Advent of Digital Disruptions and the Role of Security

Date:   Friday , March 04, 2016

Headquartered in Manhattan, CA Technologies is a provider of Cloud, Mainframe and mobile services that deploy, monitor and secure applications and infrastructure in an organization.

Bob Dylan\'s 1960s classic tune \'The Times They Are A-Changin\' couldn\'t be more relevant today, as organizations find themselves under pressure to adapt to today\'s application economy. This has significantly impacted the information technology sector where transformation has created a fertile ground for disruptive technologies that increasingly challenge the status quo.

However, the challenge is not merely new business models; it is broader with the heightening urgency to adopt new agile thinking at the project level. While at the heart of the issue is the application, at the forefront of the conversation is balance: the balance between innovation, market share and margins; and just as importantly, the fine red line between risk, information security and the application economy, where every business is a software business.

We live in the application economy where businesses and most form factors are digital first. This is pervasive with mobile apps reshaping everything; from the way we make dinner to even how we plan our retirement.

With businesses increasingly interacting with customers through apps as their main touchpoint, enterprises will rely more on application programming interfaces (APIs) to manage access to their data over mobile devices or cloud-based services for partners and third-party developers. However, opening on-premise data and applications to third parties via APIs can raise a range of serious security concerns if not thought through properly.

The rise of the application economy has driven organizations across the world to assess their traditional use of APIs - the building blocks of this application economy - and explore how both internal and external data can be leveraged to open new revenue opportunities.

Security as an Enabler

Over the past year, the era of digital transformation has received as much, or even more attention than any other business topic. Given the massive changes we have seen in sectors spanning media, advertising, taxi services and retail, to name a few, there is speculation that similar shifts will spread across the wider economy.

The concept of digital and information security used to be about command and control. However, that perspective has evolved. Even though infrastructure security such as firewalls, intrusion prevention and correlation is still needed, security should now be seen as more of an enabler.

The issue of security is still spoken about in terms of cyber security, attacks, malware and breaches. Having the right infrastructure security is vital, but in an age where micro services can enable APIs to use information generated from sensors, a new parameter around identity prevails. The business strategies and options for how to play in the future value chain are the same strategic decisions that organizations have always needed, and they remain unchanged. What\'s new and different is the magnitude of potential business disruption and transformation via fresh new waves of disruptive technologies.

API Management is the Key to Success

Secure APIs are the foundations of success and security in the application economy, which is where API management comes into play. API management combines advanced functionality for back-end integration, mobile optimization, cloud orchestration and developer management. It supports enterprises in executing digital and Internet of Things (IoT) strategies with the right management tools, security, scalability and flexibility that organizations need to open the flow of data while minimizing risk to their brand and customers.

The Identity Management Play

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is yesterday\'s news. Multiple devices now interact with different personas from your home, car, handheld, pocket or work. These connections to social or corporate platforms are powered by APIs, the building blocks of the digital transformation, and they have to be targeted, operational, available and managed.

The security of knowing who is sharing what with whom is important, and will make identity management a growing priority in today\'s business set-up. Users with excessive privileges or entitlements can wreak havoc on a business from a security, compliance, and liability standpoint. Managing access, ensuring privileged users are well monitored and then seamlessly measuring risk on that connection to authenticate is just the beginning of how we will work and play in the application economy.

IoT and Digital Privacy Setting

For the next few decades, the world will be powered by devices that talk to each other, without our interaction or intervention, irrespective of industries. Information from sensors, such as patterns and geolocation, will inspire new business models and spur innovation into hyperdrive.

In the Asia Pacific and Japan, whilst our economies offer attractive markets, one challenge is the diverse conditions across the region. For example, regulations over currency, cross border movements, taxation, hotel chains, food chains and carriers can vary widely across the region.

These regulations include laws over data privacy which will affect how businesses manage data and the type of innovation or services they can offer. For instance, in order to provide targeted advertisements or information customized to your past shopping habits or preferences, there will be a certain level of personal data required or stored. This area of digital privacy is one that will likely come under closer scrutiny as consumers and policy makers decide how much of a premium they wish to trade off for innovative services.

In order to manage digital privacy securely, secure APIs and an identity management approach are necessary. Taking into consideration the overall cyber threat landscape and technology trends, security in organizations has evolved from \'No, it cannot be done\' to \'Know what is going on\', identifying who is accessing what kind of information, and from where.

Whilst digital transformation is at the heart of this evolution, security is in its nucleus. We have to design with the end in mind, as this is security that is not going to be bolted on. The new era brings us new businesses and new models, but they have to be agile, application-based, operationally sound and yield a better customer experience. This is a world where security is the differentiator and the enabler.