Alex Lei, Regional Director for Southeast Asia at FireEye
Data&StorageAsean: Has the rise in cloud adoption affected the way people (vendors and users) approach security?
Alex: The rise in cloud adoption has had significant security ramifications. Leaders need to understand that outsourced operations don’t outsource accountability, and in some ways the business risk is more difficult to assess because you have no visibility. It’s critical to have the ability to assess a vendor security’s posture on a recurring basis.
Many organizations embrace the cloud while overlooking the security requirements. They may have moderate security in their on-premise systems, but perhaps they have forgotten about the cloud or just assumed their services provider will take care of it.
At the same time, it’s important that regulations don’t hold back the adoption of advanced cloud solutions that could ultimately be more secure than legacy on-premise infrastructure. Some regulators in Southeast Asia are doing a good job here. The Monetary Authority of Singapore recently issued new guidelines on the use of cloud services which should help address some concern in Singapore.
Data&StorageAsean: Do XaaS providers do a good job of securing your data?
Alex: Some providers do a reasonably good job, and some need to do significantly better. Before your organization embraces the cloud, it’s important to take a very critical look at the capabilities of your service provider and what kind of security posture they are prepared to deliver. If your organization has already embraced the cloud, it’s important to assess your security posture.
Data&StorageAsean: Security used to be about virus protection and access control how has that changed?
Alex: In some ways nothing has changed and in some ways everything has changed. It’s still common for the problems to start with malicious files. But malware is just one tool out of many. Attackers today will also use social engineering, stolen credentials, and standard networking and administrative tools as part of their attacks. The security team which aims to “be malware free” will fall easy prey to these advanced attackers. Many security organizations in Southeast Asia haven’t embraced this reality yet.
Additionally, the attackers have become more numerous and significantly more sophisticated. Today it’s trivial for attackers to evade legacy technologies like firewalls and antivirus. These technologies only detect known attacks, so attackers now create unique attacks every time. This shift has left many organizations exposed, trusting legacy technologies which provide a false sense of security. All of this has been the perfect storm for tremendous risk.
Data&StorageAsean: Can a company protect themselves 100% from Data Security Threats?
Alex: Absolutely not, and you should be skeptical of anyone telling you otherwise. You can certainly prevent one breach. In fact, you can prevent a lot of them, but you can’t prevent every last one. Breaches are inevitable.
There is no silver bullet to put down these cyber security challenges. The organizations that will be most successful in defending against these threats will be those that bring together the right technology, expertise and threat intelligence. When applied in tandem, these can help organizations break through.
Data&StorageAsean: Are you seeing big data or machine learning being used in data security - on either side of the fence (hackers and/or vendors)?
Alex: We put big data work in products like our Threat Analytics Platform, which combines threat insights gained from responding to the worlds’ most consequential breaches with big data security analytics and codified security expertise to quickly identify and investigate cyber threats.
Certainly, big data also creates opportunities for threat groups. It can often be stolen and monetized or used to better target victims.
Data&StorageAsean: What’s unique about your own offerings and product strategy?
Alex: FireEye’s Mandiant services team are the best at what they do in the world. They respond to the most consequential breaches in Asia and around the world.
FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence is the largest private source of cyber threat intelligence – and larger than all but a handful of nation states.
Finally, FireEye technology is unparalleled in its ability to detect cyber attacks which have never been seen before, which is why FireEye has discovered 28 out of 49 zero-day exploits since 2013, more than any other vendor combined.