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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Tufin Talks Network Security and Hybrid Clouds

Interview Tufin

Businesses are rushing to adopt cloud technology, but are they making the leap without considering the consequences?  The transition to the cloud will be beneficial in the long term, but it's causing some security problems along the way.  Research shows that 70% of organizations already have a private cloud deployed in their production environments even though 70% are still trying to combat security and policy on cloud infrastructure.  With cloud computing already in demand and deep gaps in visibility and control on the rise, companies will need the right tools to ensure confidence in their current level of cloud orchestration.

I recently spoke with Reuven Harrison, CTO and co-founder of Tufin, to learn more about how organizations can get on the right track to bridge the gap around cloud deployment visibility.

VMblog:  What are some of the challenges of managing security policies in hybrid cloud?

Reuven Harrison:  Adoption of cloud technologies continues to be a driving force within organizations, whether it's public cloud, private cloud or, most commonly, hybrid cloud platforms. Within these environments, many applications are being deployed, each with their own unique security policy. This creates a complex multi-vendor, multi-technology IT environment that often exacerbates enterprise network security challenges, exposing the company to new vulnerabilities and cyber threats. Lack of visibility and control over security policies is also a major issue for the IT security team, particularly when it comes to compliance.

VMblog:  What factors are making network security operations more difficult?

Harrison:  We recently conducted a research survey with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), and found that 63% of enterprise IT professionals said that network security operations has become more difficult over the past two years. The top three drivers of this, according to respondents, are the addition of more devices to the network; increases in the number of networking and security technologies in use; and the deployment of numerous new applications. Other issues, such as lack of visibility, orchestration, automation, and difficulty in auditing network controls, arise as the IT world becomes more virtualized.

VMblog:  Can you tell us what some of the change management challenges are in hybrid cloud environments?

Harrison:  Enterprises, on average, must manage tens to hundreds of changes per week, the majority of which are due to application and network connectivity requirements. But these changes are taking far too long to implement, often via manual processes prone to human error. Given the complexity of today's enterprise networks, this puts security and business agility at risk. Additionally, regulatory standards and internal enterprise policy compliance needs require that all network connectivity be justified and documented, and every network security change be auditable and accountable. To overcome these challenges, the change management process must rely on a central command center to ensure visibility, control and compliance.  

VMblog:  And explain if you would, what can help bridge the gap around security visibility?

Harrison:  The ESG research found that 61% of respondents say it's difficult to get the same level of visibility into cloud-based networks as they do in physical networks. As enterprise networks become more complex, a single dashboard can provide IT administrators visibility around network security and policy. Because enterprise networks today are a mix of both physical and cloud - whether it's private, public or hybrid - this visibility must extend to both environments. Organizations can safeguard security and compliance for a fully heterogeneous network, and ease into the change management process through one central dashboard.

VMblog:  What role does network security policy orchestration and automation play in the cybersecurity skill shortage?

Harrison:  One of the biggest factors affecting network security operations is that companies are simply unprepared to manage a myriad of policies. The ESG research found that 69% of surveyed organizations using cloud and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies faced a severe learning gap for applying security policies. Hybrid cloud environments will continue to be the IT standard, but organizations are struggling to apply policies in the same way as physical networks. Over half of respondents to the ESG survey said the security team does not have the appropriate staff level to manage network security operations for cloud infrastructure, while 49% say that their organization does not have the right level of cloud computing skills to provide the right security controls and oversight for cloud computing security. And that's where network security policy orchestration and automation can help bridge the skills gap and reduce the organization's risk of attack.

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Reuven Harrison Tufin

Reuven Harrison, CTO & Co-Founder, Tufin

Reuven Harrison is CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin. He led all development efforts during the company's initial fast-paced growth period, and is focused on Tufin's product leadership. Reuven is responsible for the company's future vision, product innovation and market strategy. Under Reuven's leadership, Tufin's products have received numerous technology awards and wide industry recognition.

Reuven brings more than 20 years of software development experience, holding two key senior developer positions at Check Point Software, as well other key positions at Capsule Technologies and ECS. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

Published Wednesday, June 29, 2016 6:33 AM by David Marshall
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