Cybersecurity Mesh – Key Considerations before Adoption & Implementation

The infamous Botnet data leak that took place recently exposed a total of 26 million passwords, with 1.5 million Facebook passwords among leaked data. In another cyber-attack incident, the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. Colonial Pipeline Co. was hit by ransomware. Hackers gained entry into its networks with the help of a compromised password and caused shortages across the East Coast.

Incidents of cyberattacks continue to jeopardize data security. With remote work becoming the norm during the pandemic, threat actors have an expanded vulnerable surface to target. TechRepublic predicts more ransomware attacks and data breaches as threat actors continue to explore new vulnerabilities.

Not surprisingly, then, enterprises are now focusing on strengthening cybersecurity. A Gartner survey reports: “With the opening of new attack surfaces due to the shift to remote work, cybersecurity spending continues to increase. 61% of respondents are increasing investment in cyber/information security, followed closely by business intelligence and data analytics (58%) and cloud services and solutions (53%).

In response to these infrastructure attacks in recent times, President Biden’s administration enacted a cybersecurity executive order wherein the federal government will partner with the private sector to secure cyberspace and address the many concerns through its far-reaching provisions.

The rise in digital interactions and remote work arrangements has compelled enterprises to find a way to curtail cyber attacks. Besides, cloud-based ransomware attacks have put them in a pickle as the shift to the cloud had accelerated during the pandemic. Amidst these vulnerabilities and circumstances, cybersecurity mesh has emerged as a viable solution to circumvent cyber threats and secure digital assets everywhere.

Let’s delve deeper to know what it’s all about and how it’s changing the IT security paradigm across the globe.

Why adopt cybersecurity mesh?

A 600% uptick in sophisticated phishing email schemes since the pandemic began shows how vulnerable our IT systems are. Ransomware attacks are predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021; a new organization is falling prey to ransomware every 11 seconds. 98% of cyberattacks are based on social engineering and new employees are often the most vulnerable. Emails constitute 92% of all malware attacks, while Trojans account for 51% of all malware.

The accelerated shift to the cloud to meet the growing needs of customers and the ensuing weaknesses in cloud security have led to frequent attacks. Explains Michael Raggo, cloud security expert at CloudKnox, “One of the systemic issues we’ve seen in organizations that have been breached recently is a vast amount of over-permissioned identities accessing cloud infrastructure and gaining access to business-critical resources and confidential data. We’ve seen when an attacker gains access to an associated identity with broad privileged permissions, the attacker can leverage those and cause havoc.

Cybersecurity mesh facilitates scalable, flexible, and reliable means to ensure cybersecurity across all levels to protect your processes, people, and infrastructure. Considering that a vast majority of assets now exist outside the traditional security perimeter, a cybersecurity mesh helps you stretch its boundaries to build it around an individual’s identity. So rather than having one large perimeter to protect all devices or nodes within a ‘traditional’ network, we now create small, individual perimeters around every access point to heighten its security. A centralized point of authority will manage all the perimeters to ensure there are no breaches.

Key benefits

Cybersecurity mesh helps you adopt an interchangeable, responsive security approach that stops threat actors from exploiting the weaker links within a network to get into the bigger network. When employed correctly, cybersecurity mesh offers the following benefits:

  1. Cybersecurity mesh will support more than 50% of IAM requests by 2025

As traditional security models evolve, enterprises will now rely on cybersecurity mesh to ensure complete security. Identity and Access Management has been a bit of a challenge for enterprises for some time now. Akif Khan, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner, elaborates, “IAM challenges have become increasingly complex and many organizations lack the skills and resources to manage effectively. Leaders must improve their approaches to identity proofing, develop stronger vendor management skills and mitigate the risks of an increasingly remote workforce.”

Cybersecurity mesh with its mobile, adaptive, unified access management model is expected to support more than half of all IAM requests by 2025.

  1. IAM services will be largely MSSP-driven

Considering that most organizations lack the necessary resources and expertise to plan, develop, acquire, and implement comprehensive IAM solutions, the role of managed security service providers (MSSPs) will be crucial. Where multiple functions will have to be addressed simultaneously, organizations will leverage their services.

Gartner expects 40% of IAM application convergence to be driven by MSSPs by 2023, thereby shifting power from product vendors to service partners.

  1. 30% of Enterprises will implement identity proofing tools by 2024

Vendor-provided enrollment and recovery workflows have often posed a challenge in building trust as it is difficult to differentiate genuine users and attackers. Multifactor authentication via email addresses and phone numbers has often proved to be ineffective.

Gartner predicts 30% of large enterprises will use identity-proofing tools from the beginning, embedding them into the workforce identity lifecycle processes to address these issues and make way for more robust enrollment and recovery procedures.

  1. A decentralized identity standard will manage identity data

The traditional centralized approaches have been futile in managing identity data when it comes to the three main focus areas that include privacy, assurance, and pseudonymity. A decentralized approach based on the cybersecurity mesh model and powered by blockchain ensures total privacy necessitating an absolute minimum amount of information to validate information requests.

Gartner expects the emergence of a truly global, portable decentralized identity standard by 2024 that will address identity issues at all levels – business, personal, social, societal, and identity-invisible use cases.

  1. Demographic bias will be minimized everywhere

There have been several instances of demographic bias based on race, age, gender, and other characteristics that iterated the need for document-centric identity proofing in online use cases. Face recognition algorithms became part of the ‘ID plus selfie’ to ensure identity through photo comparison of customers with the ones seen in their identity document.

However, it’s important that the face recognition process is foolproof to eliminate bias and keep damaging implications at bay. By 2022, 95% of organizations will expect vendors responsible for identity-proofing to prove that they are minimizing demographic bias.

A building block for zero-trust environments

Contrary to the traditional approach of building ‘walled cities’ around a network, cybersecurity mesh paves the path for password-protected perimeters to secure networks. Devices are allowed into the network via permission levels that are managed internally. Such an approach minimizes the risk of users’ devices or access points being hacked or compromised.

Organizations are increasingly leveraging the cybersecurity mesh as a building block to create zero trust end-to-end within the network to ensure data, systems, and equipment are securely accessed irrespective of their location. Unless verified, all connections and requests to access data are considered unreliable according to the principles of zero trust architecture.

Navigate your security landscape with Trigent

Trigent offers a multitude of solutions to support your cybersecurity initiatives. Our team of technology experts can help you level up with modern cybersecurity approaches and best practices to strengthen your IT security defenses.

Fortify your security stance with Trigent. Call us today to book a business consultation.

Understanding the Scope of AIOps and Its Role in Hyperautomation

The rapid acceleration of digital transformation initiatives in the modern business landscape has brought emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to the fore. Integrating AI into IT operations or AIOps has empowered IT teams to perform complex tasks with ease and resolve agility issues in complex settings.

Gartner sees great potential in AIOps and forecasts the global AIOps market to touch
US$3127.44 million by 2025 at a CAGR of 43.7% during the period 2020 to 2025. From just US$ 510.12 million in 2019, it is expected to touch a whopping US$ 3127.44 million in 2025. It believes 50% of organizations will use AIOps with application performance monitoring to deliver business impact while providing precise and intelligent solutions to complex problems.

A global survey of CIOs iterates why AIOps is so critical for IT enterprises. The survey pointed out that despite investing in 10 different monitoring tools on average, IT teams had full observability into just 11% of the environments. Those who needed those tools didn’t have access to them. 74% of CIOs were reportedly using cloud-native technologies, including microservices, containers, and Kubernetes, and 61% said these environments changed every minute or less. In comparison, 89% reported their digital transformation had accelerated in the past 12 months despite a rather difficult 2020.
70% felt manual tasks could be automated though only 19% of repeatable IT processes were automated, and 93% believed AI assistance is critical in helping teams cope with increasing workloads.

AIOps offers IT companies the operational capability and the business value crucial for a robust digital economy. But AIOps adoption must be consistent across processes as it would fail to serve its purpose if it merely highlights another area that is a bottleneck. AIOps capabilities must therefore be such that the processes are perfectly aligned and automated to meet business objectives.

Now that we understand how crucial AIOps is let’s dive deeper to understand its scope.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data have all been spoken about in great length and form the very backbone of Artificial Intelligence for IT operations or AIOps. AIOps are multi-layered technology platforms that collate data from multiple tools and devices within the IT environment to spot and resolve real-time issues while providing historical analytics.

What is AIOps?

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data have all been spoken about extensively and form the very backbone of AIOps. AIOps comprises multi-layered technology platforms that collate data from multiple tools and devices within the IT environment to spot and resolve real-time issues while providing historical analytics.

It is easier to understand its importance if we realize the extremely high cost of downtime. As per an IDC study, an infrastructure failure’s average hourly cost is $100,000 per hour, while the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 – 2 billion.

The trends and factors driving AIOps include:

  • Complex IT environments are exceeding human scale, and monitoring them manually is no longer feasible.
  • IoT devices, APIs, mobile applications, and digital users have increased, generating an exponentially large amount of data that is impossible to track manually.
  • Even a small, unresolved issue can impact user experience, which means infrastructure problems should be addressed immediately.
  • Control and budget have shifted from IT’s core to the edge as enterprises continue to adopt cloud infrastructure and third-party services.
  • Accountability for the IT ecosystem’s overall well-being still rests with core IT teams. They are expected to take on more responsibility as networks and architectures continue to get more complex.

With 45% of businesses already using AIOps for root cause analysis and potential forecasting problems, its role is evident in several use cases, as mentioned below.

Detection of anomalies and incidents – IT teams can leverage AIOps to see when anomalies, incidents, and events have been detected to follow up on them and resolve them. The thing with anomalies is that they can occur in any part of the technology stack and hence necessitates constant processing of a massive amount of IT data. AIOps leverages machine learning algorithms to detect actual triggers in almost real-time to prevent them. Full-stack visibility into applications and infrastructure helps isolate the root cause of issues, accelerate incident response, streamline operations, improve teams’ efficiency, and ensure customer service quality.

Security analysis – AI-powered algorithms can help identify data breaches and violations by analyzing various sources, including log files and network & event logs, and assess their links with external malicious IP and domain information to uncover negative behaviors inside the infrastructure. AIOps thus bridges the gap between IT operations and security operations, improving security, efficiency, and system uptime.

Resource consumption and planning – AIOps ensures that the system availability levels remain optimal by assessing the changes in usage and adapting the capacity accordingly. Through AI-powered recommendations, AIOps helps decrease workload and ensure proper resource planning. AIOps can be effectively leveraged to manage routine tasks like reconfigurations and recalibration for network and storage management. Predictive analytics can have a dynamic impact on available storage space, and capacity can be added as required based on disk utilization to prevent outages that arise due to capacity issues.

AIOps will drive the new normal.

With virtually everyone forced to work from home, data collected from different locations varies considerably. Thanks to AIOps, disparate data streams can be analyzed despite the high volumes.

AIOps has helped data centers and computer environments operate flawlessly despite the pandemic through unforeseen labor shortages. It allows data center administrators to mitigate operational skills, reduce system noise and incidents, provide actionable insights into the performance of services and related networks and infrastructure, get historical and real-time visibility into distributed system topologies, and execute guided or fully automated responses to resolve issues quickly.

As such, AIOps has been instrumental in helping enterprises improve efficiency and lighten workloads for remote workers. AIOps can reduce event volumes, predict outages in the future, and apply automation to reduce staff downtime and workload. As Travis Greene, director of strategy for IT operations with software company Micro Focus explains, “The end goal is to tie in service management aspects of what’s happening in the environment.”
AIOps and hyperautomation

A term coined by Gartner in 2019, hyperautomation is next-level automation that transcends individual process automation. IDC calls it digital process automation, while Forrester calls it digital process automation. As per Gartner ‘Hyper-automation, organizations rapidly identify and automate as many business processes as possible. It involves using a combination of technology tools, including but not limited to machine learning, packaged software, and automation tools to deliver work’.

Irrespective of what it’s called, hyperautomation combines artificial intelligence (AI) tools and next-level technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) to automate complex and repetitive tasks rapidly and efficiently to augment human capabilities. Simply put, it automates automation and creates bots to enable it. It’s a convergence of multiple interoperable technologies such as AI, RPA, Advanced Analytics, Intelligent Business Management, etc.

Hyperautomation can dramatically boost the speed of digital transformation and seems like a natural progression for AIOps. It helps build digital resilience as ‘humans plus machines’ become the norm. It allows organizations to create their digital twin (DTO) or a digital replica of their physical assets and processes. DTO provides them real-time intelligence to help them visualize and understand how different processes, functions, and KPIs interact to create value and how these interactions can be leveraged to drive business opportunities and make informed decisions.

With sensors and devices monitoring these digital twins, enterprises tend to get more data that gives an accurate picture of their health and performance. Hyperautomation helps organizations track the exact ROI while attaining digital agility and flexibility at scale.

Those on a hyperautomation drive are keen on making collaborative IT operations a reality and regard AIOps as an important area of hyperautomation for breakthrough IT operations. When AIOps meets hyperautomation, businesses can rise above human limits and move with agility towards becoming completely autonomous digital enterprises. Concludes John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner, “Optimization initiatives, such as hyper-automation, will continue, and the focus of these projects will remain on returning cash and eliminating work from processes, not just tasks.”

It’s time you adopted AIOps too and deliver better business outcomes.

Accelerate AIOps adoption with Trigent

Trigent offers a range of capabilities to enterprises with diverse needs and complexities. As the key to managing multi-cloud, multi-geo, multi-vendor heterogeneous environments, AIOps need organizations to rethink their automation strategies. Our consulting team can look into your organizational maturity to know at what stage of AIOps adoption you are and ensure that AIOps initiatives are optimized to maximize your business value and opportunity.

Our solutions are intuitive and easy to use. Call us today for a business consultation. We would be happy to partner with you on your way to AIOps adoption.

Outsourcing QA in the world of DevOps – Best Practices for Dispersed (Distributed) QA teams

DevOps is the preferred methodology for software development and release, with collaborating teams oriented towards faster delivery cycles augmented by early feedback. QA is a critical binding thread of DevOps practice, with early inclusion at the story definition stage. Adoption of a distributed model of QA had earlier been bumpy, however, the pandemic has evened out the rough edges.

The underlying principle which drives DevOps is collaboration. With outsourced QA being expedited through teams distributed across geographies and locations, a plethora of aspects that were hitherto guaranteed through co-located teams, have now come under a lot of pressure. Concerns range from constant communication and interworking to coverage across a wide range of testing types – unit testing, API testing as well as validating experiences across a wide range of channels. As with everything in life, DevOps needs a balanced approach, maintaining collaboration and communication between teams while ensuring that delivery cycles are up to speed and the quality of the delivered product meets customer expectations.

Outlined below some of the best practices for ensuring the effectiveness of distributed QA teams for an efficient DevOps process.

Focus on right capability: While organizations focus to a large extent on bringing capabilities across development, support, QA, operations, and product management in a scrum team, paramount from a quality perspective would be QA skills. The challenge is to find the right skill mix. For example, a good exploratory tester; good automation skills (not necessarily in the same person). In addition, specialist skills related to performance, security, accessibility also need to be thought through. The key is to choose an optimum mix of specialists and generalists.

Aim to achieve the right platform/tool mix: It is vital to maintain consistency across the tool stacks used for engagement. As per a 451 research survey, 39% of respondents juggle 11 to 30 tools so as to keep an eye on their application infrastructure and cloud environment; 8% are even found to use over 21 to 30 tools. Commonly referred to as tool sprawl, this makes it extremely difficult to collaborate in an often decentralized and distributed QA environment. It’s imperative to have a balanced approach towards the tool mix, ideally by influencing the team to adopt a common set of tools instead of making it mandatory.

Ensure a robust CI/process and environment: A weak and insipid process may cause the development and operations team to run into problems while integrating new code. With several geographically distributed teams committing code consistently into the CI environment, shared dev/test/deploy environments constantly run into issues if sufficient thought process has not gone into identification of environment configurations. These can ultimately translate into failed tests and thereby failed delivery/deployment. A well-defined automated process ensures continuous deployment & monitoring throughout the lifecycle of an application, from integration and testing phases through to release & support.

A good practice would be to adopt cloud-based infrastructure, reinforced by mechanisms for managing any escalations on deployment issues effectively and quickly. Issues like build fail or lack of infra support can hamper the productivity of distributed teams. When strengthened by remote alerts and robust reporting capabilities for teams and resilient communication infrastructure, accelerated development to deployment becomes a reality.

Follow good development practices: Joint backlog grooming exercises with all stakeholders, regular updates on progress, code analysis, and effective build & deployment practices, as well as establishing a workflow for defect/issue management, are paramount in ensuring the effectiveness of distributed DevOps. Equally important is the need to manage risk early with ongoing impact analysis, code quality reviews, risk-based testing, and real-time risk assessments. In short, the adoption of risk and impact assessment mechanisms is vital.
Another key area of focus is the need to ascertain robust metrics that help in the early identification of quality issues and eases the process of integration with the development cycle. Recent research from Gatepoint and Perfecto surveyed executives from over 100 leading digital enterprises in the United States on their testing habits, tools, and challenges. The survey results show that 63 percent start to test only after a new build and code is being developed. Just 40 percent test upon each code change or at the start of new software.

Devote equal attention to both manual and automation testing: Manual (or exploratory) testing allows you to ensure that product features are well tested, while automation of tests (or as some say checks!) helps you with improving coverage for repeatable tasks. Planning for both during your early sprint planning meetings is important. In most cases, automation is usually given step-motherly treatment and falls at the wayside due to scope creep and repeated testing due to defects. A 2019 state of testing report, shows that only 25 percent of respondents claimed they have more than 50 percent of their functional tests automated. So, the ideal approach would be to separate the two sets of activities and ensure that they both get equal attention from their own set of specialists.

Early non-functional focus: Organizations tend to overlook the importance of bringing in occasional validations of how the product fares around performance, security vulnerabilities, or even important regulations like accessibility, until late in the day. In the 2020 DevSecOps Community Survey, 55 percent of respondents deploy at least once per week, and 18 percent claim multiple daily deployments. But when it comes to security, 45 percent of the survey’s respondents know it’s important but don’t have time to devote to it. Security has a further impact on CI/CD tool stack deployment itself as indicated by the 451 research in which more than 60% of respondents said a lack of automated, integrated security tools is a big challenge in implementing CI/CD tools effectively.

It is essential that any issue which is non-functional in nature be exposed and dealt with before it moves down the dev pipeline. Adoption of a non-functional focus depends to a large extent on the evolution of the product and the risk to the organization.

In order to make distributed QA teams successful, an organization must have the capability to focus in a balanced and consistent way across the length and breadth of the QA spectrum, from people and processes to technology stacks. It is heartening to note that the recent pandemic situation has revealed a positive trend in terms of better acceptance of these practices. However, the ability to make these practices work, hinges on the diligence with which an organization institutionalizes these best practices as well as platforms and supplements it with an organizational culture that is open to change.

Trigent’s experienced and versatile Quality Assurance and Testing team is a major contributor to the successful launch, upgrade, and maintenance of quality software used by millions around the globe. Our experienced responsible testing practices put process before convenience to delight stakeholders with an impressive industry rivaled Defect Escape Ratio or DER of 0.2.

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Understanding the Concept of Anywhere Operations and Its Scope

The pandemic has had a lasting impact on many things including the way we work. We have all transitioned into the digital world for virtually everything. The massive shift has posed infrastructure challenges to organizations urging them to re-examine traditional methods of working and enable a ‘work from anywhere’ culture. It has also become important for enterprises to use their resources wisely both during and after the pandemic. They are now pulling up their socks to prepare for the evolving needs of hybrid workspaces in the New Normal.

What they truly need is Anywhere Operations – an IT operating model Gartner believes 40% of organizations would have applied already by the end of 2023 to offer a blended virtual and physical experience to employees as well as customers. It is garnering a lot of attention since the time it has come into being.

So what is Anywhere Operations after all and how does it impact enterprises? Let’s find out.

The concept

Remote working has become a reality that will continue even in the future. In a recent survey by Gartner, 47% of the respondents said they intended to allow employees to work remotely full time. Explains Elisabeth Joyce, Vice President of advisory in the Gartner HR practice, “The question now facing many organizations is not how to manage a remote workforce, but how to manage a more complex, hybrid workforce. While remote work isn’t new, the degree of remote work moving forward will change how people work together to get their job done.”

As boundaries between real and virtual environments continue to blur, enterprises need to ensure ubiquitous access to corporate resources. There is greater dependability on digital tools and the resilience of enterprises will largely depend on how well they deploy them. Enterprises will have to adopt a more serious approach towards the transformation of their IT infrastructure – be it devices & apps or remote IT support and cybersecurity.

It is imperative that businesses deploy management solutions that allow teams to work in tandem and continue to enjoy the same accessibility irrespective of the location they log on from. Anytime Operations, clearly, is inevitable and the need to match pace with the fluid working style of today will push it towards mass adoption. Remote work however is more about the workforce whereas Anywhere Operations includes customers into the mix so that customers are also able to connect and interact for all their needs any time from wherever they are.

When implemented correctly, Anywhere Operations will serve as the perfect model for building resilience and flexibility.

Anywhere Operations supports:

  • Remote work
  • Remote deployment of products/services
  • Business partners, stakeholders, and customers

It encompasses productive business operations and its core objective is to ensure that these operations can be managed effectively from literally ‘anywhere’.

Anywhere Operations is not just an enabler of work from home, online customer support, or remote deployment of products/services but an organizational paradigm that offers value across multiple areas. These include:

Collaboration and Productivity

The need to attain the pre-pandemic level of collaboration and productivity has led to the emergence of virtual offices replete with task management tools, meeting solutions, club office suites, digital whiteboards, and video conferencing platforms. This enables employees to see each other, interact, conduct meetings, assign tasks, share ideas in real time, review space occupancy and usage, etc.

Remote assistance is crucial to enable sharing of digital replicas of devices and maintain real-time analytics. While it was easier to visit the client’s office in the past, the need to implement XR tools is being felt today to facilitate better collaboration around tangible objects and help clients in this period of social distancing.

Secure Remote Access

Development teams and clients are provided secure remote access via cloud solutions powered by firewalls to ensure safe access to the virtual environment. In order to fortify the security measures, ways and means are being explored to replace traditional VPN for users operating in multiple time zones.

Identity & Access Management (IAM) solutions that enable multi-factor authentication, passwordless authentication, Zero Trust models, and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) are now being applied to ensure secure access to data and applications, anywhere, any time. Cybersecurity mesh is also being considered by modern enterprises. While ensuring timely responses and a more modular security approach, it makes identity the security perimeter.

Cloud and edge infrastructure

Organizations had already started discovering the power of automation and how certain tasks that were being performed manually needed immediate automation. In order to ensure 24/7 secure access, ubiquitous cloud migration was important.

Distributed cloud now has become the future of cloud computing and provides edge cloud for a nimble environment. Edge computing provides an opportunity for enterprises to collect a huge amount of data from various locations separated by distance and time zones to create efficiencies and bring down operating costs. It ensures that cloud computing resources are closer to the location where data and business activity is.

Project management and product development tools along with CRM tools used by sales and marketing departments are therefore being moved to the cloud. Enterprises are shifting infrastructure to cloud to ensure governance and accessibility for business continuity. Apart from flexibility and security, cloud solutions offer cost benefits with respect to smart repository usage.

Enterprises are looking at integrating IoT and 5G technologies to catalyze connectivity beyond imagination. The ability of IoT to allow back and forth flow of data makes it critical for dynamic business environments of today and will continue to drive edge-computing systems. Cloud and edge infrastructure will help avoid latency and gain real-time insights. Cloud and edge architectures will minimize time lags in data processing to help industries perform computing tasks closer to where data is gathered quickly.

AI edge processing is now being leveraged extensively for applications that have sub-millisecond (ms) latency requirements and helps circumvent bandwidth, privacy, and cost concerns. Enterprises are now critically evaluating their API platforms that serve as the essential building block on the road to successful digital transformations.
Google’s recently rolled out Apigee X is a case in point.

Says James Fairweather, chief innovation officer at Pitney Bowes, “During these uncertain times, organizations worldwide are doubling-down on their API strategies to operate anywhere, automate processes, and deliver new digital experiences quickly and securely,”
Automation to support remote operations

Automation will be at the helm of operations in a bid to minimize human intervention. Enterprises are now keen on automating tasks that can help make better business decisions.

Enterprises are increasingly using AIOps platforms that connect ITSM and ITOM to deliver high-value insights that can predict outages, prioritize events, and get to the root of event patterns to fix them. The modern AIOps platforms help a great deal for discovery, endpoint automation, and self-enablement. Zero-touch is also being deployed for automatic provisioning and configuration of devices without manual involvement.

Quantification of the digital experience

Dubbed as ‘total experience’, digital experiences are a culmination of customer experience, employee experience, and user experience that can be tracked by mapping the EX and CX journeys. Quantification concerns the entire interaction from the time the first contact was made up to the present day. As interactions get more virtual, distributed, and mobile, total experience will give enterprises the edge to reach new frontiers of growth and make technological leaps.

Enterprises need to offer better technology to support the hybrid workforce while supporting the buying behaviors of customers. Just offering a great customer experience is not enough, and effort must be made to monitor and respond to experiences in real time to strengthen the relationship with employees as well as customers.

Achieve Anywhere Operations with Trigent

With decades of experience in turning insights into strategies and a sophisticated suite of products to drive your business, we can help your organization usher in a much-needed technology transformation for achieving Anywhere Operations seamlessly. We can be your trusted partner in delivering Enterprise IT solutions.

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Improve Your Cybersecurity Posture and Resilience with VAPT

Just a few months ago, Japanese car manufacturer Honda confirmed that it suffered a cyberattack drawing attention to gaping vulnerabilities that had come to the fore as a result of the increase in the size of the remote workforce in the wake of the pandemic. Then came the Russian cyberattack against the United States that is now being considered as an act of espionage. Malicious code was inserted into updates and pushed to SolarWinds customers giving hackers access to computer networks of government agencies, think tanks, and private firms.
These are classic examples that demonstrate how vulnerable networks can be and how easily servers, infrastructure, and IT systems can be compromised. Fortunately, Vulnerability Assessment and Performance Testing (VAPT) provide the much-needed monitoring and protection to help enterprises protect themselves from hackers and security breach.

Understanding VAPT

Both vulnerability and penetration testing are two distinct security testing services that are often said in the same breath and sometimes even classified as one and the same. Penetration testing however needs a complete assessment of vulnerability to check for flaws or deficiencies in order to proceed further. It involves simulating an attacker’s attack. A thorough analysis conducted from the attacker’s perspective is presented to the system owner along with a detailed assessment that iterates implications and offers remedial solutions to address the vulnerabilities. When conducted together, VAPT offers complete vulnerability analysis.

Notorious tactics like sniffing (passive listening on the network) and ARP spoofing (an attack technique used to intercept traffic between hosts) call for stringent measures to ensure cybersecurity across computer systems and networks. To safeguard themselves from hackers, enterprises globally are investing heavily in vulnerability assessment and penetration testing or VAPT to identify vulnerabilities in the network, server, and network infrastructure.

Vulnerabilities have existed from the very beginning though they were not exploited as often as they are now. As per a study by Splunk, 36% of IT executives said there was an increase in the volume of security vulnerabilities due to remote work. In a day and age when ‘digital’ means everything, it is important to secure business operations from cyberattacks, threats, and breaches that can demobilize businesses. Vulnerabilities may also lead to litigation costs, loss of trust, and compliance penalties; all of which may affect the credibility of an enterprise in a big way. VAPT helps address all of them in the most effective manner.

The tricky part about VAPT is that it cannot be assigned to the security officer of the organization to conduct it as the results may not be so accurate. This is because the security officer would know the security system inside out and is likely to look for inadequacies in places where they are most likely to be found. But things change when a specialist is brought in. It is quite common to have third-party contractors run the pentest (penetration test) as they can identify the blind spots within a security system quickly. Often, the results are startling and the loopholes that have gone unnoticed are identified and fixed before they can cause damage.

What VAPT entails

Typically, VAPT comprises a network penetration test, application penetration test, physical penetration test, and device penetration test.

Network penetration tests involve identifying network and system-level vulnerabilities, incorrect configurations & settings, absence of strong passwords & protocols, etc.

Application penetration testing involves identifying application-level deficiencies, malicious scripts, fake requests, etc.

Physical penetration testing covers all physical aspects such as disabling CCTV cameras, breaking physical barriers, malfunctions, sensor bypass, etc.

Device penetration testing helps detect hardware and software deficiencies, insecure protocols, configuration violations, weak passwords, etc.

VAPT is carried out very systematically in stages that include everything from collating information and analyzing threats and vulnerabilities to emulating real cyberattacks and creating reports replete with findings and suggestions.

The need to assess the threat landscape

There would be a point in time when you feel that you have the best of security measures and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. A pentest then would be the last thing on your mind. But in reality, a pentest is akin to an annual health checkup that helps detect health hazards well in advance. Regular pentests will ensure the wellbeing of your enterprise keeping your technical and personnel arsenal in perfect health.

2020 saw organizations battling not just the impact of the virus but also a digital pandemic that was equally deadly. According to PwC, 55% of enterprise executives have decided to increase their budget for cybersecurity in 2021 while 51% are planning to onboard a full-time cyber staff in 2021.

Secure your environment with sustainable VAPT

Digital fitness is everybody’s responsibility and employees should take ownership of their online behaviors to build a cyber-aware culture. As connectivity continues to grow, your most sensitive assets are at risk. Vulnerabilities have often been the root cause of breaches and call for immediate remedial steps. VAPT provides the necessary roadmap to enterprises on their way to building cyber-resilience. The vulnerability assessment services offer a detailed assessment of external and internal network infrastructure, applications, servers, and client devices along with recommendations to address security weaknesses. Penetration testing on the other hand exploits these vulnerabilities to depict an accurate picture of their impact. Real-world scenarios and techniques are emulated for this purpose.

A robust, compliant ecosystem rests on the adoption of VAPT best practices to minimize the ‘attack surface’. These should include frequent testing based on historical data and a sustainable VAPT program to empower security leaders and vulnerability management teams. A good VAPT program will identify, evaluate, treat, and report vulnerabilities to ensure that every time you onboard a new employee, customer, or partner, you are not exposing yourself to new threats.

VAPT can help ensure

  • Network security
  • Application security
  • Endpoint security
  • Data security
  • Identity management
  • Infrastructure security
  • Cloud security
  • Mobile security

Following SolarWinds hacking, there is a greater focus on beefing up cybersecurity. Markets and Markets predict the global cybersecurity market to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% from $152.71 billion in 2018 to a whopping $248.26 billion by 2023, with North America holding the biggest market size followed by Europe in the second position. And yet, a significant number of organizations continue to remain ignorant about the importance of expanding their cybersecurity capabilities.

As Richard Horne, Cyber Security Chair, PwC infers, “It’s surprising that so many organizations lack confidence in their cybersecurity spend. It shows businesses need to improve their understanding of cyber threats and the vulnerabilities they exploit while changing the way they think about cyber risk so it becomes an intrinsic part of every business decision.”

Stay a step ahead of threat actors with Trigent

Threat actors will continue to resort to new tactics threatening the cybersecurity of global corporations. It’s up to us to evolve and rise to the challenge with the right measures in place. At Trigent, we help you protect your business. We assess your business environment using diverse tools and scans to detect vulnerabilities and eliminate them.

Improve your cybersecurity posture with us. Allow us to help you identify vulnerabilities and discover where you stand on the cybersecurity resilience scale. Call us now.

7 reasons why you should adopt a Virtual Command Center (VCC)

In my interaction with a customer, he complained about the rising number of network, infrastructure, and application issues while working remotely. He referred to his current persisting issue with their enterprise collaboration tool, and upon calling his infrastructure support team, he was being informed about the probable reasons why this happened. He dryly remarked to me: “I don’t wish to get into the nitty-gritty of why the app is not running. I just want these problems to be resolved – fast and easy.”

Sounds familiar? I guess so. Most professionals wish to leverage communication and collaboration technologies to perform their core functions; they are not keen on understanding the underlying technologies. More so in the new normal of remote working, where we place a premium on business continuity.

Is your infrastructure support team struggling to provide frictionless access to your distributed and remote workforce? In the technology stack, the limelight is hogged by the uppermost layer, applications, where value creation happens. The infrastructure, atop whose foundation the entire stack rests is the least focussed. Unless it’s a time of peak utility or a panic-inducing calamity, which is where we currently are.

What we need is the smooth functioning of all enterprise applications, devices, and the infrastructure supporting it. The key is to enable integrated monitoring and management of your applications and infrastructure – like our next-gen Virtual Command Center (VCC).

Moreover, a siloed collaboration between Network Operations Center (NOC) and Security Operations Center (SOC) is inadequate to be future-fit. The next normal requires businesses to virtualize and integrate the NOC and SOC.

Based on my experiences and customer interactions, I share the 7 key reasons why businesses must adopt a VCC solution.

  1. VCC is complex, but not a black box

The driving factors of the VCC solution and the way it works is undoubtedly complex, but explainable. It’s like a central engine where the intelligence from across the organization is continuously collected and analyzed. The insights derived provide threat intelligence and situational awareness. You can tune its functioning with your organization’s goals.

We are witnessing successful adoption across verticals and market segments (enterprise and mid-market) to overcome anxiety brought about by unpredictable disruptions. Now, more than ever before, you need to continuously oversee the health of your network to empower employees to ensure business continuity.

  1. Harness real-time analysis:

With enterprise IT assets monitored in real-time, there’s a tab on data, network resources, communication tools, devices, servers, and infrastructure. All reflected and operated from live dashboards. The enterprise-wide visibility eliminates the need to cater to each issue individually, and instead provisions troubleshooting at the root cause level.

Integrating SOC with NOC enables you to detect anomalies and vulnerabilities even before they escalate into an issue. Combining these helps you mobilize response teams faster and empowers you to respond to them proactively and promptly.

  1. Leverage strong incident management:

As they say, you don’t dig well when your house is on fire. It helps to create a priority ranking and escalation pipeline before the storm hits you. By establishing the processes and procedures to deal with incidents, recurring and unforeseen, your organization can respond in a thoughtful manner, instead of reacting spontaneously.

  1. Build trust and transparency

A virtualized and integrated NOC-SOC provides for a higher level of visibility and enforcement of service level agreements (SLAs). Visualizing data and reports through easy-to-grasp graphical representation of alerts, indicators, and patterns provide a solid foundation to quickly investigate issues and record them for reference.

  1. Reduce MTTR:

Leveraging automation and new-age tech will help you reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR). VCC helps you rise above the fragmented workflows, unactionable alerts, data overload, and insights scarcity. It enables you to rise above the pervasive noise to detect patterns as they emerge and proactively respond to it.

  1. Manage remote and branch offices effectively:

The next-gen VCC needs to be acclimatized to the new normal of work from anywhere, all-digital environment. The confluence of data streams from across the organization and locations empowers both the organization and the employees to make data-driven decisions. As a result, your organization is fully capable of containing internal ripples even as your customers experience operational continuity.

  1. Leverage AIOps:

The conventional systems and technologies are inadequate to meet the staggering strain on infrastructure due to the overnight shift to working remotely.

AIOps enables you to automate IT operations, including correlating events, discovering anomalies, and establishing causality. It enables you to reduce repetitive tasks and concentrate on adding value to your offerings. It forms the basis for building a VCC that is self-aware and self-healing.

For more information, you can watch our webinar on the next-gen Virtual Command Center.

Leapfrog to a Higher Level on the Infrastructure Maturity Continuum

Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) managers have their jobs cut out for them. The ground below their feet is shifting and the seismic waves are unsettling the IT function, as they have known it. Today IT infrastructure is intrinsically tied to business value and outcome. It is no more the backbone of an organization; it is the central nervous system that controls how far and how soon a business can push geographical and other boundaries. It controls how fast and best can customer relationships become, and how, importantly, costs can be controlled. IT infrastructure which till a few years ago, hummed quietly in a data center, has moved to center stage. Summarizing this change, Gartner Senior Research Director Ross Winser says, “More than ever, I&O is becoming increasingly involved in unprecedented areas of the modern-day enterprise,”

Infrastructure maturity essentially means how future-ready or digitally empowered an organization’s infrastructure is. Organizations that are high on the maturity curve have paved the path for competitive advantage, seamless processes, and effective communications leading to business agility.

The Five Levels of Infrastructure Maturity or Maturity Continuum

Level One

Disparate tools, standalone systems, non-standard technologies, processes, and procedures define this level. More importantly, the infrastructure includes an over or under-functioning data center which does not make intelligence acquisition easy

Organizations when assessing their current infrastructure and mapping it to business needs will realize that they fall short of meeting organizational expectations while IT expenditure is out of bounds. IT infrastructure, therefore, becomes the weight that will pull an organization back from its path to progress.

Level Two

The infrastructure that has systems, tools, and processes in place but lacks standardization falls under this category. In the absence of standardization, ad-hoc decisions will be made to adapt to digital transformation and this can be more harmful than beneficial in the end. What is required is a systematic approach where road-map defining tools and technologies is established and processes are defined to pave the way for a digital future.

Level Three

Level 3 maturity assumes that tools and processes are in place but the infrastructure may not be cost-effective. It could be that data is stored in-house and the cost of running a data center far outweighs the benefits. While applications, tools, and platforms are modern, they may still be grounded.

What is required is for organizations to consolidate and optimize their infrastructure, for operational efficiencies and cost advantage. Data intelligence may still be far away.

Level Four

This level implies that the infrastructure can be moved to the cloud and it is ready for a transformation. It also assumes that legacy systems have been replaced by platforms and applications that can be shifted to the cloud, without interruption to existing business processes. The concern for these organizations is related to data security and data intelligence.

Level Five

Maturity in IT infrastructure sees a complete integration of tools, technologies, processes and practices. These organizations are future-ready. The infrastructure costs are optimized and data is secure. They have adopted nexgen digital solutions that are focused on transforming user experience. These organizations have brought infrastructure to the front stage and built a business model that is future-ready.

At Trigent, we use a highly flexible, agile and integrated solution that helps you adopt infrastructure for both traditional and cloud-enabled workloads.

Our portfolio of solutions for building, deploying and managing your infrastructure include:

CONSULTING

Help you develop a road-map for creating a flexible, responsive IT infrastructure aligned with your business

DESIGN & BUILD

Innovate new solutions, establish long-term goals and objectives so that your infrastructure is flexible and fully scalable for the future.

IMPLEMENTATION

Configure, deploy and oversee the smooth running of the project. Our qualified engineers perform implementation/installation.

ONGOING SUPPORT

Ongoing operating system monitoring and configuration support, after go-live.

To know more visit managed cloud infrastructure service page.