecting critical assets?

%

responds gaining a better understanding of the assets we have

%

responds mitigating threats in endpoints and apps

%

responds ensuring a continuous loop of control for compliance

Gaining a better understanding of the assets we have

Mitigating threats in endpoints and apps

Ensuring a continuous loop of control for compliance

IBM Security solutions to protect critical assets

data

IBM Guardium

IBM Data Security Services

IBM Managed Data Protection Services for Guardium

apps

IBM Security AppScan/IBM Application Security on Cloud

IBM MaaS360 with Watson

IBM Application Security Services

endpoints

IBM MaaS360 with Watson

IBM BigFix

IBM Endpoint Security Services

Next steps

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Table of contents

Deliver data like water

Deliver data like water

In today’s information-driven economy, your data is your most valuable asset. Are you doing everything you can to protect it from unauthorized access, exposure and theft?

deliver_data_image

Just as all life on earth depends on clean water to thrive, your business requires the same from data. In fact, the conversation around critical assets in the enterprise all flows from this source. Just as society uses complex, integrated infrastructures to keep potable water flowing into our homes. Likewise, your security infrastructure needs to meet critical requirements to protect and facilitate the flow of data. It’s vital to be able to locate, store, manage and transport data quickly, efficiently and securely. To keep data secure, you need the right people, processes and technology in place to manage data from the source to the apps and endpoints accessing it.

Cybercriminals know just how valuable your assets are, and many of them possess the skills, technology and diligence to drill down into your infrastructure to gain access. To protect your organization’s vital data — financial information, health records, identity data, trade secrets — and the apps and endpoints with access to that data, you need to walk a precarious line between access and control.

Challenges of critical asset protection

Challenges of critical asset protection

Make crystal clear what’s critical

Only about 2 - 3 percent of the data flowing through your enterprise is truly mission-critical, and the first step in safeguarding it is to determine exactly what it is and where it lives. However, mission-critical data should never be misconstrued with sensitive data, which still requires safeguarding at rest and in transit through apps and endpoints.

The loss or exposure of this data won’t necessarily bring the walls crashing down around you, but any kind of data loss is a cause for concern when meeting regulatory compliance or guarding your brand’s reputation.


In other words, while protecting the data classified as “sensitive” is a basic best practice that shouldn’t be ignored, all data needs some form of protection at the source and across all points of transit as it turns from simply data into actionable intelligence.


Assets, assets, everywhere

Many organizations simply don’t know where to look for security issues relating to their critical assets, or which strategy gaps to address first. As more employees access corporate data via mobile devices and apps, IT departments are tasked with creating policies and implementing technologies to govern countless endpoints across multiple platforms. They struggle to secure endpoints, apps and data while still empowering staff with seamless access to work effectively at the speed of the business.

The security talent drought

And while data volumes increase exponentially every year, a chronic shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals leaves companies exposed today, and even more so tomorrow. Between the expanse of new endpoints obscured by shadow IT, internet of things, increasing regulatory compliance and the “appification” of access, the challenges of protecting critical assets are only expected to increase.


The vulnerable state of data


83%

83%

Of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020¹


20.8

billion

20.8 billion

“Things” to secure by 2020²


68%

68%

Increase in app dev by companies³


57%

57%

Of CISOs don’t know where their data is⁴


38.4%

38.4%

IT security professionals are only aware of 38.4% of the applications known to IT administrators⁵


An optimized critical asset protection strategy needs to keep intruders out while enabling authorized users to access and interact with data at the speed, scale and complexity of your business.

Establishing balance image

Establishing this vital balance between security and usability means diving in headfirst into three main areas:

  • Intelligent visibility, which lets you find and prioritize critical assets (data, apps and endpoints) while also swiftly and accurately identifying risks

  • Proactive mitigation, which informs the policies and practices to safeguard assets with automated threat response, while maintaining maximum accessibility and usability

  • Continuous control, which optimizes security at the speed of business while dynamically adhering to rapid regulatory changes and internal policies for protection.

Where do you see your greatest security challenge right now?

%

responds data

%

responds apps

%

responds endpoints

Data

Apps

Endpoints

Gain actionable insights with intelligent visibility

Gain actionable insights with intelligent visibility

Protect your business’s most important assets with an enterprise-wide investigation of what you have, where you are exposed to the greatest risks, and which assets are absolutely mission-critical. An efficient, streamlined approach to establishing intelligent visibility begins with a comprehensive inventory of data, apps and endpoints. Then you can categorize these assets and prioritize critical assets and the resources you use to protect them.

As you create an inventory of each asset category, you’ll gain a clearer picture of your current security posture by asking these targeted questions:

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data.

Data

  • What kinds of data do you have? Is it structured, unstructured or semi-structured?
  • Does your data meet compliance requirements?
  • Does it include classified, sensitive, personal, financial or operations information?
  • Where is it stored? Where does it travel?
  • Can you automatically locate databases and pinpoint critical data within them?
  • Do you have high visibility — down to the granular level — into database transactions and access privileges?

See proactive and scalable data protection in action

Hackers and malicious insiders understand the complex ecosystems of enterprise technology. Outsmarting cybercriminals starts with thinking like them: understanding the vulnerabilities in your enterprise’s technology ecosystem and proactively working to strengthen defenses.

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Apps

  • How do you identify app vulnerabilities and how quickly are you able to do it?
  • Are your apps secure by design, or are you constantly uncovering vulnerabilities that need to be patched on the fly?
  • How can you retool your development process to eliminate backtracking and constant updates?
  • Do you have a way to see all enterprise apps across networks, cloud and endpoints?
  • Does your technology include built-in reporting capabilities for decision-makers?

AppSec on Cloud creates actionable results for fast code fixes

Securing your organization’s web and mobile applications requires the capacity to analyze vast amounts of code, and chances are that you face the additional risks associated with open-source development. In fact, of the 60 percent of enterprises that use open-source software, most don’t have specific policies approval processes in place for analyzing open-source code.

Pictogram depicting endpoints as represented by a mobile device and a computer connected by lines.

Endpoints

  • Which endpoints can and should have access to critical data and apps?
  • Who has access to these endpoints, and what devices are they using?
  • Do you have a one-pane view of all endpoint devices, including the data and apps they can access?
  • Do you receive instant alerts for non-compliant endpoints?
  • Is your infrastructure set up to enable AI insights from structured and unstructured data sources?

Gain insights quickly with smart unified endpoint management

Conventional mobile device management (MDM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions aren’t designed to discover and prioritize the areas that have the most significant impact on your organization. Instead, they rely on you and your team to self-discover risks and opportunities related to endpoints users, apps and data. With the sheer amount of analysis that your department is likely tasked with, this approach simply isn't going to be sustainable.

Once you have a high-level inventory of the assets that fuel your business, you can then begin to categorize them and prioritize both the assets and the methods you use to protect them.


Asking some strategic questions will help you separate your assets hierarchically according to how critical they are to your business and how you will protect them with an intelligent combination of people, processes and technology.


Pictogram depicting security as represented by a check box and a lock interconnected.

The most helpful questions for categorizing your assets include:



Security: What are the risks are my critical assets currently and which assets are most vulnerable? For example, are the risks internal or external? How well am I able to detect both malicious attacks and compromises resulting from simple human error?


Compliance: What regulatory requirements must I meet? What costs do I risk incurring if I’m found to be out of compliance?


Privacy: Whose sensitive information is entrusted to me, and is it sufficiently secure?


Competition: Are my trade secrets or other mission-critical information at risk of exposure or theft?


Best practices: Am I making the best use of people, processes and technology to protect critical assets? In what areas do I need to streamline, become more agile, upgrade hardware or software, or implement more effective policies?

Once you’ve expanded upon your critical assets inventory with more detailed questions, you will have the information you need to prioritize your next steps according to how urgently you need to remediate each category of risk.

See smarter with AI

See smarter with AI

Providing insights into endpoints

Mobile devices continue to be a boon for business, while busting the traditional models of IT management. Never before has a technology been more out of IT’s hands, but rather a people’s choice in form factor and the software that powers it. Keeping reasonable levels of control on such a technology goes far beyond the capabilities of traditional mobile device management that relies too heavily on structured data flowing from manufacturers and software developers.

IT and security departments need help from artificial intelligence that can keep pace with structured data for standard mobile policies. Depending on the data accessed and the type of device, AI can give insight from unstructured data to protect unique environments that might need more (or less) control. AI is about seeing more, but more importantly, it’s about being able to do more with that information once it becomes clear.

Thwart threats with proactive mitigation

Thwart threats with proactive mitigation

The best place to begin mitigation strategies is with proactive, dynamic and responsive policy creation. With the right policies and a day-to-day approach to process optimization, you reduce risks and enable your business to thrive and grow, even in the face of cyber uncertainty.

To determine which policies and rules you need to create and how to enforce them, consider several questions according to the critical data, apps and endpoints you have. When considering data policy, how will you detect database vulnerabilities and configuration flaws? What practices will you use to log, monitor and mitigate issues as they emerge? When access to critical data is compromised, what action plans should be put in place to block threats, execute an alert strategy, ensure business continuity and recover from the incident?

Endpoints are the means through which data is accessed, processed and disseminated, so how should policies be distributed across your devices? How will policies be adapted for different types of devices and users? What policies should you implement to control access to endpoints? What protocols will govern the response to departures from policy?

Key mitigation capabilities for endpoints, apps and data

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data.

Data encryption at rest or in transit

Centralized access controls across all data environments

Outlier detection analytics to identify anomalous behavior

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Whitelisting and blacklisting of apps by device and user groups

Control of data sharing in apps with containers for mobile

Blocking of data sharing in apps

Pictogram depicting endpoints as represented by a mobile device and a computer connected by lines.

Deployment of devices with network configurations

Automatic quarantine/blocking of non-compliant endpoints

Ability to patch thousands of endpoints at once

Respond faster with automation

Respond faster with automation


In a perfect world, all breaches would be identified before any incidents occur. In a truly perfect world, we would know the DNA of all incidents to expunge them before they become averse events. We don’t live in a perfect world though, so we must create best-case scenarios instead.

Automating the processes between incident detection and removal is a pivotal first step in a best-case scenario. For data, the tie between anomalous behavior and removal of access rights keeps advanced persistent threats from their low and slow siphoning of valuable information. For endpoints, automated policies that revoke network access when say malware is detected on the device slows the spread of malicious code by keeping the threat isolated. For apps, security automation has become a must so DevOps can keep pace with the speed of business while also ensuring data integrity no matter what platform is accessing and using data.

Achieve continuous control over threats and regulations

Achieve continuous control over threats and regulations


Maintain momentum with an ongoing commitment to control. Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for protecting critical assets can transform your business and pave the way to future success, but only if you put it into action with a day-to-day, boots-on-the-ground commitment to executing and refining your approach.

Once you’ve generated a prioritized inventory of critical assets and put the right people, processes and technology in place, the new plan for everyday operations will create a constructive feedback loop that enables you to maintain control, learn what works best and make the right adjustments for improvement. Continuous control is an ongoing process of constant refinement and responsive adaptation.

The more you discover along the way, the more you can educate leadership and bring key players into alignment with your strategy. Securing their commitment is a vital element in influencing the cultural shift you’ll need to gain enterprise-wide support for the cause of critical asset protection.

Periodic reviews and brainstorming sessions around the following capabilities should be built into annual schedules:

  • Review, definition and refinement of policies, rules, action plans and compliance
  • Prevention of shadow IT
  • Regulatory and legal compliance
  • Improvement of usability, productivity and access
  • C-suite alignment with regular updates and education sessions
  • Evaluation of roles, skills, training and culture development
  • Reporting and analytics for endpoints, apps and data

ISS: Safeguarding mobile devices

Manual app provisioning and device management processes were time-consuming and created challenges for users. Working with IBM and Atea, ISS deployed an enterprise mobility management platform that helps staff quickly provision and update its mobile apps and better safeguard mobile devices.

Top priorities for enabling continuous control of endpoints, apps and data

Pictogram depicting a chart to represent data

Access management across database instances

Advanced and centralized audit reporting

Monitoring and analytics on database performance characteristics and access

Pictogram depicting mobile apps as represented by a person with mobile devices and pages.

Prioritization of app assets based on risk level and potential to impact business

Distribution of corporate apps to disrupt shadow IT

Testing and repair of apps prior to deployment

Pictogram depicting security as represented by a check box and a lock interconnected.

Automatic policy creation for endpoints

Zero-day OS updates

Continuous monitoring, patching and enforcement of security policies across endpoints

Scale for success with extensibility

Scale for success with extensibility


Out-of-the-box capabilities in security solutions remain a steadfast need for resource strapped security departments. Any system that can do more with fewer resources is in fact the ultimate goal for information technology. However, that box needs to have very flexible sides that can be taken down to accommodate new feeds, greater speeds and overall scalability to keep pace with your business goals.

You not only need to ask if your security solutions have room for expansion, but how that expansion occurs. Will you have to be ever be offline to accommodate growth? How quickly can your solution scale beyond its initial capabilities, and how much effort is involved (both yours and the vendors) to make those changes a reality? Is there an easy plug-and-play way to grow without disrupting everyday operations for smaller changes to environments? If your security solutions for data, endpoints and apps can’t scale beyond its core functions, then it’s not right for your business; it simply works for right now.

Improve security with the power of people

Improve security with the power of people


Black hats have evolved from the solitary denizens of dark basements to full-blown businesses replete with office, regular business hours and even healthcare and other perks. Also, they only need to get their job done right once to exfiltrate precious information from your systems. And frankly, there are far more of them than there are of you.


Also, security as its own discipline is still in its infancy.


Many cybersecurity professionals sat on the side of IT until the pervasive use of the internet in business and ultimate escalation of threats once systems were opened up to the world. There simply hasn’t been enough time societally speaking to train and equip the forces we need to keep the black hats at bay.

You need expertise and guidance to discover which assets need what level of protection, a plan to protect those assets with the smartest and least complicated systems possible, and expert support for responding to those incidents should your in-house talent or technologies fall short.

The all-too-common pattern of piecemeal, stopgap measures causes more confusion than clarity and sends the most seasoned security professionals on needless wild goose hunts, while the real threats remain undetected. The right services partner will close your gaps today and prepare your people to respond more effectively on their own tomorrow.

During the next year, what’s your top priority for protecting critical assets?

%

responds gaining a better understanding of the assets we have

%

responds mitigating threats in endpoints and apps

%

responds ensuring a continuous loop of control for compliance

Gaining a better understanding of the assets we have

Mitigating threats in endpoints and apps

Ensuring a continuous loop of control for compliance

IBM Security solutions to protect critical assets

IBM Security solutions to protect critical assets

data

IBM Guardium

IBM Data Security Services

IBM Managed Data Protection Services for Guardium

apps

IBM Security AppScan/IBM Application Security on Cloud

IBM MaaS360 with Watson

IBM Application Security Services

endpoints

IBM MaaS360 with Watson

IBM BigFix

IBM Endpoint Security Services

Next steps

Next steps

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Protect critical assets Solution Brief

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