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Bitglass 2017 Predictions: Security Follows Data Beyond the Firewall

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Anurag Kahol, Founder/CTO, Bitglass

2017: Security Follows Data Beyond the Firewall

For IT leaders, protecting corporate data has always been among the top priorities, yet breaches continue year after year. 2016 was no different, with hundreds of breaches resulting in leaked emails, lost customer records and intellectual property theft. It's no surprise that breaches are so common where organizations still don't have the necessary security precautions in place for a cloud-first, mobile-first world. In 2017, expect enterprises to execute on protecting data that has moved beyond the firewall via cloud and mobile.

BYOD Security Comes of Age

There's no question that mobile devices pose a huge risk to corporate data. Where organizations once had complete control over employee devices, restricting access to managed phones and laptops on the corporate network, today most devices are unmanaged devices. In the last few years, employees have shown an unwillingness to install device management profiles on their personal devices, but still want access to corporate data from these devices and from any network. 2017 will be a telling year - either enterprises will pull back on invasive MDM solutions and deploy OS-agnostic agentless mobile security, or they will turn a blind eye to mobile as employees continue to work around IT. For many organizations that already have an MDM deployed, low employee adoption and demands for agentless BYOD will be difficult to ignore in 2017 and beyond.

Cloud Access Security Brokers Hit the Mainstream

Though 59 percent of enterprises have deployed some cloud productivity app according to a recent Bitglass study, there's still much more room for cloud to grow - productivity apps are just the first of many. In 2017, enterprises will continue to migrate their premises-based messaging, CRM, and storage apps to the cloud. We've already seen the beginnings of this shift with the introduction of Microsoft Teams and mass adoption of Slack, Salesforce and others.

While cloud apps are cost effective, flexible and easy to deploy, they do pose a threat to data security. External collaboration for example, one of the hallmark features of an app like Dropbox, can result in unauthorized access to personally identifiable information (PII) like Social Security numbers, customer addresses and more. As organizations deploy yet more cloud apps into 2017, having a security solution that scales that can place limits on features like external sharing and risky access, is critical. In 2017, third party security solutions like will cross the chasm into mainstream enterprises.

Protecting data everywhere

IT leaders have reason to be concerned about cloud and mobile, but security concerns should not keep enterprises from moving forward. Fear of mobile and attempts to control personal devices only push employees to take risks with corporate data. Fear of the cloud simply postpones the inevitable and leads IT to turn a blind eye to data that's already leaving the network perimeter, uploaded to unsanctioned apps like Dropbox and Slack.

In 2017, the most forward-thinking organizations will focus on preventing data leakage across all applications, on mobile security that works across any device, and on cross-app visibility. Time and time again, organizations that narrow their focus to securing one app, one type of device, find they haven't covered all their bases. In the year ahead, those that stand in the way of progress that restrict instead of enable cloud and mobile, may be most surprised when data leaks.

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About the Author

Anurag expedites technology direction and architecture. Anurag was director of engineering in Juniper Networks' Security Business Unit before co-founding Bitglass. Juniper Networks creates products and solutions that meet the growing demands of the connected world. Anurag received a global education, earning an M.S. in computer science from Colorado State University, and a B.S. in computer science from the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology.

anurag bitglass 

Published Monday, December 05, 2016 9:02 AM by David Marshall
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