SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Partner content
Story image

Interview: Forcepoint defines data & user protection for the cloud era

By Sara Barker
Wed 22 Jul 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Data protection and user protection must be a core part of any organisation’s security strategy. There are several ways to achieve similar outcomes – and not all of them are equal.

We spoke to Forcepoint’s Asia Pacific strategic business director Nick Savvides about data and user protection, and how cloud-managed security can help organisations meet their cybersecurity needs.

Savvides is the driving force behind the company’s mission to understand what tomorrow’s problems are for organisations. Forcepoint builds the technologies organisations need, and keeps ahead of what cybercriminals, the industry, and what customers are doing.

Savvides describes this process as a cycle of continuous feedback that ensures Forcepoint is building what organisations need to protect themselves.

“Data is the constant no matter what happens in computing, and no matter how we have changed. From the early days of centralised computing to distributed systems, virtualisation and cloud, data has always been constant.”

“However, a lot of organisations have looked at this as a fundamental technology problem. They thought that technology will protect data, and strict user controls will force people to work within a defined box that they believed would protect data.”

When you add digital transformation, remote working, and the shift to the cloud to the mix, these have changed the way data is used, shared, and created.

Data protection - out with the old, in with the new

Savvides says the old models of data protection don’t work anymore, particularly when there are more risks than ever – and not just terms of cyber threats. Organisations are constantly changing.

An organisation plans its goals and how it will achieve them but if security is an afterthought, it means they will face trouble down the track. Additionally, one of the biggest mistakes organisations make is thinking their old ways will protect their data.

“Security needs to come in earlier in the process, and it needs to be recognised as a business problem – not an IT problem. Once you are digitally transformed, once you have moved to the cloud, and once you’ve enabled remote working, your business doesn’t look anything like it did 10 years ago. Cybersecurity is foundational to the success of a business,” says Savvides.

Data protection goes hand in hand with user protection, although there are key differences that require user protection to be approached in different ways. 

Risk adaptive security enhances user protection

“Organisations are good at protecting users and systems against threats. There are always going to be software vulnerabilities and zero days. But users are being compromised," says Savvides.

“No matter what happens, a genuine user needs to interact with data. There will always be at least one authorised user that needs access. So when we think of user protection, it’s about how to protect that user and their credentials from being used in a bad way.”

Savvides explains common security threats such as impersonation attempts, which happens when attackers try to hijack a session and steal a user’s credentials to impersonate that genuine user. Users can also get into all kinds of trouble – through mistakes or through intention, credentials can be given away or stolen, insider threats can leak data, and sometimes people just do the wrong thing.

Savvides says adaptive risk modelling provides much more than standard security tools like Identity and access management (IAM) and User and Entity Behaviour Analytics (UEBA).

“Organisations can move away from reactionary steps like detecting an incident after it has happened. Forcepoint focuses on prediction and controls to prevent incidents before they happen.”

“That's the power of modern user protection: the ability to understand not just when someone is violating the rules, but also when someone's behaviour indicates that they are likely to break the rules.”

This can all be done in a privacy-preserving way that assesses users based on machine learning and risk signals.  

“A system or machine learning model is the only thing that knows what has happened. And the way that the machine interprets it, you can do it in a privacy-preserving way where it doesn't collect that information and storing it. It's simply observing things that happen, and then dynamically moving a risk score up and down,” says Savvides.

“For example, a customer in a sales/CRM role could be accessing sales records more than they usually would. Is this cause for concern? Other indicators can explain a bigger picture. What is that user's sentiment? Have they been complaining to their colleagues on chat about their workplace? Have they changed their status on LinkedIn to be 'open to new opportunities'? Have they been tried to violate company data policy by copying records to a USB drive?”

“If we see how a user behaves and what they do, then the behaviour becomes more predictable. For example, a user is behaving in a way that we know is consistent with something bad that is going to happen,” says Savvides.

Predictive modelling also eliminates the need to define actions for every possible scenario. 

“Organisations set up a few rules, and you have risk adaptive responses that kind of take care of themselves. It's a much more effective outlook.”

With risk adaptive responses, Forcepoint is taking technologies that will be fundamental for future security needs, such as zero-trust network access and data loss prevention technologies, and intertwining behavioural analytics.

Data & user protection across legacy systems

Some organisations may rely on legacy systems and applications that generate data while the rest of the business is transforming. Savvides says organisations shouldn’t throw out their older security models and tools for legacy environments just yet.

He describes this as dual speed technology innovation – a large organisation has many legacy apps and will migrate these over time. Meanwhile, businesses are building new tools and applications as part of their modern environments to serve customers. Converged security should be able to manage both of these environments – legacy and cloud-optimised – at the same time.

Forcepoint’s converged offerings are ready for modern applications. They are cloud-ready, cloud-enabled and cloud-native, but they also understand those hybrid legacy environments. 

Savvides says these technologies protect data at the network level and at the user level, covering network processes and endpoints.

He adds that technologies such as zero-trust network access will help to bridge the gap between legacy applications and modernisation because it can allow for a cloud security stack and modern controls in front of legacy applications. 

“When that happens, you start to unify what you are doing and get unified visibility. That visibility is absolutely key.”

To find out more about Forcepoint’s data and user protection offerings, click here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Phishing
Online identity theft is rising in NZ - here’s what to do about it
It may start with a few stolen details online, but it could end with thousands of dollars missing or worse, a reputation down the drain.
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Abnormal Security finds financial supply chain under threat
New research by Abnormal Security has found a rising trend in financial supply chain compromise as threat actors increasingly impersonate vendors.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Ransomware
More than 90% of cyber attacks made possible by human error
The data are clear, with cyberattacks on the rise in recent years and the cybersecurity situation increasingly complex. 
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Zscaler
Securonix partners with Snowflake, Zscaler in joint venture
Securonix is embarking on a joint technology integration with Snowflake and Zscaler to speed up threat detection and response at cloud scale.
Story image
DDoS
Flashpoint unveils security offering for school boards
Flashpoint has released its K-12 risk management and security offering to provide school boards and education security practitioners with tools to recognise, prevent and manage cyber and physical threats.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Apple
LastPass announces new capability for iPhones and iPads
LastPass has announced its new save and fill experience, allowing customers to fill in, create and save their credentials directly within the site's form field.
Story image
Cloud
SonicWall recognises partners and distributors at FY2022 partner awards
SonicWall has recognised its distributors and partners for their efforts in producing the company’s most successful year to date.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Data resilience
Digital resilience in 2022 - A10 Networks releases new study
Of the 250 corporate organisations surveyed, as many as 95% showed high levels of concern for all aspects of enterprise digital resilience.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks named Google Cloud technology partner of the year for security
Palo Alto Networks was recognised for helping organisations rapidly transform security operations for future success.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
DDoS
Q1 DDoS and application attack activity reveals surprise result
The cybersecurity threat landscape in the first quarter of 2022 represented a mixed bag of old enemies and new foes. New actors dominated the DDoS threat landscape while application security faced tried-and-true attack vectors.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Schneider Electric and Claroty launch building security solution
Schneider Electric has announced the launch of Cybersecurity Solutions for Buildings, a solution designed to help buildings customers secure BMS.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ConnectWise reveals cybersecurity updates and partnerships
ConnectWise has unveiled new updates to its services and highlighted the importance of cyber insurance at its IT Nation Secure conference.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Malwarebytes expands Nebula platform with DNS module
Malwarebytes has expanded its Nebula platform with a new DNS Filtering module designed to provide a quick, flexible, and comprehensive Zero Trust offering for Nebula users.
Story image
APAC
Aqua Security launches cloud native security SaaS in APAC
Aqua Security has announced the general availability of cloud native security SaaS in Singapore, serving the broader APAC region.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Yubico
New research shows global drive for passwordless authentication
A new study has shown there has been a significant shift towards wanting a passwordless future, but adoption is still in its infancy.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Microsoft
SMX partnership with Microsoft leads to NTT recognition
SMX has captured the attention of NTT after receiving positive reviews from businesses across Australasia and beyond for its email security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Cybersecurity
New survey uncovers critical OT security challenges
While industrial control environments continue to be a target for cyber criminals, there are widespread gaps in industrial security.
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Trend Micro unveils dedicated security for electric vehicles
The cybersecurity company has announced VicOne - dedicated security for the electric vehicles and connected cars of today and tomorrow.
Story image
Wavelink
How Wavelink fosters creativity and careers in the channel
Wavelink is a 100% channel business, with all sales flowing through its authorised reseller partners. It has been a B2B technology distributor for almost 24 years and offers a broad range of software across cybersecurity, mobility, networking, and healthcare.
Story image
Data Protection
Thales solution supports DevSecOps teams with data protection
Thales' CipherTrust Platform Community Edition enables DevSecOps teams to deploy data protection controls into multi-cloud applications faster.
Story image
Collaboration
Why the success of client collaboration projects depends on addressing these five warning signs
New tools, applications, and software have enabled project collaboration to continue remotely, both between employees within an organisation and with its clients.